2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

olympic effort

Armed with Duct Tape, the Olympic Brand Police Are Back to Protect Sponsors in Sochi

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2014 06:43 PM

While Sochi's infrastructure didn't seem quite ready when the Olympics came to town last week, one department was ready to hit the ground running: the brand police. 

In the continuing discussion around the Olympics' Rule 40, which prevents non-official Olympic sponsors from advertising or marketing their products or services before and during the Olympics, Associated Press staffer Mark Davies tweeted an image of a journalist having his computer logo taped over by an Olympics staffer. The laptop clearly wasn't of the Samsung brand, which is an official sponsor of the Olympics. 

“Olympic workers are swooping on reporters sitting in competition venues with Apple laptops, and hastily taping over the iconic logo with duct tape,” he wrote. “In fact, any laptop that isn’t made by official sponsor Samsung is likely to face an Olympic cover-up.” Davies also witnessed a Mercedes with its logo covered up since the official automotive sponsor of the games is Volkswagen.Continue reading...

olympic effort

Sochi Olympics Brands: Tonga's First Luger Powered by Underwear and More

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 10, 2014 12:32 PM

Bruno Banani may be a no-name in America, but he’s a hero in the tiny island nation of Tonga and his name is well-known across Europe.

In Tonga, Banani is the nation’s first Winter Olympian, a luger who isn’t expected to bring home gold but is still celebrated by Tongans for breaking the Winter Games-barrier for the warm-weather country. In Europe, Banani is famed for another reason. It’s the name of an underwear manufacturer that is known for its wacky marketing campaigns, such as having Russian astronauts wear the underwear aboard a space station.

The Tongan with the same name is no coincidence. The nation’s royal family was keen on finding an athlete to send to the Winter Olympics, but not without some financial support. So international marketing company Makai hooked them up with Bruno Banani. The country and the company teamed up to find a Tongan who would fit the bill and auditioned 20 or so men, all of whom were told that they’d need to change their name if they were selected. The eventual winner was Fuahea Semi—or Bruno Banani.

“Look, this was quite a risky plan,” said Mathias Ihle, the head of Makai’s European division, according to the New York Times. “We were a very young agency. We had just started. We wanted to prove that we were creative. So in order to promote him, we came up with the idea of changing his name.”Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Adidas Aims to Samba Into Soccer Fans' Soles Ahead of 2014 World Cup

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 06:04 PM

Adidas announced lackluster third-quarter results last week, with hopes for a fourth quarter sprint to put things right. “Sales were down 7%, with operating profit 6% lower,” Reuters reported. Archrival Nike, meanwhile, has been on a rollw. When it revealed its fiscal first-quarter numbers back in September, revenue had risen 8% over the same period in the previous year.

That's why Adidas is hoping that its official sponsorship role for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil will help revive sales just as its connection to the London 2012 Olympic Games and European Championships did last summer.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Team USA Kicks Off Road to Sochi With Brand Sponsors in NYC's Times Square

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2013 05:32 PM

NBC already has indicated it will enjoy a record haul for US TV advertising during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. But the job for brand sponsors of the Games and athletes has only begun on their path to the opening of the games on February 7.

Top-tier marketers including Coca-Cola, P&G, Target, and Kellogg's are signing up to sponsor Team USA athletes as well as trying to navigate the increasingly icy waters around Sochi regarding the tendency of the Russian government to violate human rights and LGBT rights.

On Tuesday, the US Olympic Committee will kick-off a 100-Day Countdown campaign featuring Team USA in Times Square in New York, hoping to recreate the excitement of 2012's Road to London event (at top) with the Liberty Mutual-sponsored Road to Sochi (#RoadtoSochi) tour.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

P&G Looks to Inspire Big Changes from Everyday Acts

Posted by Andrew Chan on January 21, 2013 02:14 PM

P&G's new "Everyday Effect" campaign may not be quite as inspiring as the company's inspiring "Thank You, Mom" campaign during the London 2012 Summer Olympics, but it comes close with its uplifting language about the power of everyday acts to inspire big changes, a theme expanded on its Facebook page.

The description for the video, above: "As we begin another year, we embrace the notion that the biggest impact in our lives comes not in the grand gestures, but in the everyday acts. We remind ourselves that the greatest changes begin in the simplest moments — the conversation over breakfast with your 10-year old, or your baby's first steps. At P&G we see the power that these everyday acts have in defining our lives, our families' lives and the life of our planet. We call this the power of The Everyday Effect."

sporting brands

How Nike's "Hockey Is Ours" Campaign Helped Nudge NHL Deal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 7, 2013 09:55 AM

Now that the NHL has reached a tentative deal that could see the players (finally!) hit the ice as soon as next week, let us now praise Nike's role in egging the league to put on its skates and cut a deal.

For years, Nike has ridden on the parade floats of champion athletes, signing big names to sneaker deals in order for fans to covet what the stars wear and to showcase their powerhouse athletes in a wide variety of advertisements (and add their names to buildings on the Nike campus in Oregon, too, of course).

However, the athletic wear giant struck a chord last summer when it touted a more populist message ("Find Your Greatness") during the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Nike hadn’t signed on to sponsor the Games but its name became forever aligned with England’s big event when it aired a commercial that featured everyday athletes competing in other Londons around the globe and urged those watching to find their own greatness.

As winter rolled around in the Western hemisphere, Nike duly hit another nerve for the average fan and athlete. With more than half of the NHL season cancelled due to a stand-off between wealthy owners and wealthy players, Nike launched a campaign on Dec. 19th keying in on the fact that hockey fans were fed up with the lockout and salary cap war — and the sport and its fans didn't need the NHL to survive.Continue reading...

sporting brands

US Olympic Team Unveils New Branding

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 22, 2012 04:04 PM

The U.S. Olympic team raked in 104 medals in last summer’s London Games, 16 more than its closest competitor, China. The U.S. team also led the medal count at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. So things are on a good path athletically for America.

Obviously, there’s nobody at the United States Olympic Committee who is superstitious and afraid that any change could hurt the team’s performance because when the U.S. Olympic team takes to the slopes and rinks of Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Games, they’ll be wearing a new logo.

The USOC has introduced a new five-ring logo that “now feature the United States flag and the Olympic Rings in the designated IOC colors,” according to a press release.

When tested with consumers this past summer by SRI International, “consumers strongly identified the marks to stand for patriotism, inspiration, leadership and dedication.” What else could the USOC want in a logo?

This is part of a rebranding that’s been going on for two years now. "This redesign of our five-ring logo continues to build our framework for a consistent look and feel for all USOC assets as well as our desire to work collaboratively with the IOC,” said USOC Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird. “Additionally, since the American flag is the most recognized symbol of our country, putting it at the center of our marks signifies the importance of identifying with the history, spirit and symbolism of our country."

That’s all well and good, Baird, but can it finally bring curling gold to America? We’ll have to wait till 2014 to find out.

brands under fire

BP Plans Ad Campaign to Help People Move On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2012 03:55 PM

It’s been about two and a half years since nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil was dumped into the Gulf of Mexico as the result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the owners of that particular well – BP – would love it if the world would just forget about the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Now a key piece has been settled with its $4.5 billion fine, the energy giant is returning to full-on “advertising (in the UK) next year with a campaign showcasing the contribution the company makes to society,” as Marketing Magazine reports. The corporate citizenship-themed push will note its cultural partnerships with the London Royal Opera House and the British Museum as well as its sponsorship of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Even while the oil was gushing into the Gulf, BP spent nearly $100 million on advertising, CNN reports, three times the amount of cash it had laid out in the same time period the previous year. BP claimed that the increase was partially due to ads it bought in the Gulf Coast region to inform people there about the recovery effort.Continue reading...

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