Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand mascots

When Hello Kitty Met Pedobear: The Kumamon Craze

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 8, 2013 02:57 PM

While the US struggles with multiple cartoon mascot controversies, Japan's Kumamon is taking the rest of the world by storm.

The mascot of the high speed train of Kumamoto City ("kumamon" means "bear thing" in Japanese) was launched in 2010 and is now a fixture of Japanese culture as well as an increasing number of branding and marketing campaigns. It's only the most popular anthropomorphized mascot in Japan's robust history of anthropomorphized mascots. But don't confuse Kumamon for Pedobear, another of Japan's popular kuma exports.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Surviving the Heat: Coca-Cola Stays With WWF in Quest to Save the Polar Bear

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2013 03:58 PM

It’s been slightly more than a year since Coca-Cola failed quite publicly in attempting to help fight climate change — an effort that made plenty of consumers unhappy with the beverage company's embrace of a controversial political cause.

But Coke hasn't backed down, continuing its partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to help keep the Arctic ice intact and protected from melting — and help save its iconic polar bear.

To help the cause, Coke will hand over $4 million to the WWF for its Arctic Home project over the next three years. Further, 300 million Coke products will feature the image of a mother polar bear and her two cubs, according to a press release from the nonprofit Responding to Climate Change.Continue reading...

social media watch

Orangina Appoints Bulby as Social Media Brand Ambassador

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2012 01:07 PM

Orangina has a new spokesperson, Bulby, a retro-meets-chic character evocative of Orangina’s iconic bottle that has represented the brand for over 75 years.

The campaign is designed to engage a new generation of Orangina fans by getting into the conversational mix on social media. Bulby's persona: he plays the trumpet, visits gallery openings and uses a smartphone to get the news as he leads fans on a journey created with Fortress Social Branding.

Users can check-in on the Orangina International Facebook Fan Page to download the HTML5 scroll app to receive free rewards, learn about the brand’s history and see ads from throughout the years before being redirected to Orangina’s wall.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

Wendy's New Logo Leads Transformation for Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on October 11, 2012 02:06 PM

Customers will notice something different about Wendy's starting in March: A new logo that updates the pig-tailed, red-haired "Wendy" in the brand's first revamp of its iconic brand face in 29 years.

Yes, in the tradition of Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima, Wendy — the name comes from the daughter of late founder Dave Thomas — gets a smoother new 'do and more stylish freckles. It's the first logo change for Wendy's since 1983 for the Dubin, Ohio-based fast food brand, and just the tip of the iceberg for changes coming to the burger chain, which last year dethroned Burger King for #2 spot in America.Continue reading...

chew on this

Fast Food Slows Down as Happy Meal is Cut to the Core

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2012 04:22 PM

Fast-food giants share a not-so-secret recipe: make the up sell, adding fries to your bill or talking you into some kind of combination meal.

But the up sell isn’t working quite the way it used to. Consumers aren’t asking for "the #5 with fries" anywhere near as much as they used to, Fortune reports. A study by NPD Group finds that sales of combo meals at fast-food restaurants have gone down 12% in the last five years.

That means a billion fewer combo meals were ordered in the five-year period ending this past January than were ordered up in the five years before that. The lousy economy has something to do with it, but the study also showed that consumers would like to have more options in their combos.

The grand-daddy of the combo meal is the Happy Meal, which has been holding on for dear life. Revamped in time for the London Summer Olympics healthier menu marketing, it's been hit in markets such as Chile, where the government is now prohibiting restaurants (but it might as well say "McDonald's") from including toys with meals.Continue reading...

kiddie brands

McDonald's Touts Healthier Happy Meal with Olympics Mascot Promotion

Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2012 05:37 PM

While fast-food chains are responding to nutritional criticism by enhancing their kids menus, American children appear less and less interested in what they're peddling. NPD Group calculated that visits to fast-food restaurants in which kids meals were purchased have declined every year since 2007 and fell by 5 percent last year from 2010.

It's not that parents don't want healthier fare to their children when they eat out. In the U.S., analysts are suggesting that the notion of kids' meals is becoming increasingly outdated as family eating patterns change. And for that reason, they say, even sales of McDonald's iconic Happy Meal might be only flat these days at best — and at a chain whose other product lines are growing robustly, that's not good performance.

One factor, for example, is tight budgets that continue to afflict many American households — especially fast-food consumers — at a time of high unemployment and continued economic uncertainty. Mothers have "probably switched to the value menu because it was cheaper than the kids meal" at many chains, Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant-industry analyst, told the Chicago Tribune.

It also appears that kids are becoming disenchanted with the licensed toys packaged in the meals, at a younger and younger age, dropping from age 12 to eight. Blame digital entertainment, cell phones, and other rivals for kids' attention. But all of that apparently doesn't hold true in the UK, where McDonald's is using the revamped Happy Meal as a marketing hook to win over parents (via their kids) around its London 2012 Olympics sponsorship.Continue reading...

brand mascots

Quaker Oats Mascot Larry Slims Down

Posted by Dale Buss on March 30, 2012 05:04 PM

Larry the Cable Guy is more culturally relevant than Larry the Quaker guy. And that's a problem for Quaker Oats.

Now, the PepsiCo unit has given its old-fashioned mascot, internally nicknamed "Larry," a graphic makeover. Larry hasn't undergone as much transformation as other human mascots over the years — the increasingly hip Betty Crocker comes to mind — so the 130-year-old Quaker Oats figured it was time. Turns out, eating oatmeal is good for the middle-aged figure.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

McDonald's Promotes Revamped Happy Meal in Biggest Kids Marketing Push Ever

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2012 06:16 PM

If you didn't know that McDonald's has overhauled its iconic Happy Meal in the interests of better nutrition for kids, you soon will.

The chain begins USA-wide exposure on Wednesday of new TV commercials touting the more healthful Happy Meal, introducing a new cast of back-to-the-farm friendly characters (a boy and his goat) that are putting Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese out to pasture, apparently for good.

In response to pressure from First Lady Michelle Obama on down, McDonald's has evolved the Happy Meal into a more healthful repast that includes more better-for-you elements. Last summer, the company announced the changes that it is rolling out nationally in the Happy Meal this spring, including the provision of apple slices and a kid-size portion of fries as standard features.

So now, of course, it is time to market these changes as only McDonald's can — and not just in the US.Continue reading...

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