Best Global Green Brands 2014

auto motive

Looking to Goose Global Sales, VW Debuts Upscale Passat in Europe, China

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2014 10:44 AM

Volkswagen has unveiled an upscaled new version of its Passat mid-size sedan aimed at elevating the brand in the morass of the European auto market and enhancing VW’s robust performance in the booming Chinese market. The new Passat, however, won’t be coming to the United States.

“The Passat is going to give a boost to the entire VW brand,” Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn said in unveiling the latest version in Potsdam, Germany, according to the Wall Street Journal

The new Passat is more stylish than the old, with premium features at a competitive price. In Europe, that will help VW compete more effectively in a moribund market that has lured BMW and Mercedes-Benz to move downscale a bit to lure former VW customers.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: #BRA v #GER World Cup-apalooza Edition

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 9, 2014 08:01 AM

Brazil's "nightmare" of a World Cup loss to Germany sets Twitter record as most-tweeted sporting event ever (inspiring endless memes and Mick Jagger-blamefest) as Nike claims ambush marketing victory over official FIFA sponsor Adidas.

Adidas, meanwhile, is wooing Manchester United with US$100 million deal after Nike ends 13-year sponsorship, while GM-owned Europe-exiting team sponsor Chevrolet releases ManU limited edition vehicles for India and auctions off ticket packages.

Apple loses voice recognition patent lawsuit in China, launches "secret" eBay store.

Ellen DeGeneres signs five-year NYC lease as base to launch upcoming E.D. lifestyle brand with Christopher Burch.

Duke University sued by John Wayne's family in bourbon trademark battle.

More brand headlines by sector:Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: China Auto Boom, Athletic Supporters, Manchester United and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 7, 2014 09:06 AM

TOP STORIES

China auto sales rise 14% on foreign brands such as Mercedes-Benz, which Daimler expects to pass Audi and BMW in market, while GM China sales riseVW expands local production and Alibaba-backed car hire startup challenges Uber in China with BMWs. Separately, Mercedes-Benz just unveiled its first self-driving super truck (above).

Tim Howard poised to rake in endorsements as Neymar exits World Cup due to back injury; the UK’s “most marketable” athlete Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France; and Roger Federer loses Wimbledon to Novak Djokovic, whose sponsors congratulate him.

Manchester United reveal new kit by Nike featuring new sponsor Chevrolet's logo. 

Samsung faces falling profits for third consecutive quarter, looks to appliances to goose US sales.

American Apparel remains in headlines as brand apologizes for Fourth of July tweet and ousted CEO finds allies and cedes stake.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

Advertisers target wearable gadgets as next ad frontier.

Airbnb steps up New York City marketing push.

Amazon cracks Stores' top 10 US retailer ranking, a first for an e-tailer.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Adidas, GM, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2014 09:03 AM

TOP STORIES

Adidas pulls teeth-baring ads featuring Suarez after World Cup biting incident.

GM now faces federal grand jury probe in recalls, as company finally recalls 29,000 Chevrolet Cruze models that were part of sales “stop order.”

Nike sales fueled by World Cup and social marketing.

Yahoo seeks to buy YouTube content partner Fullscreen.

Google starts scrubbing Europe search results under “right to be forgotten.”

MORE BRAND NEWS

Audi introduces understated first plug-in hybrid as brand beams World Cup results over New York's East River using headlights.

Buick puts on running shoes with MyMapFitness.

Cracker Jack launches "Surprise Inside Project" gifting campaign. 

McDonald’s tests mobile ordering app.

Mercedes-Benz packs its GLA crossover in new social campaign.Continue reading...

auto motive

Luxury Autos Grapple Over EVs, International Expansion and Laser Beams

Posted by Dale Buss on June 24, 2014 11:29 AM

Recall madness has been obscuring most of the other news out of the auto industry these days, but there’s plenty of scrambling that has nothing to do with safety campaigns and investigations. At the top is the still-intensifying competition among BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz for the global lead in premium-vehicle sales.

Audi has just thrown the latest punch with news that it has drawn up blueprints for a range of high-performance electric cars, according to Reuters. The brand had sidelined EV-development efforts a couple of years ago in the face of slackening prospects but recently has stepped up such efforts again in the wake of the sales success of Tesla and accelerating EV moves by BMW, the news service said.

One of the new blueprints Audi has drawn up is for an electric version of a new Q8 SUV that would pit the vehicle against Tesla’s upcoming Model X crossover, Reuters said. Audi also has improved the once-limited range of its first EV, the R8 e-tron, which now is slated for a 2015 release in Europe, according to Digital Trends.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Honda, American Apparel, Starbucks and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 23, 2014 09:17 AM

TOP STORIES

American Apparel ousted Dov Charney over nude pictures, report says.

HondaNissan and Mazda expand recalls of Takata airbag systems.

Starbucks brings made-to-order soda to 16 states and raises prices on drinks and bagged coffee.

Audi draws up EV plans to counter BMW and Tesla, report says. 

Thrillist brings online experience to life in New York on second annual Best Day of Your Life.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Ace Hardware renews performance in a big-box world by emphasizing local service.

BMW extends joint venture with Brilliance in China to 2028.

Barbara’s promotes natural snacks and cereals in new campaign.

BNP Paribas nears settlement in US for up to $9 billion.

Bono calls for more brand partnerships with RED at Cannes presentation.Continue reading...

sonic truth

Coca-Cola's World Cup Ad: How Sonic Branding Can Fuse Utility and Emotion

Posted by Craig Stout on June 6, 2014 04:32 PM

No one argues with music’s power to elicit an emotional response. Yet brands so often fail to use audio to emotionally connect with customers. And as the Internet of Things becomes a reality and machines need to communicate with their human counterparts, sonic branding is more important than ever. 

As a part of being the brand's FIFA World Cup sponsorship, Coke released the “Happy Beep” video, using the brand's iconic five-note audio mnemonic to turn everyday beeps of a Brazilian grocery store's checkout barcode scanner into a moment of surprise and delight. It’s difficult not to smile as the familiar Coke musical notes, which also played a role in its 2010 World Cup campaign, materialize.

But sonic branding goes beyond audio equivalent of visual logos and advertising. It’s not just the NBC chimes, Justin Timberlake’s  “I’m Lovin' It” jingle for McDonald's, or the MGM lion’s roar. It is about managing the ecosystem of sonic elements that a brand has at its disposal—which is only going to increase as everything gets connected. These sonic elements can make experiences more intuitive, navigable and aid awareness of a brand’s presence. To see something, we need to be looking where as we don’t need to be actively listening to hear.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Mercedes-Benz, Castrol, Chanel and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 30, 2014 03:56 PM

One-up with Class, E-Class!: Product in video games is now standard (there are even worst-of awards for worst in-game product placement), so it's hard to make a splash. Well, congratulations to Mercedes-Benz and Nintendo for giving Japanese users the chance to put Mario into a Mercedes GLA in the new Mario Kart 8. Meanwhile, Mercedes is running a Mario-themed commercial for its new budget-priced GLA model as part of the deal.

Apple asks, "What Will Your Verse Be?": The new Beats owner sponsored deaf travel writer Chérie King as she used an iPad to explore the world and inspire other individuals to follow suit.Continue reading...

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