Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2011 12:00 PM
Remember last year, when Nissan was creating lots of buzz around the imminent debut of its Leaf all-electric vehicle? Auto electrification had become a cause célèbre — and celeb, with VIP endorsers.
Nissan's first Leaf TV commercial, which debuted in September, also sparked consumer interest, featuring a polar bear's journey to thank the buyer of a new Leaf, creating a pronounced feel-good moment in brand marketing in 2010.
OK, so where’s the car?Continue reading...
Posted by Jennifer Sokolowsky on April 15, 2011 04:30 PM
Denmark’s Carlsberg beer recently launched a major brand makeover that includes a revamped bottle design and a new tagline.
But now Carlsberg is being accused of plagiarizing its new slogan, “That calls for a Carlsberg,” from Budweiser’s 2001 tagline, “This calls for a Bud Light,” the Copenhagen Post reports.
Carlsberg, however, says it has been using a variation of the slogan for decades. “We used the slogan back in 1957 and up to the ‘70s, so you could say we’re taking our old slogan back,” Carlsberg’s head of PR, Jens Bekke, told the newspaper.
Carlsberg’s London-based advertising agency, Fold7, was apparently unaware of the coincidence.
“Did Budweiser use that slogan? They certainly do sound similar,” said Ryan Newey, Fold7’s creative director. “But the decision to use the new slogan is the result of input from lots of people around the world, not just Fold7.”
At any rate, the new slogan and packaging seem to be here to stay. But will the new tagline — designed to unify the brand’s global image with a message the whole world can understand — be successful?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 17, 2011 02:00 PM
It's that time of year again, kids! The Consumerist's 6th annual Worst Company in America tournament is underway. In the spirit of March Madness, the Consumer Reports-owned blog has picked a bracket of 32 companies, culled from thousands of nominations, this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 16, 2011 01:00 PM
The tipster who sent us a link to this Lean Cuisine recall asks, "Most confusing recall I’ve seen — figure out the HOUR your plastic-contaminated Lean Cuisine spaghetti & meatballs was produced?" We're inclined to agree.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 3, 2011 01:30 PM
There will be a few cracking a smug smile at today's news that the "2 the max" XXX XTreme brand No Fear has filed for bankruptcy protection.
The lifestyle clothing brand, which has 41 stores and is headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, cited the poor economy for its filing. Yes, the brand that once sold a t-shirt reading "Does not play well with others" is now going to be forced to play well with others… or at least, its creditors.
Launched in 1989 as a simple apparel company. The brand extended into energy drinks with PepsiCo's SoBe brand, "extreme" sport sponsorships, and, recently, trucks. No Fear infected the 1990s, coming to define a certain lifestyle of the decade, which is why, like many such brands, it came to have a healthy number of detractors.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 2, 2011 11:00 AM
With the ouster of designer John Galliano from haute fashion brand Christian Dior, once again we see a brand scrambling to pick up the pieces as one of its celebrated spokespeople gets embroiled in controversy. We have heard this story many times before. The Tiger Woods debacle, which affected a number of brands including Nike, is one glaring example.
For brands linked to high-profile personalities who are not always predictable, swift and decisive damage control seems to be part of the package in this era of swift and loud real-time public outcry.
For Dior, though, the removal of Galliano has to be particularly painful — even though the designer has issued a public apology following charges of anti-Semitism sparked by a web report by UK tabloid The Sun, which posted damning video of a ranting Galliano in a Paris café.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 1, 2011 12:00 PM
Wal-Mart and Carrefour are just two of the global brands that are being confronted these days by the rising costs of doing business in China in the face of price constraints, faltering consumer demand, and burgeoning inflation in (cue drums) The World’s Largest Market.
Yet at the same time, other brands including Yum! continue to prosper in China.
So what’s going on? The basic problem is that rising input costs — such as skyrocketing wheat prices, and increasing wages — are skewing somewhat the bargain-basement economics that have made China the most robust economy in the world. Beijing has pushed back with retail-price controls, putting retail brands in a vise.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 2, 2011 10:00 AM
A Bathing Ape, the Japanese cult brand that, in its heyday, was beloved by hip-hop artists, DJs, skateboarders and others seeking street cred through streetwear, has just been sold.
Created by Tomoaki Nagao, a Tokyo-based designer and musician better known as Nigo, the clothing and kicks line arrived in America when it opened a store in New York in 2005. Its 2008 store launch in Los Angeles brought out celeb fans of the Harajuku-born brand including superfan Pharrell Williams, Jermaine Dupri, Pete Wentz, Joel Madden, Mike Tyson, Jonah Hill, Serena Williams. Pepsi has also collaborated with BAPE on a series of limited edition bottles.
It has cooled off considerably since then — its LA store closed last year, and its New York store no longer attracts the lineups it once did. No matter: it was just snapped up by Hong Kong's I.T. apparel group, which wants to further the brand's expansion in China. A Bathing Ape last month opened its first store in Beijing, and already boasts retail outlets in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Nigo will stay on with the brand for two years, and has been working on a side project — the Ice Cream / Billionaire Boys Club luxury streetwear lines — with Pharrell Williams since 2005.