Priceless Surprises: MasterCard Trots Out Gwen Stefani, Apple Pay, Airborne 'Annie'

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 8, 2014 05:14 PM

MasterCard today kicks off a new campaign featuring Gwen Stefani promoting #PricelessSuprises, its year-end holiday campaign, to cardholders.

The surprises range from concert tickets to golf experiences to a chance to meet the singer/fashion designer, with Apple Pay getting a shout-out in the new TV commercial.

The spot (directed by Sophie Muller of Wondros) features Stefani's new song, "Spark The Fire," which also featured in a Fiat spot at the recent American Music Awards.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Marriott Brings Millennial-Targeted AC Hotel Brand to America

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 8, 2014 04:15 PM

Marriott has officially opened the AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon, a major move in the nearly 60-year old brand’s renaissance as a destination for next-generation travelers, who bring expectations of well-designed hotels with social lobbies for work and play, along with rooms featuring the latest smart tech. 

Founded in 1998, the AC Hotels brand has nearly 80 properties in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal. AC joined the Marriott portfolio in 2011, and the New Orleans property is the first of 100 planned U.S. hotels in the next few years in urban markets including Miami and Washington, D.C.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson realizes his company has been suffering from "predictability of room size, predictability of design and consistency," USA Today reports. "I think increasingly, over the last couple of years, (guests are) saying, 'We want that genuine, authentic service, we want to do business with a company we think is good, but let us also have something that turns us on when we travel.'"Continue reading...

diversity watch

American Express Brings LGBT Pride to Small Business Saturday

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 8, 2014 03:29 PM

As one of the largest corporations in the world, American Express has consistently been a leading model of an inclusive brand by engaging its diverse employee network and augmenting its outreach to LGBT stakeholders, including card members and merchants, with well-executed, diversity-focused marketing moves.

Case in point: For the past three years, Amex’s PRIDE network—its internal community of LGBT employees—organized and produced local PRIDE events across the U.S. on Small Business Saturday, the annual post-Black Friday indie retailer event that American Express started five years ago.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Prime Directive: Why Amazon is Now in the Diapers and Baby Wipes Business

Posted by Dale Buss on December 8, 2014 01:31 PM

Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble have likely been whistling through the graveyard about Amazon and fearing that someday it could become a competitor in consumables in the same way that it has invaded consumer electronics and other categories with its own products. Now, that day is here: meet Amazon Elements.

Elements is a new private-label Amazon product line that is reserved (at least for now) for Amazon Prime customers, who already pay $99 a year for unlimited shipping and an increasing roster of other perks. The first products in the new sub-brand—with the tagline ("Premium products. Transparent origins. Exclusive to Prime")—will be "ethically sourced" baby diapers and wipes.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

IOC Makes Sweeping Changes to Strengthen the Olympics Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 8, 2014 12:42 PM

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today passed sweeping—and unexpected—changes to the bidding process for the Games in an effort to make it cheaper and simpler for cities to host the golden franchise, while shoring up the integrity and ethics of the Olympics brand.

Among the changes approved today, two countries may co-host the Olympics and the cap of 28 sports has been abolished for the Summer Games (which could bring baseball, softball, squash and karate to the 2020 Tokyo Games), while the IOC also approved the rewording of its non-discrimination principle to include sexual orientation, in response to Russia's anti-gay actions around the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

In the wake of the Sochi Games, which cost a record $51 billion, the bidding process of the 2022 Winter Olympics proved somewhat disastrous when four of six candidates withdrew due to financial concerns. The blow to the Games' reputation as a profitable and worthwhile investment left behind Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan as contenders.Continue reading...

bc q&a

From Dots to Pixels: 5 Questions with Moleskine CEO Arrigo Berni

Posted by Catherine Straut on December 8, 2014 10:55 AM

Moleskine, purveyor of the contemporary classic black leather-bound notebook, might seem like a beacon of nostalgia in today's sea of smartphones and tablets. But lately, the Italian brand has been stepping out from the analog world with digital partnerships and innovative new products.

Expanding on game-changing digital partnerships such as its tie-in with Evernote, Moleskine is integrating Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform with a smart notebook and app to enhance the creative process into just a few simple steps. Hand-drawn sketches on paper can now be quickly uploaded into workable Photoshop or Illustrator files on Adobe's Creative Cloud platform.

brandchannel talked to Moleskine CEO Arrigo Berni about how the brand is bridging the gap between the hand-written and the digital and tailoring its designs to tech-savvy creators, designers and businesses.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Amazon, Uber and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 8, 2014 08:31 AM


Ford tops 1 million in annual China sales.

Amazon tests restaurant delivery service in bid to keep disrupting itself.

UBS turns to artificial intelligence to advise clients.

Uber driver in India arrested on rape charges.

Apple promotes iPad Air 2 (and apps from Post-it and others) in U.S. TV spot:Continue reading...

digital moves

IGNITION 2014 Consensus: Digital is Disrupting Everything, Now

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 5, 2014 05:05 PM

Business Insider’s IGNITION: Future of Digital 2014 this week in New York reinforced much of what we already know: The internet is changing everything and every industry, forcing even the oldest companies and longest-standing brands to change their ways.

In addition to the literal buzz generated by speaker Chris Anderson's drone, the array of speakers, led by BI founder Henry Blodget (above) revealed fresh thinking about the ways in which leaders can respond to the tremendous opportunities that digital opens up to brands.

The conference brought together entrepreneurs of all ages as old and new media jostled (and jousted, in the case of speakers Jeff Jarvis and Andrew Keen), showing how brands are embracing innovation and restructructuring the linear, analog-based assumptions about audience and consumer behavior that still defines many entrenched business models.Continue reading...

elsewhere on brandchannel

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
brandcameo2014 Product Placement Awards
Apple loses its crown to a new #1
Coca-ColaIt's the Journey That Matters:
Coca-Cola Opens Up With Story-Based Web Refresh
debateJoin the Debate
Is product placement a waste of money?
Arthur Chinski and Joshua Mizrahi
Model Behavior? Brands Beware
U.S. Legal Changes Impact Use of Brand Ambassadors
paperCorporate Citizenship in Canada
Fresh thinking from Interbrand
Sheryl Connelly
Sheryl Connelly

Meet Ford's Resident Futurist
Highlighting the Present—and Future—of Branding in Latin America and Iberia