Best Global Green Brands 2014

celebrity brandcasting

From Kim K to Karl Lagerfeld, Celebrities are Cashing In on Branded Products

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2014 03:55 PM

It’s not enough to just be a superstar these days, with millions of adoring fans and multitudes of followers on social media. Instead, celebrities from all walks of life are turning their personal brands into actual businesses with products and services that you never knew you needed.  

Case in point: Kim Kardashian's blockbuster mobile game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.” The Sims-like game is sitting at No. 1 on the iTunes free app chart and reportedly brought in $200 million in the few months that it's been live. Kardashian, according to Forbes, will take home around $85 million of that thanks to her near 50 percent stake in the game. While the game "is ridiculous. It’s laughable. It grates on your nerves after awhile," the Washington Post reports, "it’s nearly impossible to look away.” 

Reflecting the Kardashian brand, now a multimillion-dollar empire, the app lets users achieve various levels of gameplay on their way to becoming an “A-list” celebrity with Kim as a guide. In-app purchases of Kim Coins drive revenue through the roof for the fairly simple app, which has a 5-star rating.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

YouTube Creators are Commanding Major Money, Attention from Big Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 22, 2014 06:15 PM

The proverbial casting couch has been replaced by homegrown YouTube stars, and this year's 18,000-plus attendees of VidCon's fifth annual conference is proof positive that online content creators are a big business. 

Google’s YouTube is the training ground for young, ambitious creatives seeking fame and with 72 hours of video uploaded every minute to channels with thousands of subscribers, the phenomenon of video bloggers is becoming more lucrative by the day—for creators, and the major brands that want to sponsor them. 

“I think [online video content] is a huge cultural phenomenon that no one can take credit for or explain or understand,” said VidCon co-founder Hank Green. “We’re all just sort of watching it happen and trying to reflect it and ride along with it in the most effective ways we can.”

Over the past four years, video has exploded into prime real estate for advertisers as digital video ad spend rose to $4.2 billion last year, and is projected to reach $6 billion this year. And with many vloggers speaking to younger audiences that are the target of big brands, the business opportunites seem endless.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Protecting the Sport of Fitness: In and Out of the Box, CrossFit Defends Its Brand

Posted by Nicole Briggs on July 22, 2014 02:04 PM

CrossFit: chances are you’ve tried it, either loved it (or hated it) or know someone who can’t live without it. The fitness phenomenon launched by Greg Glassman in 2000 has grown from cult popularity to an expansive lifestyle brand based off its strength and conditioning programs.  

Today, there are more than 9,000 affiliated gyms, and although CrossFit Inc. licenses its name to those gyms for an annual fee, having thousands of affiliated locations across the world makes it extremely hard to fish out the reals from the fakes. 

After all, part of the success of a brand could be directly related to the how well they police their trademark(s), and CrossFit's legal team is no stranger to the good ol' cease and desist letter. The brand has previously gone after Cross Gym, CrossFat, Caldera Cross-Fit, CrossFitFood and Don’t Cross Me, I’m Fit, to name a few. 

The brand has an even greater responsibility to protect its name thanks to the lucrative 10-year deal it signed with Reebok in 2010 that has been largely responsible for the brand's mainstream proliferation with branded workout gear, Reebok-branded CrossFit gyms and its title sponsorship of the annual CrossFit Games, which kick off this Friday.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Sharknado 2 Unleashes a Storm of Licensed Merchandise

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 20, 2014 05:05 PM

"[It] isn't even worthy of sarcasm," wrote Variety in its review of the 1977 film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, a low-budget film about exactly what its title says. A financial non-starter when first released, the film became a cult hit. A decade later came a sequel—starring a young George Clooney—and two more sequels. Later, there came a cartoon series on Fox Kids and a comic book series. There is also an annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival in Atlanta.

The history of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is timely as the world prepares itself for the July 30 premiere of Sharknado 2, Syfy's sophomore installment in the shark-meets-tornado franchise that hopes lightning, indeed, strikes twice. But this time around, brands want in on the fun.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Yep, I'm a Lifestyle Brand: Ellen Can Cut the Rug, But Make Them Too?

Posted by Sarah McLaughlin on July 9, 2014 05:03 PM

Celebrity Pop Quiz: Comedienne. Pants suits. Dancing. Converse.

Who am I talking about? Ellen DeGeneres? Exactly!

When you sit back and think about Ellen and her brand, those things pretty much sum it up.  So imagine my surprise when I read in WWD about her E.D. That's the name of the lifestyle brand that the daytime TV talk show host is developing with Tory Burch's ex-husband.

That's right: later this year you can surround yourself in all things Ellen, from your body to your pet to your home, with a "fully conceived" lifestyle collection that includes chic homewares such as candles, plates, decorative pillows, and PJs to lounge in.

Unless it’s a funny decorative pillow, however, I’m not sure I trust that Ellen as the authority on how I jazz up my sofa. It makes you wonder if she knows what a lifestyle brand actually is. It makes you wonder if any celebrity does.Continue reading...

sip on this

Nescafe Turns to Unified Front to Stave Off Competition from Fast-Growing Keurig

Posted by Dale Buss on June 16, 2014 05:23 PM

Keurig is aiming to compound its competitive edge in the single-cup home brewing market even as competitors such as Nespresso and generic imitators such as TreeHouse attempt to hold it back.

Meanwhile, Nestle is facing greater challenges in advancing its Nespresso single-cup brand while at the same time trying to revive the iconic Nescafe franchise that has flagged lately because single-serve home machines, and the likes of Starbucks cafes, have made instant coffees such as Nescafe outdated.

Maker of the market-creating K-Cup, Keurig Green Mountain will press its competitive edge in the years ahead using at least five distinctive advantages, CEO Brian Kelley told an industry conference last week, according to Food Business News.

They include Keurig’s business model, incorporating the expertise of a retail-beverage company with that of a high-tech appliance company, and its advantages in innovating the machines and the pods. The “smart” design of its machines is another, Kelley said. The fifth advantage is Keurig’s strong strategic partnerships, including with Coca-Cola, which recently took a minority stake in Keurig Green Mountain as the two companies perfect a cold beverage delivery system for the home.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Hours Away from the World Cup, Brands Big and Small Turn Up Soccer Spirit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2014 05:57 PM

With just hours until the World Cup kicks off in Brazil (with Jennifer Lopez, who finally confirmed she'll be performing the anthem in the opening ceremony), millions of fans and brands big and small are preparing to cheer on their favorite athletes and teams. And while much of the attention has been on the brand battle between Nike and adidas, there are plenty of local brands looking to get in on the action too. 

Over in Australia, local bookmaker Sportsbet.com sent a 151-foot hot air balloon shaped like Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue into the skies about Melbourne. The balloon, which wore an Australian soccer jersey with the words #KeepTheFaith on the back, was likely a reference to the national team's tough World Cup opponents, but spirit-lifting or not, the stunt didn't go over too well with local religious leaders and business owners. 

Meanwhile, British sportsbook Paddy Power caught its own share of flack after it posted an image showing the words "C'mon England PP" carved into a large swath of the Amazon rainforest. The company eventually had to clarify that the image was photoshopped and not real in order to avoid any further brand damage. 

Another local sponsor getting into the spirit is UK plumber Dyno, which is launching a campaign to keep everyone's toilets flowing freely during the World Cup. The brand will have "Rush to Flush" squads on-hand to handle emergency call-outs in hopes to avoid the same fate as four years ago, when there was a “25 percent increase in blocked toilets across the UK during the England vs France game.”Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Dead Celebrities are Big Business—But Should They Be?

Posted by Jacob Huval on June 3, 2014 11:02 AM

As with the reactions to Tupac Shakur’s 2012 appearance at Coachella, reactions to Michael Jackson’s recent holographic appearance at the Billboard Music Awards varied were a mixed bag, with some calling it more hollowgraphic than holographic and a “hollow tribute” at best. Whether you find it moving or morbid (and we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below), there's no question that it's big business. Jackson is the reigning top-earning late celebrity according to Forbes, which estimates his estate's earnings from June 2012 to June 2013 at $130 million.

There have been other such cases of digitally bringing celebrities back to life, of course: consider Audrey Hepburn in a Galaxy/Dove chocolate campaign, John Wayne in a Coors Light campaign, and Gene Kelly singing in the rain for Volkswagen. The controversy that such post-mortem celebrity-driven campaigns generate isn’t surprising—and may actually be part of the point since controversy generates more conversation about the ad and the brand that presented it.Continue reading...

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