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china

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...

celebrity brandcasting

Lady Gaga Masters Art of Branding as ARTPOP Heads to #1

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2013 06:25 PM

Lady Gaga’s latest album, ARTPOP, was released in conjunction with two pop-up stores (ARTPOP-ups, you might call them) in New York City and Los Angeles, dubbed "ARTPOP Pop Up: A Lady Gaga Gallery."

The gallery/shop installations feature Gaga-related items like the computer chair where she posed naked, her infamous meat dress and everyday items like albums and t-shirts. The ARTPOP gallery experience is sponsored by Ubisoft, creator of video game Just Dance 2014, which features two Gaga songs, Beats By Dr. Dre and Interscope, Gaga’s record label.

While it's all a highly orchestrated ploy to generate buzz and sales for the star's new album with the Jeff Koons cover, it’s also a multimedia art installation, with blank walls and artsy tools available for visitors to create their own masterpiece while a video wall projects Gaga and her quotes. 

It paled in comparison to the brand-savvy singer's ARTPOP album release party in Brooklyn's Navy Yard on Sunday, an over-the-top spectacle that cost about $3 million to produce with the quiet aid of American Express, according to Billboard. (Two words: flying dress.)Continue reading...

Chasing Banksy: Elusive Artist Builds his Brand of Rebellion in NYC

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2013 05:59 PM

Famous, elusive British graffiti artist Banksy, who has previously tweaked such brands as BP and the Simpsons, has been roaming the streets of New York for the past few weeks and Mayor Bloomberg, a major donor to the arts, is not too happy about his unlawful artwork. 

"Nobody’s a bigger supporter of the arts than I am. I just think there are some places for art and some places where — no art,” the Mayor said, calling the nameless artist a vandal.

Someone else who probably isn't too happy with Banksy is McDonald's, as the artist and his assistants have been stopping by NYC locations of the Golden Arches with their very own iteration of its Ronald McDonald statue in tow. This one has whopping big feet that a Banksy assistant (playing the role of a down a the heels—literally—shoeshine boy) sits by and buffs the iconic clown's shoes.Continue reading...

china

Coca-Cola Experiments with Isolation and Friendship in China

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 8, 2013 01:38 PM

Isolation and loneliness may seem like an odd foundation for a Coca-Cola campaign, but in China, the brand is aiming to bring the smile associated with Coke to a generation afflicted with such attributes as they try to find their way in suddenly booming metropolises.

Coca-Cola's "Friendship Experiment" aims to capture moments of "happiness creation" by inviting "complete strangers to come together and share a moment of connection." It's an effort by Chinese photographer Kurt Tang to combat what he saw as the "dispiriting sense of isolation and loneliness" found today in China's cities.

"We even date through virtual social networks instead of more intimate, human close-in-person communications," Kurt Tang, the photographer and 'Happiness Creator' of the Friendship Experiment, told brandchannel. Tang's photo and video collection, a project that used Coke to bring urbanites together, recently showed at the Fei Gallery in that same city. Notably, the photo exhibition does not contain Coke bottles or products, although some of the videos do.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

At SXSW, #FEED Marries Art and Tech

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 27, 2013 02:26 PM

Art met industry at SXSW where the proverbial contenders: content versus technology and  art versus industry got bundled and branded by #FEED—to everyone’s benefit.

The #FEED, powered by Twitter, spanned five days as 16 top interactive media artists plied their wares telling the SXSW story in art installations curated by Learned Evolution and The Meta Agency. A nightly party, named @NIGHT brought DJs onto projection-mapped stages with interactive walls at the Austin Museum of Art at the Jones Center.Continue reading...

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web watch

BuzzFeed and Tumblr Rumble in the Digital Jungle

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 4, 2013 04:04 PM

As traditional media brands continue to be disrupted by digital aspirants, BuzzFeed and Tumblr have emerged as robust contenders for dominance in the arenas of social content-sharing and socially-driven advertising.

Buzzfeed just raised $19.3 million in a fourth round of funding led by existing investor New Enterprise Associates, resulting in a war chest of $34-million to hire new writers, expand the network globally and begin an acquisition shopping spree.

Tumblr, meanwhile, counts more than 200 million monthly visitors and 18 billion pageviews and is also looking for revenue-generation to justify its valuation, and visual ads are a seamless and organic fit. Which is better positioned to win the Interwebz?Continue reading...

retail watch

Selfridges Goes Logo-Free for No-Noise Quiet Shopping New Year's Revolution

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 4, 2013 12:12 PM

Selfridges has revealed its first batch of unbranded products as part of its month-long "No Noise" quiet shopping promotion.

Ahead of Monday's official launch of the event, the British retailer's Oxford Street flagship in London has unveiled its first collection of de-logofied products in partnership with brands in its food hall a trio of bare labels created by Heinz for its iconic ketchup bottle, baked beans tin and Marmite jar. (Warning: It's a "very limited" collection by Heinz, tweeted Selfridges food and restaurants manager David Jarvis.)

Selfridges grocery section of its food hall is now offering on-the-spot juicing by Juice Club UK, healthy snacks (and a food prescription consultation) from WinNaturally and other "food for thought" as part of the promotion inspired by the store's namesake founder — whose story is coming to British TV on Sunday night, with Jeremy Piven starring as "Mr. Selfridge" in ITV's new period drama series.

Other "No Noise" elements shoppers can check out include free meditation sessions and motion sensor window displays from Headspace, cellphone- and shoe-free shopping, art and (quiet) music performances and other moves to turn down the visual and auditory volume as a minimalist kick-off to the new year.Continue reading...

response mechanism

Seth Godin’s Disruptive Icarus Deception Takes Flight

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2013 12:44 PM

It’s fitting that the ancient mythical figure Icarus is the poster boy for marketing maven Seth Godin’s latest manifesto, The Icarus Deception.

A prodigious author of more than a dozen bestselling books translated into more than 30 languages, this aims to be more than just a book. It's Godin’s most provocative thesis to date, using the entire publishing process itself as a marketing experiment to illustrate how the connection economy works by creating and activating a community to participate by making and sharing their own "art" (he takes a broad view on art, as you'll see).

Godin’s aim is to reinvent the process of writing, making, funding, marketing and launching a "book" by sparking a public art-sharing project. On Monday he launched the first ever "Icarus Session," get-togethers organized via Meet-up and his website Squidoo, in a bid to create a worldwide event in 1,262 cities with 11,168 "Linchpins" and "Artists." 

The sessions invite strangers to share (in 2 minutes and 20 seconds) something they've made or something that inspires them. That passion could be a company or brand, a piece of art or literature, or another creative expression. Godin will pick the best to publish on YouTube.

As much about the process as the end result, Godin sold his publisher, booksellers and readers/participants on the concept by launching it as a crowdfunded project on the Kickstarter website. The creative trailblazer launched the project on June 18, 2012 and ended it July 17, 2012, having raised $287,342 (well above his goal of $40,000, which he passed within three hours of launch) from 4,242 backers.

video that Godin co-produced with Squarespace and highlighted in a blog post, features Sasha Dichter (Acumen Fund), Sarma Melngailis (One Lucky Duck), Josh Rubin (Coolhunting), and Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swiss Miss/Tattly).Continue reading...

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