branded entertainment

Johnnie Walker Aims for Luxury Status with Five-Star Exclusive Theater

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 8, 2014 04:04 PM

Johnnie Walker is upping the stakes in experiential, content marketing to promote its latest exclusive whisky blend and transform into a luxury brand.

Following on its growing stable of Johnnie Walker House local retail experiences in Shanghai and beyond and its global campaign that included a short film starring Jude Law, JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™ next week will stage a one-of-a-kind brand experience in London: Symphony in Blue, billed as "the world’s first theatrical, experiential, musical and artistic journey."

Three performances (two evening and one matinee) will take place on Sept. 16/17 in a multi-sensory cultural event designed to turn elite influencers into brand advocates. The event is being "exquisitely crafted by a star-studded team" that produced the memorable London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

Beyond participating in a bespoke branded experience, Symphony in Blue guests will be among the first to enjoy the latest launch from the John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015: a limited-edition Blue Label Reserve premium whisky blend.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

With the World Cup a Wrap, Brazil Looks Ahead to 2016 Olympics

Posted by Paula Pou on July 14, 2014 04:37 PM

Following a month of blood, sweat and tears—both metaphorical and real—the 2014 FIFA World Cup drew to a close on Sunday. Having been spared the humiliation of an Argentine victory on Brazilian soil, the host country is far from getting any respite from the world’s spotlight. 

With the 2016 Summer Olympics just around the corner, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) descended on Rio during the 2014 World Cup to monitor the city’s progress. Already labeled “the worst ever” preparations by IOC vice president John Coates, rumor has it that the committee reached out to London back in May, to ask the 2012 host to be ready as a back-up if Brazil drops the ball.

The harsh criticism sounds familiar. Brazil faced years of criticism in the run-up to the World Cup, with delays in construction and completion of stadiums leading FIFA to comment that organizers “needed a kick up the backside.”

Of course, a big part of Brazil’s brand is the jogo bonito (beautiful game), a term coined to describe the choreographed feats of players like Didi and Pelé. But following a dismal showing at this World Cup that culminated in Brazil’s devastating 7-1 loss to Germany, critics have been wondering if the beauty of the game is dead.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Pepsi Kicks the Ball Downfield with Soccer-Themed Clothing Collection

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2014 04:02 PM

In yet another timely play for soccer fever, Pepsi has launched a limited-edition clothing collection meant to capture the "art" and creativity behind soccer. 

The Live for Now Capsule Collection features clothing, accessories and electronics created by international designers including Original Penguin by Munsingwear, B&O PLAY, Gents, Goodlife, Del Toro and SHUT. 

The line, which overlaps Pepsi's "The Art of Football" initiative—celebrating soccer without being a FIFA World Cup sponsor—with its global Live for Now branding campaign, will be available at Bloomingdale's in the U.S., Colette in Paris, and Liberty in London.Continue reading...

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."

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