Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 21, 2014 09:31 AM
Toys"R"Us is under fire for stocking a line of action figures based on the Emmy Award-winning TV series, Breaking Bad.
“After all, nothing quite says holiday shopping like a bendable, fully costumed figurine of Walter White—the murderous chemistry teacher turned crystal meth manufacturer—and Jesse Pinkman, his former student and current bag man,” TIME quipped. “And you want accessories? We’ve got accessories—including a duffle bag stuffed with imaginary cash and a plastic bag of, yes, faux crystal meth for White.”
It all started with a Florida mom's Change.org petition, which gathered thousands of signatures.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 20, 2014 02:44 PM
Target suffered its massive data breach almost a year ago, and you can bet the company is doing everything possible not to let a simliar incident spoil the just-dawning Christmas-shopping season, which is going to be challenging enough for retailers.
But there was something else that Target executives learned when the company was rocked by the cyberhack: Time had passed by their brand, not just their digital-security procedures. And in the "surrender or fight" season they experienced with that epiphany, the retailer's top marketer said, they believe they set in place the pieces for a brand renaissance.
Speaking at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference last week in Orlando, Target CMO Jeff Jones impressed the audience with his frank discussion about what the company learned about its brand in the midst (and wake) of the data breach.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2014 01:01 PM
For Walmart and its relatively new CEO Doug McMillon, the future is about the challenge of managing the gaps. The gap between $15 an hour and $7.25 an hour in wages. The gap between Amazon's commanding presence in e-commerce and Walmart's footprint so far. And even the gap between the company's performance and McMillon's own expectations.
"There is no excuse for us not to be doing better," McMillon told investors this week at a meeting in Walmart's home state of Arkansas, as Walmart cut its forecast for sales growth in the current fiscal year to between 2 percent and 3 percent from a prevoius range of 3 percent to 5 percent.
In outlining his growth strategy to the investment community McMillon stated, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, "I really believe our future is bright. There are so many ideas percolating around."
One of them involves accelerating the company's investments in e-commerce. But many challenges keep surfacing as well.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 9, 2014 02:11 PM
Greenpeace has scored another major victory in its savvy social- and content-driven lobbying of brands.
Lego announced today it will not renew its marketing contract with Shell, ending a partnership that dates back to the 1960s.
The environmental activist group targeted the world’s largest toymaker with a petition and a brilliantly-executed campaign: a YouTube video of a pristine Arctic environment, constructed from 265 pounds of Lego bricks and characters, becoming slowly submerged in oil.
Titled "Everything is NOT Awesome" in reference to The Lego Movie's "Everything is Awesome" anthem, the video (which linked to a petition) has garnered nearly 6 million views to date.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2014 11:02 AM
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with team owners on Wednesday to discuss (among other agenda items) how to repair the damage to the league's brand including possible changes to the personal-conduct policy for players. As a lead up, owners were schooled on domestic violence by a 40-minute presentation the league has put together to show all of its employees, the AP reports.
That presentation included a powerful video presentation by former player Joe Ehrmann, a defensive tackle for 10 pro seasons back in the ’70s and early ’80s and (as the head of the Coach For America Foundation) a persuasive speaker. "Men play a critical role in reducing domestic violence by being active in interventions," Deana Garner, the league's director of player engagement and education, said, according to the AP. "Step in. Speak out. Have thoughtful conversations."
Under intense scrutiny by the public and sponsors alike, Goodell and the owners went into today's meeting knowing they're also under intense scrutiny by not only fans and the public court of opinion, but also sponsors.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2014 10:39 AM
The news of Chrysler's latest safety recall should have a familiar, if unfortunate, ring to it: "ignition switch."
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled about 350,000 vehicles around the world from the 2008 model year to repair a faulty ignition switch that in some cases could cut power to the vehicle's air bags, steering and the engine. The automaker had already issued a similar callback earlier this year of about 890,000 vehicles produced from 2007 through 2010 in which the ignition switch could slip from the "run" to the "accessory" position while driving.
Fortunately, Chrysler was aware of only a single minor accident related to the latest condition. But Chrysler recommends that customers detach their igntion keys from their key rings. Included in the recall are Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Chrysler 300, Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 23, 2014 11:08 AM
"Apple Plans To Shut Down Beats Music." "Apple denies it is shutting down Beats Music."
Those headlines, from TechCrunch and USA Today respectively, came with hours of one another, proving that even if Apple is not "shutting down" Beats Music, it's sensitive about its role as proud new papa.
It also signals that Apple watchers and Beats fans alike are jumpy, maybe even distrustful, about what the big Apple might have in store for the popular music brand started by Pepsi-endorsed game-changer Dr Dre, whose headphones to streaming music brand arguably has more street cred and cool than Apple's white earbuds and iTunes combined.
Oddly, Dre (the richest hip-hop artist ever thanks to the Apple deal, Forbes announced today) and the Beats brand were mostly MIA during Apple's big iPhone/Apple Watch product reveal earlier this month. And given the subsequent news that Apple is developing a new music format with U2 (linked to Apple by Beats' Jimmy Iovine and a long relationship with Steve Jobs), it could appear that the honeymoon following the $3.2 billion Apple-Beats marriage is over.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on September 19, 2014 05:10 PM
Maybe brand marketers need to hire more boomers, or at least younger people who've read a few history books.
That could be one of the lessons from one of the biggest branding idiocies of the year. Yum! Brands is changing the logo of its new Banh Shop Vietnamese fast-food restaurants after its red star logo offended members of the Vietnamese community in its Dallas test market, and beyond.
Many people of Vietnamese descent in America either escaped Vietnam to flee communism in the first place or are the offspring of that generation, which remembers the red star as being a symbol of communism back in the days of the Cold War, not as being a signifier of hipster kitsch, as some young people may take it today.Continue reading...