Axe, Lynx Address Gender Confusion in Unilever's Global Space Academy Contest

Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 03:07 PM

The early days of the Axe and Lynx Space Academy contest (which we broke on January 9th) to fly winners into space has encountered a not-unforseeable snag: Some of the leaders in the social media-based competition for spots on the space flight are women, despite the original wording of the male-skewing sibling brands' contest: "Leave a man. Come back a hero."

This presents an interesting identity challenge to the Unilever-owned brands that have built their identification on the testosterone-fueled young male in search of—and equally targeted by—eager females. Now, eager females include those that are just as eager as their male counterparts to get into space. For example, Justine Ezarik, better known as internet celebrity iJustine, recently was at number four on the leader board, according to Ad Age. Social media support is the most crucial component of bids to get the brands' consideration for slots on flights by Space X Corp. beginning in 2014.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Ford's "Escape Routes" on NBC Brings Social TV to Branded Entertainment

Posted by Dale Buss on April 4, 2012 01:01 PM

Because it owned the house, it was predictable that Ford's new reality-TV show on NBC, Escape Routes, would find every angle to tout the automaker's new 2013 Ford Escape — the namesake inspiration for the show. And it did.

But what viewers of the first installment of the show might not have expected was to see a number of other blue-chip brands — including McDonald's, J.C. Penney, several Procter & Gamble marques, even Ford rival Volkswagen — go along for the ride.

The six-week Escape Routes series, which debuted on March 31st, is the latest way for Ford to push the envelope with new-era marketing formats, where it has demonstrated industry leadership.

And while the first installment was hardly Emmy-worthy appointment viewing, Ford executives tell brandchannel they're pleased with the social TV meets branded entertainment experiment.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

SUV TV: 2013 Ford Escape Stars in NBC Reality TV Series

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2012 07:04 PM

Ford and NBC have gotten together to launch an unprecedented bit of product placement: a prime-time reality series on network television that is built entirely around a particular product supplied by the brand, in a co-produced show by both parties.

Escape Routes is a six-week show that will air on Saturday nights on NBC and on mun2, NBCUniversal's bicultural network for young Latino-Americans, beginning March 31, with repeats on nbc.com and mun2.com the next day. The mini-series will focus on the adventures of six two-person teams involved in a unique road-trip competition in their 2013 Ford Escape SUVs. Prizes along the way include the red-hot Nike FuelBand. The grand prize: $100,000 plus two all-new Ford Escapes for the winning team.

While acknowledging how P&G and Walmart have collaborated on a made-for-TV family-friendly movies, some of which have run on NBC, Crystal Worthem, Ford's brand content and alliances manager, maintained that Escape Routes is "absolutely groundbreaking." She told brandchannel that "the creative piece of this is centrally launching a product and a brand new, compelling reality show at the same time."Continue reading...

brand launch

Campaign Tactics: Ford Focus Global Launch

Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2011 03:00 PM

The Ford brand is coming into focus — make that Focus — globally, with the imminent launch of the Ford Focus globally.

For the most accomplished global automotive brand of the last two years, Ford has been lying a bit low lately. Expect that to change beginning Tuesday, however, when Ford introduces its crucial new Focus subcompact in the US with TV ads on American Idol

Ford brand marketers met with journalist this week in New York to talk up the fact that the 2012 Focus is the company’s first truly global car.Continue reading...

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