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bc q&a

Long Live The King: 5 Questions with the Gatekeepers of the Elvis Brand

Posted by Paula Pou on August 29, 2014 03:58 PM

Every August, thousands of Elvis Presley fans descend upon Graceland to pay their respects to the King. Elvis Week, as the annual event has become known, is a celebration of the rock and roll icon’s life, and consists of concerts, movie screenings and candle vigils. This year’s event marked the 38th anniversary of Presley’s death, and while it wasn’t a landmark anniversary, change was in the air. 

And there’s good reason: Graceland is under new management. It’s not news that the Presley family no longer has majority control over Elvis’s intellectual property or management of Graceland itself—Lisa Marie sold that in 2005. But, in late 2013, National Entertainment Collectibles Association founder Joel Weinshanker acquired the rights to operate Graceland and its related properties in partnership with the Presley family and Authentic Brands Group (ABG). As part of that same transaction, ABG bought the Elvis intellectual property and oversees licensing and merchandising for the brand.   

The duo of brand managers have helped revive the King's brand for a new generation of fans, including the introduction of an iPad tour narrated by John Stamos, a 450-room hotel that will open next fall, and a deal with Pulse Evolution to bring The King back to life with holographic performances for live shows, films and ads.  

On the heels of this year’s Elvis Week, brandchannel chatted with Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland, and ABG’s President and CMO Nick Woodhouse to find out what else the future holds for Elvis.Continue reading...

brand revival

Because We Missed It So Much, Ed Hardy Will Be Resurrected in India

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 28, 2014 06:42 PM

Ed Hardy, the apparel brand based on iconic tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy’s intricate work, declared itself a big deal when it launched back in 2007 and then completely fell apart in 2010 when it was forced to close stores, liquidate assets and turn itself over to administrators at Deloitte.

The brand partly blamed its downfall on much-despised C-list celeb Jon Gosselin, who loved the brand and was seen publicly with Hardy owner Christian Audigier on a yacht in 2009. Gosselin’s fame dissipated pretty much the same time that Hardy’s did.

“That Jon Gosselin thing was the nail in the coffin,” Hardy told the New York Post last year. "That’s what tanked it. Macy's used to have a huge window display with Ed Hardy, and it filtered down and that’s why Macy’s dropped the brand."

Despite the brand's image issue, Ed Hardy is being resurrected in a new deal with Arvind, which is importing the brand to India.Continue reading...

bc q&a

History in the Making: 5 Questions with A+E's Dan Suratt on HISTORY's Planet H

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 19, 2014 01:33 PM

A+E Networks' HISTORY channel has launched a unique brand extension that taps today's technology to engage kids with the past. Planet H launched  earlier this month with two mobile games that will encourage learning through play.

The games, priced at $2.99 each and available on iOS, Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire platform, are the cable brand's first major attempt to fill a gaping hole in kid-sized historical content. Developed in partnership with RED Games, which has developed apps for other A+E Networks brands, the games allow young users to explore past empires and the American frontier on their mobile device of choice. 

"The idea to bring a younger audience to the HISTORY brand has been kicking around for years, but up until recently there's been nowhere for it to live," Dan Suratt, A+E’s EVP of digital media and brand and content licensing, told Ad Age. "Now we have all of these other platforms and devices that appeal to younger demos like tablets and smartphones that make it easy to reach these demos without making huge financial commitment."

brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady chatted with Suratt to talk Planet H, mobile-first branding and future brand extensions and experiences.Continue reading...

campaigns

Goodbye, Kitty: Japan Sends Hello Kitty into Orbit to Boost Space Program

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 14, 2014 01:42 PM

NASA isn't the only space program in jeopardy. Japan, for one, is also trying to re-engage young minds with the fascinations of space using a tried and true method: Hello Kitty.

The iconic figure, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, has created billions of dollars in revenue for its owner, Sanrio, and Japan hopes that its internationally-recognized animated toy will drive the same kind of cultural interest for its space program. 

To get more private companies interested in using satellites, the government has invested $40 million toward the project, Reuters reports. The satellite carrying the 1.6-inch Hello Kitty figurine was fine-tuned over a couple of months of experimentation and is about the size of a garbage can.Continue reading...

auto motive

Jaguar Dusts Off Iconic Lightweight E-Type for Historic Concours Event

Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2014 03:29 PM

The more Jaguar recovers from its near-death experience a few years ago, the more the brand can afford to look back at its original glory days. That seems to be behind Jaguar's move to revive an old racing vehicle known as the Lightweight E-type and display it at the Pebble Beach Concours in California this weekend.

Jaguar then plans to sell the new E-types, which Top Gear calls a "beauty of a time traveller," as "period competition" vehicles to some very demanding hobbyists who want to race them in classic car rallies, which is why they'll be offered first to existing Jaguar collectors.

The roots of the project date back a half century—to 1963, to be precise. That's when Jaguar—owned for the last few years, along with Land Rover, by India's Tata Group—built 12 of 18 planned "Special GT E-type" project cars for the race course. The remaining six were never built until now.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Inspiration Behind Aunt Jemima Brand at the Heart of $2 Billion Lawsuit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 11, 2014 06:37 PM

Aunt Jemima stares down from grocery-store shelves with a beatific smile, but the woman who is supposedly the inspiration behind the brand has at least one great grandchild who isn’t too happy.

Last year, the progeny of Anna Short Harrington, whose descendants argue that she was the inspiration behind the Aunt Jemima brand and recipe and whose likeness served as the model for the brand, which was bought by Quaker Oats in 1935, discovered that the company “had trademarked Harrington's likeness and picture in 1937" and "determined that they were owed royalties,” Reuters reports.

Harrington's great-grandson, D.W. Hunter, filed a $2 billion lawsuit on August 5 against Quaker Oats Co., PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats, Pinnacle Foods and Hillshire Brands Co., for exploiting Harrington's image and recipe for years without paying an "equitable fair share of royalties" to her family.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Happy Birthday, Potter: 17 Years Later, Harry Potter is Bigger than Ever Before

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2014 05:43 PM

Born July 31, 1980 (and brought to life in 1997 when "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was published), no one likely could have predicted the mind-boggling success that would become Harry Potter. 

And while the character in the books spent his childhood birthdays with the abhorrent Dursleys, here in the Muggle world, the date (which also happens to be author J.K. Rowling's birthday) symbolizes a celebration for the millions of Potterheads and numerous marketers that have helped fuel the Potter machine with fanatical loyalty. That loyalty to the books, films and countless other branded products have helped make Harry Potter one of the top 10 best-selling products in the world. 

While the series has seemingly wrapped up, there is no end in sight for Harry Potter, the brand.Continue reading...

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...

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