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brand news

Brand News: Apple, Home Depot, Lego and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2014 09:27 AM


Apple sees acolytes start lining up for iPhone 6 as Samsung reveals its latest futuristic devices.

Home Depot tries to reassure customers about possible data breach.

Lego becomes world's largest toy maker on The Lego Movie success.

Lincoln launches promised ad campaign starring Matthew McConaughey.

Neiman Marcus plans to open first NYC store.


About.com brings a fresh twist to native advertising.

Amazon launches streaming box in UK next month.

Baidu launches its own version of Google Glass (which Luxottica head disses) along with computer "brain" and indoor-mapping challenge to Alibaba.

Ben & Jerry's sponsors 9/21 global People's Climate March with 350.org.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Say Hello to Mr. Roboto: SoftBank's Pepper Will Be Sold in US Sprint Stores

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 3, 2014 05:24 PM

Asian telecom giant SoftBank claims that its robot, Pepper, which was developed by SoftBank's Aldebaran robotics division, is the first robot “with a heart.” Americans will soon be able to judge for themselves, as Bloomberg reports that the robot could be on sale in SoftBank-owned Sprint stores as soon as next summer. 

Whatever the future holds, the company has already “received between 300 and 400 inquiries about Pepper from companies in finance, food service and education,” for the 4-foot-tall dancing, joke-making, emotion-reading robot. When SoftBank debuted Pepper back in June, the initial market was thought to be for families and the elderly, but businesses apparently came calling.

“We will sell Pepper in the United States within a year after gathering information in Japan,” Fumihide Tomizawa, president of SoftBank Robotics, told Bloomberg. “I won’t be surprised if Pepper sales will be half to business and half to consumers.” Japanese consumers willing to spend around $1,900 will get the first crack at Pepper in February.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Nationwide Unites Insurance Brands Under New Logo, Peyton Manning

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 3, 2014 03:52 PM

Nationwide Insurance goes by many names these days, including Allied Insurance, Harleysville Insurance and Veterinary Pet Insurance, among others. But now the Columbus, Ohio-based company is uniting all of its brands under its largest, and most well-known name.

“The Nationwide brand is the core and embodiment of who we are as a company, and research shows it is our best-known asset,” said Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen in a press release. “We plan to leverage this asset to shine the spotlight on all of the products and solutions we offer.”

In addition, the company is introducing an updated version of the Nationwide "N" and Eagle brand mark that aim to bring to mind the company’s history and 50-year-old tagline, “Nationwide is on your side.” The full shift to the new logo and name will take 18 months.Continue reading...

health matters

CVS Bets On Anti-Smoking Positioning with Corporate Commitment to Health

Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2014 01:42 PM

CVS Caremark is making a huge bet with its brand on opposing smoking, as the company today announced that it is going way beyond its February announcement that it would stop selling tobacco in its 7,700 retail locations beginning October 1.

America's second-largest drugstore chain revealed that it is changing its corporate name to CVS Health to reflect its new wellness positioning (while its consumer-facing CVS/pharmacy stores are dropping the hyphen); that it is launching a huge smoking-cessation effort to help customers kick the habit too; and that it has stopped selling tobacco products as of today, nearly a month ahead of its earlier-indicated date.

CVS Health is backing up this huge wager with a passel of new ads and social media activations about the benefits of a smoke-free life under the theme "One Good Reason"—as in, your loved ones comprise "one good reason" to quit smoking, and "What is your #onegoodreason to kick tobacco too"?Continue reading...

branded content

Benefit Plumps Up Content Push to Connect With Wing Women Everywhere

Posted by Tori Miner on September 3, 2014 12:24 PM

Benefit Cosmetics certainly lives by the culminating line of its "Benefesto"—Laughter is the best cosmetic. From product naming (personal favorites include “Dr. Feelgood” complexion balm and “Stay don’t stray” eyeshadow primer) to pop-up experiences (such as Gabbi’s Head, a London pub just for women wanting to watch the World Cup), the full brand experience is fun, flirty and reflects a tongue-in-cheek tone crafted to keep you laughing as you’re looking good.

And when it comes to branded content, Benefit stays true to its core message while finding creative ways to connect with fans. Most recently, it released a music video parody of Montell Jordan’s ‘90s hit “This Is How We Do It” starring comedienne Anjelah Johnson in her MADtv-spawned character, Bon Qui Qui. Set in Las Vegas, the video oozes '90s nostalgia as it celebrates wing women getting glammed up for the ultimate ladies night.Continue reading...

digital advertising

Ahead of Alibaba IPO, Mayer Launches Yahoo Style in Digital Content Push

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2014 11:16 AM

Yahoo Style, the latest digital publication out of Yahoo's content push, debuts today as a “sophisticated, fresh take on fashion for everyone, from enthusiasts to those who love it from the sidelines” complete with celebrity Jessica Biel on the cover.

The digital magazine is the next step in CEO Marissa Mayer's media-focused expansion that includes Yahoo Food, Yahoo Movies, Yahoo Tech and Yahoo Beauty that launched in June. Joe Zee, Editor in Chief of Yahoo Style, joined a few months ago with “a mission to create a digital magazine that was a study in contrasts— accessible but aspirational, insider but inclusive," he wrote in a blog post on the brand's Tumblr. "For me fashion is storytelling and Yahoo Style is what I hope will be the must-land destination for great and stylish storytelling.”  

The mobile-friendly platform is also a launchpad for Mayer's broader digital advertising strategy that she presented at Cannes Lions, with a hard focus on native advertising that seamlessly integrates ads and branded content for "advertising that is just as good, if not better, than the content around it," Mayer said.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

H&M Models Fashion and Sustainability with Commitment to CSR Initiatives

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2014 10:29 AM

H&M, the fast-fashion leader, is also a leader when it comes to operating its global company sustainably. The brand has released four new videos that document its committment to sustainable and ethical practices, including water conservation, sustainable and organic materials, and a fair living wage for its supply chain workers—all of which are part of the brand's seven-commitment strategy for a sustainable future. 

As World Water Week gets underway in Stockholm this week, addressing issues of food and energy demands over the next three decades as natural resources for sustainable growth are dwindling, H&M is taking part in panel discussions and a live-chat with Guardian Sustainable Business, titled “How can the fashion industry act for a sustainable water future?” 

“H&M has set our sight on becoming the fashion industry’s leading water steward,” the company said in a statement. “Our global water strategy, developed side-by-side with conservation organisation WWF, marks an evolution in the corporate approach to water according to WWF, as it takes the whole supply chain into account and goes far beyond the factory lines. H&M do this to protect the environment, minimize risks in our operations and to secure the availability of water.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: CVS, Nationwide, Home Depot and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2014 09:09 AM


CVS Caremark rebrands to CVS Health and launches smoke-enders program as it quits tobacco a month early.

Nationwide unifies brand and debuts new logo in Peyton Manning campaign.

Home Depot investigates potential breach of customer data.

Apple denies iCloud breach in celebrity hack and reportedly signs Nordstrom to new payments platform.

Burger King downplays tax-inversion motive for Tim Hortons deal.


Audi sees strong sales growth despite slowdown in Russia and emerging markets.

BuyPartisan app lets shoppers suss out politics behind brands and products.

Chrysler sees August sales rise 20 percent, led by Jeep.

Coca-Cola partners with Keurig Green Mountain on Honest Tea K-Cup packs.

Darden Restaurants shakes up its board with concessions to Starboard.

Dior rolls out new campaign starring a golden Charlize Theron.Continue reading...

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