gut instinct

Viral Marketing: Some E-Marketers Cannot Resist Lure of Ebola

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 27, 2014 05:14 PM

Ebola, it's what's for dinner. Ebola: I'm lovin' it. Got Ebola?

Ebola is on the mind of consumers everywhere and savvy (some might say cynical) entrepreneurs are moving to capitalize on the Ebola media storm. From website domains to sexy Ebola Nurse Halloween costumes to "antibacterial and antiviral sprays and wipes for eliminating bacteria."

Consider the obvious Ebola.com. The website was snapped up by Blue String Ventures in 2008 and sold this month for $50,000, according to TIME. Stranger still, Ebola.com was sold to a Russian medicinal marijuana company in Nevada.Continue reading...

bc q&a

The Fun Nut in Chief: 5 Questions with Skippy Peanut Butter's Mike Guanella

Posted by Brittany Messenger on October 27, 2014 01:34 PM

This month, the makers of the SKIPPY brand launched Yippee™, a U.S. regional multi-faceted ad campaign—the brand’s first in more than five years and the very first under Hormel Foods—to highlight what sets SKIPPY apart.

It’s all about the simple joy of eating peanut butter, and the fun that comes from it, by spreading "yippee" (a word that Hormel has trademarked, in addition to nabbing the sticky peanutbutter.com as the brand's official website URL) through TV, online and social elements.

A “Fun Factory” TV commercial shows how the SKIPPY brand becomes the fun peanut butter, with a factory worker sorting the "fun nuts" to go into a jar of SKIPPY peanut butter while the boring peanuts are dispatched to a dull office party. One of the spot's characters, @TheFunNut, also joined Twitter to extend the campaign's Facebook, YouTube and TV outreach and engage and reward fans with free jars of peanut butter and other prizes.

brandchannel's Brittany Messenger chatted with Mike Guanella, Senior Brand Manager for SKIPPY Peanut Butter, for more insights on the branding campaign. Continue reading...

trademark wars

BP Hopes to Prevail in Green Trademark Claim in Australia

Posted by Jerome McDonnell on July 3, 2014 12:56 PM

After more than 20 years of trying, BP has failed to convince the Australian government that its signature shade of green should be granted a trademark registration.

IP Australia, which administers that country’s intellectual property rights system, ruled on June 17 that it found no convincing evidence to support the petroleum giant’s efforts to protect the color shade Pantone 348C—despite the fact that the color has been central to the BP brand since the 1930s. While the company has the right (until July 17) to appeal, this decision is yet another setback for BP, which has successfully secured trademark registrations for the single color in markets including the UK, France, Iran and nearby New Zealand.

Australian retailer Woolworths, whose apple logo also utilizes the color green, had previously opposed BP’s attempts to register the color, and while some media reports have positioned this development as a huge victory for Woolworths, this latest update focuses on less the a war between two corporations but on whether the color, as BP seeks to protect it, actually functions as a trademark and warrants protection.Continue reading...

name game

The San Francisco 49ers May Be Officially Heading to the Field of Jeans

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2013 01:42 PM

NFL stadium names range from the straightforward (Cowboys Stadium) and boringly corporate (O.co Coliseum) to old school (Paul Brown Stadium) and ridiculously wordy (Sports Authority Field at Mile High). Finally, NFL fans may get to add one to the list that has a bit of a sense of humor.

Levi Strauss & Co. signed on for the naming rights of the next home of the San Francisco 49ers last month and speculation is rising that the place will be called the Field of Jeans. The company has applied for the trademark, according to the San Jose Mercury News, along with a trademark for “Win One for the Zipper.”Continue reading...

trademark wars

Lamar Odom's Clothing Company Irks New York as Brewer Battle Rages On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2013 03:53 PM

When you’re a 6-10 pro basketball player, you are used to getting things your way. But Los Angeles Clippers power forward Lamar Odom, husband to Khloe Kardashian, may not win the current battle he’s thrust himself into.

Odom and designer Jonathan Garcia launched a clothing line, Rich Soil, back in 2009 and one of its T-shirts caused so much of a stir that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo actually sent him a letter to tell him to stop selling it, the Associated Press reports. Cuomo expected Odom and his pal to stop sales within five days.

The problem? The shirt looks an awful lot like a logo for a New York State farming program. The Rich Soil shirt features a very similar Statue of Liberty that sits behind familiar-looking crop rows, encircled in a similar font reading "Rich Soil New York" as opposed to the program's "Pride of New York." Check out a side-by-side here.Continue reading...

games people play

Sony Taunts Playstation Fans with Possible PS4 Tagline Leak

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 12:37 PM

The video game industry’s largest trade show, E3, doesn’t kick off till June 11, but it appears that one piece of news is leaking out early: the ad tagline for the much-anticipated Sony Playstation 4 and the script for its first commercial, SiliconEra.com reports. Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed a trademark request for “Greatness Awaits.”

The site notes that the planned commercial features “a lone man walks down an empty street asking the viewer, ‘Who are you not to be great? You, with the imagination of a brilliant child and the powers of an ancient god.’” The man continues to ask viewers questions and the commercial ends with “Greatness Awaits.”Continue reading...

trademark wars

Gucci Loses 7 Trademarks to Guess in Latest Legal Ruling

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 6, 2013 06:33 PM

Gucci and Guess have been tussling over trademarks for years, but the Italian fashion house took a hit from its American counterpart on its own turf last week.

The Court of Milan turned out an 83-page ruling that “rejected all claims” that Gucci had filed against Guess, according to a press release. Not only that, “the Italian Court has ordered the cancellation of certain of Gucci’s diamond pattern, G logo, and ‘Flora’ pattern trademarks” along with its “rights in a ‘Square G’ logo.” 

This is a big blow to Gucci, which had received “minimal monetary damages and narrow injunctions on a handful of logos” in a similar case against Guess in New York that was decided last year. That “minimal” amount added up to $4.66 million, though Gucci had hoped to make a $120 million payday. This time, Guess scored a victory that allows it to use its famed Quattro G logo pattern without worry of infringing on any trademarks.Continue reading...

sip on this

Big Chill: Marley's Mellow Mood Seeks to Dominate in Relaxation Drink Sector

Posted by Dale Buss on February 8, 2013 12:20 PM

Since entrepreneurs launched the "relaxation" beverage category several years ago, brands with catchy names like Vacation in a Bottle and Drank have mostly gone nowhere, at least in terms of the volume of sales that some expected. Beverage Digest has called the sector "one of the more conspicuous underperformers," with Americans seemingly less eager to kick back with such brews than they are to power up with energy drinks.

But now one relaxation player, Marley Beverage, believes that it can leverage the visage of reggae icon Bob Marley and an official association with his family to consolidate a huge chunk of the segment — and maybe even re-energize this type of functional beverage overall.

Marley sold two million cases of its ready-to-drink Marley's Mellow Mood sodas and teas last year, and Kevin McClafferty, president of the Southfield, Mich.-based brand, told brandchannel that he expects Marley to double that volume in 2013. In addition to other expansion plans, a new deal to distribute Marley's Mellow Mood in more than 2,000 Walmart stores nationwide will be key to fulfilling that goal.Continue reading...

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