2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

fantasy brands

Sports Illustrated Throws Caution to the Wind for 50th Anniversary Barbie Issue

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2014 04:04 PM

In a brand collaboration that could be described as the "Anti-Dove" campaign, Barbie and Sports Illustrated are getting together to celebrate the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine's swimsuit issue. And not surprisingly, social media has been atwitter over the implications.

The half-century edition of Sports Illlustrated's biggest issue of each year will hit newsstands and the internet next week, and it presents Barbie as a doll-size version of some of the magazine's supermodels, clad in a new version of the black-and-white swimsuit the Mattel doll wore when she was introduced in 1959.

It's a surprising partnership, to be sure, starting with the the fact that Barbie is aimed (mostly) at girls and Sports Illustrated is aimed (mostly) at men, which raises uncomfortable questions about why they're getting together. (Yes, Barbie is for adult collectors, too—that's why there will be a limited edition Sports Illustrated Barbie at Target).

The co-branded special issue is launching with a campaign called "Unapologetic", as both brands' owners clearly anticipated the hullaballoo that would ensue when two icons of hyperphotogenic femininity got together to get even more in the faces of their long-time foes.Continue reading...

fantasy brands

CopyKates: American Brides Look to Royal Wedding for Inspiration

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 11, 2011 05:00 PM

News Corp.'s The Daily iPad digital magazine digs up two American brides-to-be who are eagerly anticipating the April 29th wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William for ideas they can incorporate into their own nuptials. The royal couple, meanwhile, today made their last official appearance before their wedding.Continue reading...

fantasy brands

Video Games Launching Earlier This Year

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 10, 2010 10:07 AM

The video game selling season typically begins just before the holidays. Major games – like major films – are released and promoted in due time for the coveted holiday shopper blitz.

This year, however, publishers of video games are looking to break out of the mold and sell their titles earlier in an attempt to pump up flagging sales. Market research firm NPD Group says US sales of video games fell 11 percent in 2009.

Producing a high-end video game can take years and cost as much as $20 million. It's difficult to make back that investment during a short holiday selling season. Thankfully, the audience is expanding beyond children – more adults are playing video games today. Game publishers think that adults will be willing to buy games all year long, and that's why they're moving to adjust their selling strategy.Continue reading...

fantasy brands

Disney To Rebrand Mickey Mouse

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 5, 2009 05:56 PM

No more Mr. Nice Guy Mouse.

Far away in a secret lair (corporate park, rather), Mickey Mouse is undergoing a massive regeneration. Feared to be seen as a corporate overlord rather than an adorable, fun-loving cartoon brand, Disney has ventured into the cryo-chamber (say "Hi" to Walt for me) and begun to enliven the Mouse for a new generation of children and consumers.

The new Mickey will be slowly unveiled, first in the video game Epic Mickey for the Nintendo Wii, due out next year. As the New York Times describes it, the game will "show the character's darker side." Our new Mickey is multifaceted, and can be at times "cantankerous and cunning, as well as heroic, as he traverses a forbidding wasteland."Continue reading...

fantasy brands

An Apple Intervention Even Snow White Would Approve

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 13, 2009 03:35 PM

Ten years ago, Apple Computer products were sold online or at computer retailers like the now-liquidated CompUSA. Today, the Apple Store is the jewel of many a mall and generates nearly five times the revenue as Best Buy per square foot of retail space.

So it’s no surprise that Disney called on one of the guys responsible for boosting its film fortunes – Pixar’s Steve Jobs, who you might also know is the CEO of Apple (and is on Disney's board of directors) – to help Disney inject some “think different” magic into its line of stores.

Steve’s advice: “Dream bigger.” That a computer company is demanding more creativity from the world’s largest entertainment factory, which once launched an initiative called “Where Dreams Come True,” says a lot about both brands.Continue reading...

fantasy brands

Winnie The Pooh: Why (Oh) Bother With A Sequel?

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 8, 2009 05:02 PM

With the exception of Diet Coke and its siblings, most brand extensions don’t arrive 80 years after the original. And few are as polarizing as the new collection of Winnie the Pooh stories, which introduces Lottie, a sassy otter, to the furry folks at the Hundred Acre Wood.

Authorized book sequels, commissioned after the original authors have died, are uncommon, and noteworthy; examples include a pair of Gone With the Wind sequels by separate authors as well as two updates to The Godfather by Mark Winegardner. What the original sources have in common is that they were adapted into films, where they enjoyed a much wider audience than the print material, and the announcement of new content delivered the same kind of publicity and backlash that greeted New Coke.Continue reading...

fantasy brands

Hollywood Rolls Out Red Carpet For Toys and Games

Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 28, 2009 11:47 AM

Sorry, paparazzi. You may be chasing brands instead of stars from now on.

Hollywood studios are investing heavily in toy and game brands, in an effort to capitalize on the power of nostalgia and instant brand-name recognition. The Los Angeles Times reports movie moguls are reallocating money usually spent on big-name stars toward the purchase of established brands such as Asteroids, Stretch Armstrong, Monopoly and Barbie.

Creating movies based on popular toys and games doesn't reflect much originality or creative depth, but the practice is sound business—particularly in an economy where consumers are reluctant to spend money on the unknown. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the summer's top hit movie, was based on action figures from the 1980s. Yes, the toy created Megan Fox, not the other way around.Continue reading...

fantasy brands

Harry Potter Horns In On Mickey's Turf

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 16, 2009 03:19 PM

Like "Sorcerer's Apprentice II": The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a theme park at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure whose 2010 opening was recently announced, promises to be not only a nirvana for Pottermania, but also a magical display of branding.

That one of the most popular brands in the world—having grown from a book to a multi-volume series that spawned several films to a merchandising empire—is entering the enchanted land of roller coasters and amusement attractions shouldn’t surprise even the most naïve Muggle. The depth of the source material, from settings to characters to plots, makes not merely a couple of Potter rides, but a complete mini-theme park featuring its own “interactive shopping” experience, a no-brainer branding extension.Continue reading...

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