brands under fire

NFL Meets on Domestic Violence as Sponsors Watch on the Sidelines [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2014 11:02 AM

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with team owners on Wednesday to discuss (among other agenda items) how to repair the damage to the league's brand including possible changes to the personal-conduct policy for players. As a lead up, owners were schooled on domestic violence by a 40-minute presentation the league has put together to show all of its employees, the AP reports.

That presentation included a powerful video presentation by former player Joe Ehrmann, a defensive tackle for 10 pro seasons back in the ’70s and early ’80s and (as the head of the Coach For America Foundation) a persuasive speaker. "Men play a critical role in reducing domestic violence by being active in interventions," Deana Garner, the league's director of player engagement and education, said, according to the AP. "Step in. Speak out. Have thoughtful conversations." 

Under intense scrutiny by the public and sponsors alike, Goodell and the owners went into today's meeting knowing they're also under intense scrutiny by not only fans and the public court of opinion, but also sponsors.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Gap Inc., Fiat Chrysler, BBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2014 09:43 AM


BBC unveils all-star version of God Only Knows, 17 years after iconic Perfect Day promo.

Gap Inc. CEO Glenn Murphy announces he's stepping down.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he's "done" in 2018.

NFL owners meet to discuss domestic violence handling. (More here.)

Whirlpool launches "Every day, care" tagline and campaign.Continue reading...

retail watch

Walmart Pitches Healthcare to Customers While Trimming Benefits for Employees

Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2014 05:27 PM

When it comes to healthcare, Walmart giveth to its customers—and taketh away from its employees.

The retailing giant announced Tuesday that it plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for its part-time US employees who work less than 30 hours a week, while raising insurance premiums across the board for all employees.

At the same time, Walmart said that it plans to offer consumers one-stop shopping, in-store and online, for healthcare insurance.

Neither move is particularly surprising for America's largest private employer.Continue reading...


Canon USA Highlights Creative Collaboration With "See Impossible"

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 7, 2014 05:14 PM

Canon U.S.A. today released a new branding campaign — "Canon See Impossible" — in a bid to inspire customers to see differently with Canon products.

As part of the companywide marketing initiative, the iconic brand is rolling out a new logo visual that incorporates the new "Canon See Impossible" tagline, accompanied by a 3-D visual of an expanding box, symbolizing (according to a press release) "the company's desire to break the boundaries of what is possible and shift the focus from Canon as being solely a manufacturer of quality digital imaging products to a Company that empowers the creative spirit within its people and customers."Continue reading...

social media

Facebook Launches Mobile Audience Network and an Anonymous App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 7, 2014 03:49 PM

After being announced in April, Facebook’s Audience Network officially launched worldwide today. The pitch is simple: "Monetize your app with Facebook ads."

It's now open to any mobile marketer (who applies first) with a third-party app who wishes to host ads fueled by the social network’s massive social graph and arsenal of targeting data that includes anonymized information such as a person's age, location and what books they like.

“Audience Network bridges a gap between developers and advertisers, endearing both to Facebook,” as TechCrunch put it.

It's “a simple way to extend Facebook advertising buys across mobile apps to increase relevancy for people, yield for publishers, and results for advertisers,” commented Audience Network’s product manager Sriram Krishnan to TechCrunch. 

Coming on the heels of Facebook's recently relaunched Atlas ad network, Audience Network is a move towards monetization for developers and more granular reach for advertisers and pits Facebook against Google’s AdMob, Yahoo’s Flurry and Twitter’s MoPub for mobile dollars.Continue reading...

chew on this

Beanitos Bean Snack Chips Are Taking Manhattan, and Lots Of Other Places

Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2014 02:31 PM

The shift in American snacking tastes and preferences toward healthier fare is continuing these days with Beanitos, which touts itself as the "first all-natural bean-based chip" and is seeing its sales, and salty-snack market share, skyrocket.

The Beanitos brand has been making a big splash lately in places like New York, where its outdoor ads were ubiquitous and the brand sponsored New York Fashion Week.

The Austin, Texas-based company reported that product distribution has doubled over the past year, with Beanitos now available at 30,000 retail locations nationwide, as Americans have latched on to the health and nutrition benefits of beans.

"We have clearly struck a chord with consumers who are looking for an all-natural, better-for-you snack chip," stated Beanitos CEO Dan Costello.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Marriott, Wells Fargo Test Oculus Rift for Virtual Brand Experiences

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 7, 2014 01:42 PM

The Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, by one account, “is the closest thing yet to a consumer-bound product that can deliver what virtual reality experts call presence.”

As Oculus VR chief scientist Michael Abrash told Engadget, “Presence is an incredibly powerful sensation, and it’s unique to VR; there’s no way to create it in any other medium. Most people find it to be kind of magical.”

How it works: The headset straps onto your face and plugs into a computer while an OLED display and twin lenses project images that trick your brain into perceiving a flat image as reality.

As a simulator experience, the technology offers a virtual bonanza to marketers looking to create immersive brand experiences, though it's still in its nascent stage. Still, that's not stopping some brands from testing the technology to create what might be the ultimate digital brand experience.Continue reading...


Brand-Led Coalition Targets Millennials on Sustainability and Climate Change

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 7, 2014 11:54 AM

The tide is shifting in favor of our planet as a coalition of some of the world's leading global brands overcome market rivalry to form a coalition to engage young people on climate change issues.

Partners in Collectively, the new content- and action-driven digital platform, include Audi, BT Group, C&A Foundation, Carlsberg, Diageo, Facebook, General Mills, Google, Havas, IPG, Johnson & Johnson, Kingfisher, Lenovo, Marks & Spencer, McDonald's, Medialink, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Omnicom, PepsiCo, Philips, SABMiller, Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Twitter, Unilever and WPP.

The pitch: "Collectively is where the power of positivity and collaboration make sustainability the new norm. Watch as we follow several young people across the globe that took a stand against the status quo to help build a better world around them. From emissions-cutting inventions to socially responsible travel, hear their inspirational ideas and let us know what you think. Join us at, comment, contribute and make this movement grow."

The target audience is millennials, aged 18-30, tomorrow's rising powerbrokers who are inheriting a crippled planet. And as social media is their home away from home, the coalition is enlisting Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter to focus on “passion points” for that cohort. It's all well and good—but will millennials listen, let alone take action?Continue reading...

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