2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

olympic effort

Small Brands Make Big Impact at Sochi on the Backs of the Right Athletes

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 24, 2014 07:42 PM

With the Sochi Winter Olympics over, many brands are wiping sweat from their brow, just glad to have made it through the controversial games unscathed by the growing human rights protest around Russia's anti-gay laws. 

But while Chobani may have gotten the most bang for its Team USA sponsorship buck, other brands that spent millions on official Olympic sponsorships weren't necessarily the ones that ended up on the medal stand when it comes to leaving a lasting impression on the minds—and wallets—of consumers. 

For one, P&G saw the repeated success of its "Thank You" campaign, whose viral "Thank You Mom" TV ads and intimate videos won over consumers with heartfelt messages of support and triumph. With over 18.5 million views on YouTube, P&G plans to carry its momentum into its accompanying sponsorship of the Paralympics with its new spot—the first made specifically for the Paralympic Games—"Tough Love," which has already garned over 2 million views. 

Despite not shelling out any official sponsor fees, Nike saw a good amount of spotlight in Sochi thanks to its brand being on the back of many competing athletes and its hard-fought ambush marketing skills.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Beer Vendors Struggling, Cerebral Palsy Ale, Australian Wine Dump and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 19, 2013 05:11 PM

Cubs’ Beer Vendors Hurting Like the Team

As the second half of the Major League Baseball seasons gets underway Friday, the Chicago Cubs are one of the worst teams in pro baseball. Dwindling attendance and down-trodden fans are having an effect on the club’s beer vendors.

Beer sales have been slipping for years at Wrigley and this one is no different. One vendor told ESPN that he’s down 15 percent in total earnings so far this year compared with last year. He’s had some games this year where he only sold two or three beer loads, which was once thought as ridiculously low. It doesn’t help that the club (and every other pro-sports team) keeps raising the price of a cup of beer (now $7.75 for Budweiser and Old Style products) and that people aren’t bothering to show up for games even when the tickets have already been purchased.

While the Cubs continue to be considered “loveable losers,” the vendors wouldn’t mind if the team decided to win a few. "People want to be attached to a winner," part-time vendor Nicolas Zimmerman told ESPN. "So when the Cubs start winning again, this will probably be the place to be again. But now, it just isn't."Continue reading...


Volvo Struggles in Questionable Chinese Business Market

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 28, 2013 10:27 AM

One detail that contributed to the tragedy of China's Great Leap Forward was how local leaders reported what the central authority wanted to hear and not the reality. Volvo, it seems, is learning that, despite economic development and opening, business in China is still done with "Chinese characteristics."

The venerable Swedish auto brand recently reported that its China dealers have been inflating sales numbers to clench cash incentives. It claims it fixed the problem, but the practice of grasping the short term at the cost of the long is a particularly present challenge for China that goes far beyond Volvo.Continue reading...

retail watch

In Sweden, 7-Eleven Draws On Its Past For a Bold, Retro Redesign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 25, 2013 03:07 PM

In the United States, 7-Elevens aren’t exactly known for their funky appearance. But in Sweden, convenience-store consumers will be experiencing a completely different aesthetic in 2013 as the brand undergoes a groovy redesign there.

Stockholm was the location of the chain’s first European shop in 1978. Now its Swedish locations are getting an overhaul that started rolling out in December, using the company’s green and orange color scheme as its foundation in a highly minimalist way.

Green-and-orange striping abound on the chain’s cups, napkins, and bags, while green also adorns store walls, making the environments appear warmer than their antiseptic American counterparts.Continue reading...

what girls want

Hasbro Agrees to Easy-Bake Oven for Boys; Score One for Kid Activism

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2012 10:30 AM

What do girls want? For one big sister this holiday season, the right for her brother to have the same toys in a non-stereotypical design. Almost 45,000 signatures and a slew of international headlines later, McKenna Pope, the 13-year-old who started the online petition at Change.org to convince Hasbro to consider boys in their marketing and design scope for the Easy-Bake Oven, has scored a big win for gender equality.

McKenna and her family met with execs at Hasbro on Monday and came out all smiles. Execs at the Pawtucket, R.I., HQ of the toy manufacturer, as AP reports, were deighted to show her design prototypes for Easy-Bake ovens colored black, silver, or blue — ready for her brother and other boys eager to get Easy-Baking.

Pope’s quest had started when she wanted to get her four-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. After all, he had shown a love for food prep by attempting to “cook on top of a lamp's light bulb” at their New Jersey home. Pope only found ovens in pink or purple and the boxes only featured girls in its marketing images.

So Pope went out and scored more than 40,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, the support of a slew of male celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, and a meeting with Hasbro, which now says it is going to unveil the new oven at the annual Toy Fair in New York this coming February. Consumers who are looking to purchase Easy-Bake ovens that aren’t pink and purple will be able to snag them next summer. Plus, the new ovens will come with a boy or two pictured on the box as well.Continue reading...


Coca-Cola's Happiness Machine Now Accepting Christmas Carols as Payment

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 17, 2012 09:57 AM

Coca-Cola's latest variation on its Happiness Machine: The Coca-Cola Sing For Me Machine, in Stockholm, Sweden. The concept: "You sing a Christmas carol for it and it returns the favor with a Coke. Spreading the Christmas spirit one song at the time."

best global brands

IKEA Forced To Unpack Its Internal Brand Valuation: $11 Billion

Posted by Dale Buss on August 10, 2012 06:05 PM

IKEA's standing as one of the world's most valuable brands is a hot topic this week after the company was compelled to disclose its internal brand valuation. The privately held furnishings company has been historically secret about its business metrics — but it finally revealed its internal valuation of its brand because of some changes in corporate structure that came to light.

According to SAPA/AFP, "Swedish furniture giant Ikea said Thursday it had sold its trademark to one of its own subsidiaries for nine billion euros (11 billion dollars), the first time the company has put a book value on the brand. Ikea, which has a complex ownership structure, said its Liechtenstein-based Interogo Foundation had sold the brand name to subsidiary Inter Ikea Systems on January 1, 2012. The transaction was aimed at 'consolidating and simplifying the group's structure,' Inter Ikea Group's head of communications Anders Bylund told AFP."

"Complex ownership structure" is putting it lightly — Ikea's Interogo Foundation only came to light last year following an investigation by Swedish journalists.Continue reading...


With Stockholm Pride Campaign, Sweden Continues Curating Controversy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2012 05:12 PM

Stockholm Pride, Sweden's national LGBT celebration taking place July 31-Aug. 4, is raising eyebrows with a colorful (to say the least) campaign.

Its 2012 "Time to Be Queer!" campaign is causing a stir from the far left corners of the LGBTQ (the Q is for Questioning) community to the rightest of Christian fundamentalists. A Honolulu-based Pride organization even accused the campaign of setting the gay movement back 20 years. 

"The campaign 'Time to be queer!" tries to convince heterosexuals to become LGBTQ with arguments that can be seen all over Stockholm on posters and on animated banners in the subway system and at the campaign sites: blihomo.nu, bliflata.nu, blibi.nu, bliqueer.nu, blitrans.nu, and blibog.nu," explains campaign manager Soliman Herrera Johansson to Out Traveler.Continue reading...

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