2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brands under fire

Scouts Face Increasing Criticism for Policies, Partnerships Deemed Off-Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 10:57 AM

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America seem like they would be the perfect all-American brands, but the children's service organizatons have had their fair share of controversy. 

In a continuation of the gay rights saga surrounding the Boy Scouts, Walt Disney recently announced that it would cut funding to the organization due to its policies surrounding openly-gay Scout leaders. While the company doesn't donate funds directly to the organization, the company said it would "stop allowing employees to do volunteer work through Disney’s VoluntEARS program in exchange for cash donations to the Boy Scouts of America," according to Time.

The national organization voted last year to allow openly gay youths but decided to keep its ban on openly gay leaders intact. Other major brand sponsors, including Lockheed Martin, Chipotle, Merck and UPS have stopped funding the organization as a result. 

The Girl Scouts, on the other hand, are also having a bit of an image issue as the organization looks to put its brand in front of more children. The group struck a deal last year with Mattel for a Girl Scouts-themed Barbie doll, including a related patch, booklet and website.Continue reading...

car talk

Maserati Gets a Global Boost from Heidi Klum, New Alfieri Coupe

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2014 03:47 PM

Maserati made a bang with its surprise ad during the Super Bowl, and now the Fiat-owned superluxury brand is following up with a couple of splashes.

The brand, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, introduced a coupe concept at the Geneva International Motor Show this week that could be added to its sparse but oh-so-desirable product lineup. Named Alfieri, the first name of Maserati's founder, it is a homage to the brand's racing heritage, Harald Wester, the brand's head, said as he presented the two-door coupe at the show.

Reporting strong sales of its recently updated Quattroporte sedan and smaller Ghibli, Maserati is on the rise. Overall sales increased by 148 percent last year, to 15,400 vehicles; an SUV is on the way next year; and the brand's goal is to reach 50,000 sales in 2015.Continue reading...

media brands

Time Inc., MLB, NHL and More Throw Support Behind New 120 Sports Network

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2014 01:44 PM

ESPN may consider itself the “World Wide Leader in Sports,” but Sports Illustrated’s owner, Time Inc., and a few major sports leagues are looking to take a big piece of its action with a big investment in online sports network startup, 120 Sports.

Online video is growing exponentially, Time Inc. will join Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, NASCAR, and college sports conferences to create content for the network that will “include content such as game highlights and commentary in two-minute segments,” according to the Wall Street Journal. No live games will be featured.

The NFL is not currently part of the 120 Sports package since it announced last month that it will have its own online video app, NFL Now, “that will tailor programming according to each user's interests, part of an independent effort by the league to extend its reach on digital platforms,” the Journal reports.

The 120 Sports site will launch later in the spring and have its own app, but the content may also appear on third-party sites. It won’t require viewers to authenticate their cable providers, such as how NBC won't allow online viewers to watch live streams of Olympics coverage without entering such information.Continue reading...

fantasy brands

Sports Illustrated Throws Caution to the Wind for 50th Anniversary Barbie Issue

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2014 04:04 PM

In a brand collaboration that could be described as the "Anti-Dove" campaign, Barbie and Sports Illustrated are getting together to celebrate the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine's swimsuit issue. And not surprisingly, social media has been atwitter over the implications.

The half-century edition of Sports Illlustrated's biggest issue of each year will hit newsstands and the internet next week, and it presents Barbie as a doll-size version of some of the magazine's supermodels, clad in a new version of the black-and-white swimsuit the Mattel doll wore when she was introduced in 1959.

It's a surprising partnership, to be sure, starting with the the fact that Barbie is aimed (mostly) at girls and Sports Illustrated is aimed (mostly) at men, which raises uncomfortable questions about why they're getting together. (Yes, Barbie is for adult collectors, too—that's why there will be a limited edition Sports Illustrated Barbie at Target).

The co-branded special issue is launching with a campaign called "Unapologetic", as both brands' owners clearly anticipated the hullaballoo that would ensue when two icons of hyperphotogenic femininity got together to get even more in the faces of their long-time foes.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yelp, Chick-fil-A, Toyota and more

Posted by csauser on February 12, 2014 09:33 AM

In the News

Yelp unveils website revamp and upgrades local content.

Chick-fil-A launches switch to antibiotic-free chicken.

Toyota recalls 1.9 million Priuses to update software.

Annie's Homegrown sets to roll out new snacks strategy.

Audi boosts output of A3, Q5 in Germany.

Belk launches contest offering Edwin McCain as wedding singer.

Burger King beefs up Big King.

Dean Foods hurt by food-stamp losses.

Paula Deen readies comeback.

Dow Chemical rejects activist investor's call for major breakup.

DuPont moves toward approval of GMO crop in Europe.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Marketers Deal with Fallen NFL Ambassadors as 'Campbell Curse' Looms

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 11:07 AM

As injuries continued to take a horrific toll on more NFL players over the weekend, both stars and scrubs alike, major brands also were taking stock of their losses from associating with the most popular violent sport in America—because their spokesmen are leaving the big stage of game-day action to go nurse their wounds, sometimes for the rest of the season.

Visa was one of the latest brands to suffer a snake-bit association with an NFL star who fell to injury, and its timing was about as bad as could be. Just as Atlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones was emerging in the early season as the league leader at his position, he was badly injured and declared out for the season last week.

A new TV spot from Visa for its social media- based "personalized NFL fantasy" campaign stars Jones—regarded as one of the league's best at "touchdown dances"—receiving inspiration for a new dance from a local fan. The dance becomes a hit around the world, with everyone from Bollywood actors to Jones' character in the EA Sports Madden 25 video game doing the new dance.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yum! Brands, Brooks Brothers, Samsung and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 08:47 AM

In the News

Yum! Brands profit drops a staggering 68 percent. 

Brooks Brothers plans to open restaurant.

Samsung unveils phone with curved screen but sees US back Apple instead in portion of IP dispute.

A123 Systems shifts to focus on supplying batteries for hybrids, not EVs.

Fazoli's debuts fast-casual concept.

Ford tests driverless-car parking. 

Fox News sees new primetime anchor Megyn Kelley draw large, older audience.

Jamba Juice downgrades outlook.

Jimmmy Choo co-founder ready to launch another blockbuster brand. 

Jos. A. Bank bids for Men's Wearhouse.Continue reading...

branded media

Sports Illustrated Dives Into Content with Live Video Series SI Now

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 28, 2013 02:50 PM

Sports Illustrated is no stranger to streaming video on its website. After all, the staff there churns out up to 50 original videos per week for its sports-hungry readers, but now the iconic sports media company is embarking on a whole new type of streamed content.

On June 3, the company will air its first installment of SI Now, a new, 30-minute talk show that will be streamed live daily at 1 p.m. ET. The daily video show will be sponsored by Ford through October as it attempts to reach 18- to 34-year-olds.

"Three years ago the mandate was to simply bring Sports Illustrated to life in video form," said Ian Orefice, executive producer for news and sports at the Time Inc., according to Ad Age. "The reason for 'SI Now' is that we weren't doing enough for the immediate viewer. We didn't have that deeper connection."Continue reading...

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