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The Pepsi Challenge Returns—With Social Twists

Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2015 03:02 PM

The original Pepsi Challenge was a TV ad campaign that ran back in the day when people drank sodas without reservation. PepsiCo's biggest problem at the time was trying to gain share on Coca-Cola by setting up taste-tests across the country. Seems quaint by today’s standards, but it's the best-known sampling program in history.

This week, the brand announced it's resurrecting the Pepsi Challenge—but with a social twist. As carbonated soft drinks lose popularity and PepsiCo realigns its beverage line-up to appeal to health-conscious consumers, the year-long campaign will focus on social media and social responsibility.

"We've taken the DNA of the Pepsi Challenge, then reinterpreted it for a new generation," Brad Jakeman, President of PepsiCo's Global Beverages Group, told the New York Times. "Now more than ever, we are in a world where consumers expect to hear from the brands they love in whole different ways."Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Storytelling With Impact: Brands Step Up For #GivingTuesday

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2014 11:13 AM

After the year-end holiday shopping frenzy hyped by Black Friday-Cyber Monday marketing comes GivingTuesday, a social philanthropy initiative started by New York's 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation to encourage charitable donations by individuals, brands and corporations alike.

The pitch is simple, and in the spirit of the holidays: “On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. It's a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more.”Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Samsung Scores Big with Celebrity Partnerships

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 07:21 PM

Samsung is the current king of viral video as its recent Jay-Z collaboration holds first place on the Viral Video Chart and its partnership with Usher holds a close second—the two together generating 50.9 million views so far according to Visible Measures.

Samsung's promotional tie-in with Jay-Z that gives Galaxy owners early access to Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" received 20.6 million views last week, with a total of 23.5 million views. 

Samsung's Usher video was booted from No. 1 to No. 2 by Jay-Z, as 27.4 million people watched the 2.5-minute fight scene promoting their smart TV technology and introducing Usher’s new single "Looking 4 Myself."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: YouTube, ESPN, JPMorgan Chase and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2013 09:20 AM

In the News

YouTube launches paid channels after rumors swirled earlier this week about subscription partners.

ESPN may subsidize wireless-data plans.

JPMorgan Chase is sued by California over credit-card cases.

AT&T returns to chatty kids for Mother's Day ads.

Amazon is reportedly developing a smartphone with 3-D screen.

Caterpillar and union suspend talks.

Chrysler faces uphill climb for Jeep in China.

Costco now offers travel packages to members.

Dell may see rival bid by Carl Icahn group.

Delta sees new terminal as symbol of air-travel makeover.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Branding: A Chat With Mercedes-Benz CMO as Full TV Spot Revealed

Posted by Dale Buss on January 30, 2013 03:01 PM

Now that it's managed to leverage the Kate Upton factor, has released an extended-cut version of its Super Bowl commercial featuring the supermodel (along with Usher and a devilish Willem Dafoe) and has revealed the price of its stylish new CLA Class sedan at $29,900, Mercedes-Benz can just sit back and watch the returns roll in for its Big Game presence — right?

Not by a long shot. Mercedes-Benz executives, dealers and others are busy this week attempting to take maximum advantage of the other significant part of their brand-building opportunity connected to the Super Bowl: having their name on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that will be hosting the game on Sunday.

From the start of this Super Bowl XLVII season, Mercedes-Benz has embraced the association with the Big Easy that began in earnest with a naming rights deal that led to the placing of its iconic star emblem all over the Superdome in 2011 in full knowledge that the 2013 Super Bowl would be played there. For the game on Sunday, Mercedes-Benz signage will be more apparent than ever.

"And every time the game commentators on TV are going back to the game, they're going to be saying, 'Let's get back to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome,'" Bernie Glaser, CMO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Auto Ad Watch: VW, Audi, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Kia and More [Updated]

Posted by Dale Buss on January 24, 2013 05:29 PM

More and more, the Super Bowl is becoming the Auto Bowl.

Up from just a handful of car brands a few years ago, Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 will feature no fewer than eight auto brands advertised by six different companies: Audi, Chrysler, Lincoln, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen.

"A lot of us are there," Steve Shannon, CMO for Hyundai Motor America, told The New York Times, because "it sells cars." Specifically, the game, its walk-up and aftermath have become an unparalleled platform for launching or previewing new products, refining brand positioning, or both.

Audi of America plans to crowdsource the end of its Super Bowl spot by offering three different endings to a prom-night story on its YouTube channel. Lent an Audi S6 by his father, a boy exudes self-confidence as he drives to the dance, struts in, spies the prom queen and gives her a dramatic kiss. Then the prom king approaches him and... the rest will be determined by viewers who weigh in.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: Mercedes-Benz Puts Kate Upton Front and Center

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2012 05:05 PM

If any Super Bowl should be a key moment for Mercedes-Benz, the 2013 game on February 3rd is it. The brand's name is on the stadium where the Big Game is taking place, for one thing. It's introducing an important new model. And Mercedes-Benz could use a boost in the U.S. marketplace, especially one that would reverberate around the world.

Enter Kate Upton and Usher. Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon shared some details (and a sneak peek at the shoot, above) about the brand's 60-second ad planned for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He told Business Insider that the ad will be "a tongue-in-cheeck depiction of how far a person might — or might not — go to get their heart's desire."

Such goals might be, say, an evening of clubbing with supermodel Upton, Cannon said, although "we are not using her as a sexual object," he insisted. Instead, the ad will be "upbeat, high-energy, fast-paced [but not] funny." And, of course, there will be a car in there, too. Specifically, Mercedes-Benz will be trying to appeal to a younger demographic by promoting the new CLA, which comes at a lower price point than the rest of Mercedes-Benz's luxury lineup.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: SodaStream, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln Reveal Plans

Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2012 01:50 PM

Now that the calendar has turned to December, news about 2013 Super Bowl advertisers — first-timers and returning brands — is flowing heavily. Here's a look at some of the latest:

SodaStream: This up-and-coming maker of equipment that converts water into soft drinks has committed to making its first Super Bowl ad buy, even though rivals Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also will be at Super Bowl XLVII too.

But instead of emphasizing the taste and convenience of Soda Stream, which adds flavor and fizz to regular water and then puts it in reusable bottles to drink, the brand is going for a sustainability message in the Big Game, reiterating a theme with which it's been rattling Coca-Cola's cage. "There is a smarter way to enjoy soda," said Daniel Birnbaum, CO of SodaStream, in a press release — meaning in a way that doesn't call for the use of disposable cans or bottles and so is environmentally sound.

The commercial will build on existing creative that shows scenes of soda bottles disappearing as consumers switch to SodaStream. The spot, at top, shows bottles exploding in stores and warehouses, getting it banned from British TV on the grounds that it "denigrated" the bottled-drinks industry. That's why its first Super Bowl spot ad will run  during the fourth quarter, when "people are most likely to notice the growing piles of bottles and cans strewsn about the room and filling up their trash."Continue reading...

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