nation brands

"Freedom Tape": Scottish Brands In Trouble?

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 15, 2009 11:38 AM

Reports that Harris Tweed will be downplaying the "Scottishness" of its brand—in the wake of a purported backlash against all things Scottish due to its release of the Lockerbie bomber—are apparently unfounded.

Brand boycotts can serve a specific purpose. Nestlé is the target of a massive boycott due to “more violations of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods than any other company,” and even the popular POM Wonderful brand faced a PETA boycott over animal testing. But boycotting all the brands of a particular country for the purported sins of some government officials can often lead to “freedom fries”-like silliness.Continue reading...

political brands

Is Obama Holding Xbox To A Double Standard?

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 9, 2009 06:23 PM

This week Barack Obama offered strong opinions about two major tech brands in his address to America’s students: Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s Xbox. Guess which one gets the love?

The President characterized Apple's communication device as the pinnacle of technological advancement:

Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone.

But the dreaded Xbox, according to Obama, threatens to make American children lazy and stupid. Continue reading...

political brands

Selling Obama's Health Care Plan: Some Lessons In Branding

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 8, 2009 06:02 PM

As President Obama launches a new offensive in selling his health insurance program, he might find several branding basics helpful.

First: Make a compelling argument. Merely complaining that the old system is broken is as effective as a laundry commercial that shows only the results of the brand’s competitor. Most people are creatures of habit, who prefer to complain rather than change their behavior.

So the President must do more than explain where the current health care system is headed. He needs to contrast that with the benefits of his plan: What are the savings in cost, time, red tape? In other words, what’s in it for me, John or Jane Taxpayer? Continue reading...

tech fail

iPhone Users: I’d Call AT&T Customer Service, But I Can’t Get a Signal

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 3, 2009 12:58 PM

Remember the old days (like 10 years ago) when a cell phone was used as an advanced version of two cups and a string, only without the string?

Now that smartphones are employed as pocket laptops, videogame consoles, audio/video receivers, Web browsers, texting-and-tweeting machines, and – oh, yeah – telephones, cell networks are struggling to keep up with the demand for data.

The New York Times reports iPhone owners, who use “10 times the network capacity used by the average smartphone user,” have been most affected – and most frustrated – by the data bottlenecks. Continue reading...

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campaign tactics

Campbell's: Real Men Are Chunky Men

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 1, 2009 02:12 AM

Call me a naive idealist, but those Chunky soup commercials featuring NFL players lost their flavor when I found out that Eagles QB Donovan McNabb's "mother," who co-starred in several ads, was actually portrayed by actress Marcella Lowery.

So I'm pleased to read in the New York Times that the Campbell's Soup Company is focusing its newest campaign on the classic working man rather than the gridiron giant. Though the soup brand tries to whet the appetites of the mainly manly variety – think shipyard workers, not accountants – the ads wisely will target the women in their lives who are usually the ones buying the food. "Your man works hard," seems to be the idea, "so doesn't he deserve a hearty (yet convenient) meal?" Continue reading...

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celebrity brandmatch

Becks to Be Battered in Brand Battle?

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on August 27, 2009 05:55 PM

Though David Beckham is arguably the best-known soccer player (excuse us – footballer) in the world, The Daily Star reports that Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has a better future as an endorser of brands.

Branding expert Simon Chadwick notes that Ronaldo (not to be confused with the Brazilian footballer known as simply Ronaldo), who is Castrol's "global ambassador" (does that mean appearances at local Jiffy Lubes?), is a decade younger, and appeals to young fans more than Mr. Posh Spice, who was recently booed while playing for his US-league team, the Los Angeles Galaxy.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Rock Royalty's Naked Branding Battle

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on August 27, 2009 04:05 PM

Call it battle of the “nude” rocker relatives.

Nude Brands, founded by Ali Hewson, wife of Paul Hewson – better known as U2 front man Bono – failed to block last weekend’s launch of STELLANUDE, a perfume by fashion designer Stella McCartney – Paul's daughter, of course – whose eponymous company is part of cosmetics/beauty giant L'Oréal Group.Continue reading...

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