2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

branding together

Hello Kitty x Playboy Partners on Not-for-Kids Collection for Colette

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 12, 2014 02:33 PM

Hello, Kitty! Beloved Japanese children's icon Hello Kitty had officially teamed up with Playboy. Yes, you read that correctly. Not the most obvious brand collaboration, the two entertainment brands are being brought together by cutting-edge French fashion retailer Colette. The co-branded collection consists of everything from socks to lighters to cameras to sucettes (lollipops). Obviously not geared for kids—and you will never look at Kitty the same way again...

brand extensions

SELF Builds Out Lifestyle Brand with New Frozen Foods Line

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 26, 2014 10:57 AM

With the print business in survival mode, it's no surprise that Conde Nast, one of the world's largest publishers of magazines, is looking for new branding opportunities. 

One print brand ripe for extension is SELF magazine, which just launched its own line of frozen meals in 2,900 stores in 37 US states, including Kroger, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods under the SELF Healthy Kitchen brand. 

“It should be easy to be healthy, and that’s why we’ve created SELF Healthy Kitchen," said Lucy Danziger, SELF editor-in-chief in a press release. “Our point of difference is that these meals will be both delicious and good for your body. Health-minded consumers looking for convenient, economical ways to eat better will love every bite!”

SELF’s editors teamed up with award-winning Chef Calvin Harris’s Benevida Foods to create the new line that features eight entrées such as Southwest Style Chicken Enchilada with Rice and Sweet Potatoes, Three Cheese Lasagna with Beef and Marinara and Steak with Portobello Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce, with single-serving meals averaging $4.99.

“When you enjoy a SELF Healthy Kitchen meal, you can trust that you’re eating quality ingredients because I sourced them myself,” said Chef Calvin Harris in the press release. “This is food that will not only make you feel good, but you’ll feel great about feeding to your family.”Continue reading...

sip on this

Is Dumb Starbucks Brewhaha a Tempest In a Teapot? (Update: Mystery Solved)

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 10, 2014 02:47 PM

Not since The North Face sued The South Butt has the world seen a case pitting the free speech right of parody against the rights of a trademark holder.

Dumb Iced Coffee, Dumb Frappuccinos and Dumb Brewed Coffee—with the option of picking up a disc of the latest Dumb Jazz Standards—are just a few of the products awaiting customers at the new Los Feliz, Calif. cafe, "Dumb Starbucks." Is it a real thing or an an artist's statement about Starbucks? And if it is the latter, does the artist know it's 2014 and not 2004?

Customers waited for hours over the weekend to sip on free Dumb Iced Coffee and Dumb Frappuccinos in the curious "Dumb Starbucks," its interior decorated to match a typical Starbucks, with a "Dumb" menu and all. But the new shop situated next to a laundromat in a Los Angeles neighborhood was sure to make clear that it is not in fact a Starbucks. According to a posted FAQ statement, the cafe-as-art says, "Dumb Starbucks is not affiliated in any way with Starbucks Corporation. We are simply using their name and logo for marketing purposes."Continue reading...

sporting brands

Gunner Do It: Inside Puma's Record-Breaking Arsenal Football Club Deal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 28, 2014 07:36 PM

Puma has made a major move, signing a five-year "kit" deal with English Premier League powerhouse Arsenal, dealing a major blow to 20-year partner Nike.

The move is all part of a brand renewal strategy under new Puma CEO Bjoern Gulden that aims to re-establish the brand in the sports apparel market, which has taken a backseat to its lifestyle brand in recent years. 

The new $249 million deal is the largest ever for "the Gunners," as the legendary football club is calld by fans, and Puma, and drops the apparel-maker's logo right back into the spotlight on the backs (and rear-ends and cleats) of one of the league's hottest clubs, Sports Business Daily notes.

Arsenal’s previously struck a sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines in 2012 for five years and $248 million.

In addition, Puma has gained the rights to produce other Arsenal-related merchandise. Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger, who is also slated to sign a new contract with the club, will be given a large pool of cash to recruit free agents.Continue reading...

license to thrill

AMC Doesn't Need to Stretch Too Far for Latest Walking Dead Gimmick: a Survival Kit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2014 05:16 PM

When a major disaster strikes, AMC’s The Walking Dead wants to be sure fans can put to use all the savvy survival skills they saw enacted on the hit show. To do so, it has partnered with First My Family to sell $130 branded emergency survival kits

The kits are good enough to keep two people alive for 72 hours, but don’t contain anything specific to battle zombies (though the waterproof matches that come in some kits could do the trick). What fans will find are emergency food rations and water, a first-aid kit, LED flashlight, two Mylar space blankets, two ponchos, leather-palm work gloves, and four procedural facemasks.

Just hope that you don't need one before the second half of season 4 starts on Feb. 9. According to the Los Angeles Times, kits won’t arrive until February or March.Continue reading...

kiddie brands

Transformers Toys Go Back to Their Roots Ahead of Fourth Film

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2014 08:14 PM

In the three decades that Transformer toys have been on the market, they've inspired three big-budget Hollywood blockbusters and inspired hundreds of merchandising endeavors.

But the toys as they were orginally imagined—the ones that actually transformed from a vehicle to a robot with a few simple moves—aren’t around anymore. The transformation process, it seems, is now extremely complicated. Some may disagree, but the instruction booklets for today’s Transformers are much more involved than when it was first released. 

So Hasbro CEO Brian D. Goldner has decided to restore the toy back to its simpler days in honor of its 30th anniversary.Continue reading...

campaigns

Dumb Ways to Die Goes Plush for Public Safety Campaign Extension

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 21, 2014 03:46 PM

Last year, the marketing and advertising industry went nutty over Metro Trains Melbourne's "Dumb Ways to Die" cross-platform campaign by McCann Australia. The public safety campaign, which went viral thanks to a catchy song for its PSA ads, online game and addictive mobile app, took home top honors at Cannes Lions and continue to collect accolades, have now inspired a curious new line of products.  

Melbourne Metro has announced it's keeping the love going with a line of plush merchandise that is based on the characters in the campaign, and will be sure to appeal to kids of all ages in the same way that Uglydolls became a staple of dormitory rooms worldwide.

"We never set out for this to be a goal and it certainly didn't factor into anything around determining the creative," Metro General Manager-Corporate Relations Leah Waymark told Ad Age. "But countless people asked, 'Where can I get the t-shirt?' We had a lot of people who produce items approach us, from t-shirt makers to toy makers, to people who wanted to produce TV shows. But we narrowed it to what we thought would be most important, and that's the brand integrity."Continue reading...

trademark wars

University of Texas Goes On the Offensive to Protect 'Strong' Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2014 11:39 AM

When a high-power, renowned NCAA Division I football program hires a new coach, it's a pretty big deal. But the University of Texas probably didn't foresee the legal troubles it has run into since it hired new head coach Charlie Strong on Jan. 5. 

Since then, the Longhorns' legal department has been putting a lot of effort into going after manufacturers of clothing and gear that have already started to use Strong’s name on Texas promotional gear, the Associated Press reports.

The university has already put a stop to the sale of unsanctioned products with the words  “Stronghorns,” “Texas Strong,” and “UT Strong” on them. And while manufacturers may have been quick to jump on the 'Strong' bandwagon, the school wasn't too far behind: two days after it signed Strong to the coaching job, UT submitted an trademark application for "Stronghorns." After all, Strong signed a five-season contract for $25 million. According to the Austin Business Journal, six other applications for "Stronghorns" have been created as well.Continue reading...

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