Best Global Green Brands 2014

mobile marketing

Why Western Brands Love China's WeChat Mobile Platform

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 7, 2014 02:43 PM

As Tencent’s WeChat nears 400 million active users, it's drawing attention from brand marketers not only in China, where it has achieved status as “the new king of Chinese social media,” according to Econsultancy. Weixin, as it is known in China, is also drawing attention from government officials in its homeland, who are clamping down on users with fake names and other practices that erode trust in the site.

Often mistakenly compared to a Chinese version of WhatsApp, the global mobile powerhouse that is WeChat is far more robust and enables emotional bonding via text, video, voice messaging, mobile payments, e-commerce, games, or even booking a taxi.

That range of capabilities has attracted Western brands including McDonald's, Nike, adidas, Intel, Durex, Coach, British Airways, Italy's Yoox and the NBA, all eagerly testing WeChat’s ability to target consumers one-to-one.

How some other brands are looking to stand out on WeChat:Continue reading...


Transformers Uses Product Placement—Not China Version—to Win Audience

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 18, 2014 05:22 PM

The fact that Transformers: Age of Extinction, or 变形金刚4, premiered on June 19 in China—a full week ahead of its US premier—says a lot about the role China plays both in the film and in the film's box office.

Yahoo UK is even hosting a premier red carpet live stream from Hong Kong. (On June 18, tickets to the premier were up for auction online for as much as HK$11,888, or about $1,500.) Paramount's Taiwan-facing Facebook page posted a picture of a giant Optimus Prime statue that had been erected in Hong Kong harbor. Subway cars there are also wrapped in Transformers promotions. Not to be left behind, Beijing got its own giant Transformer statue.

Transformers 4 is easily the most anticipated Hollywood release in China this year—a year that has already seen Godzilla pull in $38 million on its opening weekend in China. But Transformers will easily surpass that and probably set a new China record to beat current record holder Iron Man 3. (For what it's worth, Transfomers 3 still hold's Hollywood's second biggest China opening.)

Transformers is loaded with Chinese product placement—and interestingly, US product placement aimed at Chinese audiences.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Protests Fail to Slow World Cup as Brands Press On with Promos

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2014 03:31 PM

Come hell or violent protests, nothing is stopping the World Cup train from running wild through Brazil. Thousands of protestors and police donning riot gear clashed in the streets of Sao Paulo in the ongoing battle over exorbitant spending on the major tournament by the Brazilian government and the millions being spent by brands sponsoring the event. 

Despite the shadow strewn across the World Cup, brands are rolling on with their elaborate and expensive campaigns, sponsors or not. Pepsi, whose rival Coke is the major beverage sponsor of the tournament, just released a new short film directed by Spike Lee featuring a World Cup-themed song from Kelly Rowland. The film is part of Pepsi’s Beats of the Beautiful Game project, which consists of a short films and a music album featuring stars like Janelle Monáe, Timbaland and the all-girl Brazilian funk band Pearls Negras.

In addition, Pepsi has teamed up with Dutch consumer electronics brand Band & Olufsen to release a limited-edition headphones as part of its soccer-themed Live for Now capsule collection. The headphones have street-art patterns on the underside with black, white or Pepsi blue on top, according to reading...

brand news

Brand News You Can Use: AstraZeneca, Coca-Cola, News Corp. and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 2, 2014 09:14 AM


Brands to Watch

Apple, Facebook lead Big Tech brands fighting data requests as White House panel calls for big data reforms to protect privacy.

AstraZeneca rejects raised bid by Pfizer as "inadequate."

Avon reaches settlement of bribery probe.

Bayer eyes Merck’s OTC consumer business.

Burberry officially has a new CEO in Christopher Bailey as Angela Ahrendts takes retail reins at Apple.

Coca-Cola pressured by Warren Buffett on executive pay.

Exxon sticks with Russia drilling despite geopolitical tensions.

Fiat faces tough turnaround in Europe.

GM recalls 50,000 Cadillac SUVs, returns to bankruptcy court to fend off suits.

News Corp. acquires Harlequin Books for HarperCollins.

Below, news on brand innovation, culture, and more:Continue reading...


The Week in China: Netflix Binge Watching Spreads, Artist Sees Act Come Full Circle and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 21, 2014 12:26 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: House of Cards in China… Ai Weiwei's vase… Heineken… Hengda soccer's sponsorship windfall… Xiaomi… medical tourism and South Korea... WeChat mobile payments… 3M… Disneylands... gold fever... China loves olive oil... Sam's Club… Uniqlo and H&M… Airbus... GM... Furia... KFC's soy milk problem... and more.Continue reading...

brand partners

After a Two-Year Courtship, Facebook Buys WhatsApp to Connect the World

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2014 10:57 AM

In its largest acquisition to date, Facebook announced Wednesday that it will buy mobile messaging juggernaut WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, a massive landgrab that will cement Facebook's international growth plans. 

Widely used in Europe, India and elsewhere for sending text, images, audio and video messages over the internet for free, WhatsApp has 450 million active users, and adds nearly 1 million new users everyday that send over 50 billion messages daily. And while Facebook may rule the messaging roost in the US and Canada, WhatsApp was too far ahead of the international game for Facebook to even consider trying to play catch-up. 

With a youthful user-base that is snapping up mobile technology across emerging markets in Asia, South America and Africa, it's a safe bet to say that most of them will be using a Facebook-owned app in the future despite their growing habits to eschew mainstream social networks like Facebook itself. 

The huge move is indicative of Facebook's coming of age, the New York Times notes: "The company intends to acquire or build a family of applications instead of simply buttressing its core social network."Continue reading...


The Week in China: Super Bowl Who? Chinese New Year is Where It's At for Brands

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 7, 2014 04:56 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Spring Festival special messages from Darth Vader, the minions, Legos, Chloe, Newcastle and more… Audi's Sochi viral ad... Wechat's rise and Weibo's decline… KFC and bird flu… Aston Martin recall… fat internet users… wearable tech… Porsche and Volvo's cutting edge… gunning for Xiaomi... sales crash for liquor makers… Avon settles… and more.Continue reading...

app watch

China's WeChat Stages a Blitz to Capture US Mobile Users

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 29, 2014 01:41 PM

WeChat, China's wildly popular messaging app is trying hard to get US mobile users in on the conversation.

Developed by Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings, WeChat currently has over 272 million registered users in China and 100 million more overseas, where it just overtook Facebook in Indonesia. And now with a new ad campaign, WeChat has set out to conquer the major US market. 

Tencent is asking consumers with Google accounts to connect them to WeChat and invite their Google contacts to join. If five new members sign up, users will receive a $25 gift card through Jan. 31. The effort follows Tencent's $200 million advertising investment in a global campaign that starred soccer star Lionel Messi. 

But competition is fierce in the US, where WeChat (and everyone else) is already outnumbered by startup WhatsApp, which has 300 million monthly active users, as well as Facebook's messenger app and Spapchat, which receives 400 million messages a day.Continue reading...

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