in the spotlight

RIP Smokin' Joe: The Singin' Spokesroles of Joe Frazier

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 8, 2011 10:45 AM

On the 40th anniversary of his historic Madison Square Garden bout with Muhammad Ali, boxing legend Joe Frazier passed away last night at the age of 67 following the biggest fight of his life — with liver cancer.

Smokin' Joe was not the commercial juggernaut that fellow former boxing champ George Foreman became, but Frazier appeared in his share of ads. Incidentally, he was often singing in those ads.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

ASICS Cheers on New York City Marathon with Transit Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 3, 2011 10:01 AM

There are 45,000 dreamers who will hit the New York City streets on Sunday morning, determined to cross the finish line of a 26.2 mile jog through the five boroughs on one of the city’s most celebratory days: The ING New York City Marathon day.

While you know where you’ll find all of them on Sunday, it is also likely that you’ll find most of them in the Columbus Circle subway stop at some point this week. It's the closest MTA stop to where runners need to pick up their numbers and free T-shirts and it’s not that far from where the race finishes up in Central Park as well. In 2008, the stop had 20 million people pass through it, according to Second Avenue Sagas.

Sensing an opportunity, sneaker manufacturer ASICS has taken over the subway stop this week, giving both runners and casual observers plenty to look at.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

PETA: The Non-Stop Activism Machine

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2011 10:10 AM

Long before Occupy Wall Street took over the press (and hundreds of cities), PETA was showing the young 'uns how it's done. Constantly grabbing the headlines with in-your-face advertising and local stunts, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization was building its brand of provocative branding.

They're still at it, of course. Just this week, PETA sued SeaWorld in Orlando for "enslaving" Orca whales; called for a ban on private ownership of exotic animals in the wake of the Zanesville tragedy; asked director Cameron Crowe to tame the marketing for his upcoming movie, We Bought a Zoo; offered a $5,000 reward to document animal abuses at a Toledo circus and $1,000 for information in a puppy mutilation case; and dispatched zombies to protest a steakhouse in Cincinnati and promote veganism.

They've also been lobbying NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg to address the situation of carriage horses dropping dead in the streets, a black eye for Big Apple tourism that PETA asked Glee star Lea Michele to address in a PSA earlier this year. And of course, there's its long-running cheeky series of stripping celebs protesting fur.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Steve Jobs: A Tribute to a World Changing Brand Visionary

Posted by Michael Waltzer on October 24, 2011 06:36 PM

"Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." This quote from Apple's Think Different commercial filled all of the ears of Apple employees as Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO, played the commercial's audio at Steve Jobs' company memorial on October 19th.

Apple last week closed its stores so employees worldwide could tune into a company-wide tribute to Jobs at Apple HQ in Cupertino, CA, which was recorded and is now posted on Apple's website.

The tribute began with Cook introducing Steve Jobs' wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. He went on to describe the many achievements of Jobs, including the Mac, the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and PIXAR. Cook was constantly reminding the audience on how Jobs wanted to company to do "what was right," and not "what Steve Jobs would have wanted."Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Wall Street Wobbles as Occupy Wall Street Marches On

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 19, 2011 02:10 PM

With the Occupy Wall Street movement now one month old and continuing to rattle workers in the financial industry around the world, a few big financial brands are being rattled independent of placard-carrying protesters in their midst.

Goldman Sachs lost $428 million in its latest quarterly earnings report, its second quarterly loss ever.

Citigroup has agreed to pay $285 million to settle SEC charges that it misled investors related to its mortgage businesses.

And Bank of America can't bank on being Number 1 anymore, as BofA cedes top spot to JPMorgan Chase this week.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

The Animated Life of Steve Jobs

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 7, 2011 10:04 AM

Steve Jobs last gift to the Internet is pageviews, and an outpouring of creative tributes riffing on the Apple visionary (and logo).

The folks at Next Media Animation are no exception. The Taiwanese group behind all those wacky computer-animated takes on current events put together a poignant tribute to Jobs, reeled alongside a sincere statement that read, in part: "Steve Jobs made the world fall in love with and embrace technology. Much of what Next Media Animation does — indeed what any media company does — would be impossible were it not for Steve Jobs…. Apple and Steve Jobs have featured prominently in our animations. This was not due to enmity or ill will. It was because we admired him."

Indeed, NMA was not always so kind to Jobs, often depicting him as Darth Vader. A look back at some of those animations below.Continue reading...

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in the spotlight

Coca-Cola's London 2012 Gameplan: Woo Teens Through Music, Parents Through Sustainability

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 29, 2011 02:34 PM

Coca-Cola today unveiled its London 2012 Olympics marketing plan, with an integrated campaign called "Move to the Beat" that's inspired by the sounds, spirit and culture" of the host city, and also extends and reinforces its global campaign to engage teens through music.

The centerpiece of the 2012 campaign: Grammy award-winning producer Mark Ronson is creating an anthem with flame-haired British singer Katy B that "fuses the sounds of Olympic sports with the beat of London music."Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Pinkwashing in the Spotlight on Eve of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 28, 2011 12:16 PM

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, unleashing a tidal wave of pink products as brands show their solidarity (and raise money) for a life-saving cause: breast cancer research. But consumers and marketers alike are leery of so-called "pinkwashing."

It's the subject of filmmaker Lea Pool’s new documentary about the industry that has grown up around breast cancer, the rise of corporate involvement in fundraising and its deleterious effect on research into the disease: Pink Ribbons, Inc., which premiered at the recent Toronto International Film Festival.

“What Pink Ribbons, Inc. questions is whether all these pink ribbons and marches and rallies are actually accomplishing anything at all, other than making people feel better because they think they’re marching for a cause,” writes Kim Voynar in Movie City News.

“More to the point, it raises the question of whether the effect of putting a pink, cheery face on the issue, and promoting the idea of “positive” fundraising walks as opposed to telling women yes, you should be getting angry and marching and protesting and demanding more support for research for a cancer whose primary risk factor is being born female, is more detrimental to actual progress than people think.”Continue reading...

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