sporting brands

Back in the Game: Tiger Woods Finds His Hero, Returns to Links with New Sponsor

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2014 01:26 PM

2014 hasn’t been such a great year for Tiger Woods. To be sure, it's been a far cry from his meltdown in 2009, but Woods has spent the majority of the year in and out of physical therapy following back surgery in March, and hasn’t swung a golf club competitively since August.

Woods is still hoping to end the year on a high note, however. The 38-year-old announced on Tuesday that not only is he returning to competition this week as the Hero World Challenge tees off, but he has also signed a multi-year endorsement deal with its title sponsor: India-based two-wheeler brand Hero Motocorp.

Never mind that fact that he's never actually ridden a motorcycle. "And even with Hero's valuable sponsorship this year and for the next three years, there's no way I'm about to start" riding one, Woods stated, according to ESPN. Signing Woods is part of Hero’s plan to make a big push into the U.S. market in 2016.Continue reading...

brand strategy

AXE Grows Up, Swapping Racy Black for 'Mature' White Label Line

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2014 12:29 PM

Unilever's AXE continues to sublimate its brand, now rolling out a dry-spray technology as the basis of a new sub-line called AXE White Label that is aimed at the mid-point age of the male Millennial market.

As the name suggests, the new collection is dropping the brand's racy black packaging and positioning for a sober white design that's aimed at a slightly older demo: men up to 25, as Canada's Globe and Mail reports.

To promote the premium line's launch in the new year, Unilever has been staging events in cities including New York, Montreal and Toronto to give retailers, bloggers and reviewers a whiff of White Label, which uses a proprietary spray-on technology that renders the deodorant dry almost instantly upon application.Continue reading...

conversation starter

Content Savvy: How GE is Leading the Journey to Brand Journalism

Posted by Paola Norambuena on December 3, 2014 11:50 AM

In a Wall Street Journal article this week, GE’s Gary Sheffer, Vice President Communications & Public Affairs, is quoted—in what will likely become a standard marketing quip—as saying, “We’re practicing what we believe to be journalism on a daily basis.”

In doing so, Sheffer highlighted one of the key challenges brands face today—it’s not just about making products, services or technologies we consume; it’s being the publishers, storytellers and journalists of our time. And there’s a great deal of wisdom in these words, because it’s this fundamental shift in role that helps brands like GE stay ahead.

As brands have understood the importance of content marketing or branded content, some have, more importantly, understood some of the defining characteristics of great journalism: find a unique angle, editing is everything—and stay true to your mission.Continue reading...


YouTube Product Placement (and Oreo) Take a Licking in the UK

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 3, 2014 10:45 AM

Like many problems, it started by licking Oreos.

Following YouTube channel AmazingPhil's Oreo "Lick Race" video in June, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) warned vloggers (web video bloggers) that any brands that paid for product promotion within their videos must be clearly disclosed to audiences.

AmazingPhil's Oreo Lick Race has featured no such disclosure even though the segment did seem clearly sponsored. The ASA's announcement means all such YouTube (and vlogger) is unlawful in the UK if it does not contain an outright disclaimer.

brandchannel spoke with one UK-based product placement pro about this latest chapter in the UK's ongoing ham-handed approach to the blurring lines of product placement and native advertising. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Old Navy, Sony, Target and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 3, 2014 08:30 AM


Old Navy debuts Julia Louis Dreyfus as Amy Poehler's replacement in new holiday campaign.

Sony hack investigation points fingers at North Korea as company struggles to recover from attack.

Tiger Woods talks up comeback and signs deal with India's Hero MotoCorp as global brand partner.

Duracell taps Nick Jonas for holiday campaign as P&G prepares its move to Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and reportedly shops Wella hair care brand.

Target releases Bullseye's Playground holiday app (featuring games to entertain kids in-store) in partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: Continue reading...


Nissan Returns to the Super Bowl With Brand-Led 'Big Moments' Strategy

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2014 05:05 PM

A handful of automakers may be refraining of buying ad time during Super Bowl 2015, but one hot-selling car brand is stepping up to the opportunity: Nissan, which today announced that it plans to become a Super Bowl advertiser for the first time in 18 years by suiting up for the Big Game on February 1.

Expect a 60-second spot by Nissan that's oriented more toward brand positioning than specific products. The ad plans to extend rather than deep-six the company's messaging about innovation and excitement.

The decision also extends Nissan's "big moments" marketing strategy that already has had it sponsoring U.S. college football's Heisman Trophy, for instance, and expanding its multimedia engagement with NBC's hit show The Voice.

"What's the biggest media moment we can own?" Jeremy Tucker, Nissan USA's vice president of marketing, told brandchannel. "Now is the time to do this, and we've got something to say."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Wearable Tech Projected to Win Over Consumers This Holiday—and Beyond

Posted by Catherine Straut on December 2, 2014 04:04 PM

The consumer electronics industry is off to a strong start this holiday season, and a new survey shows that wearable tech is officially where it’s at. "For the first time in three quarters, tech products have gained ground relative to the other categories we studied," said John Talbott, director of research at the Center for Education and Research in Retailing at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Wearables are expected to be on everyone’s wish list this year, with roughly 19 million trackers, fitness bands and smartwatches already in use, according to Juniper Research. The firm projects that within a couple of years, tens of millions more will be sold. 

Microsoft, Jawbone, Fitbit and Garmin’s models are selling fast, and the anticipation for Apple’s smartwatch launch continues to build as Samsung, Sony and other competitors are already jumping into the market.

Below, some of the latest developments in the wearable tech world this holiday season:Continue reading...

tech innovation

Manulife RED: A Financial Services Brand Explores Wearable Tech—and the Future

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2014 03:12 PM

A hot topic in the financial services space is "fintech"—how banks, insurance companies and other finance sector brands can become innovation leaders (and pave the way for future profitability) by investing in their own technology from apps to wearables.

Despite conferences, seminars and all the interest in mobile payments, virtual payments and wearable payments, the majority of financial companies have yet to extend themselves into exploring technology beyond their own networks and IT systems.

That's not the case with Canadian insurance and financial services firm Manulife, which also owns John Hancock in the U.S. and has operations in Asia. The firm is building its digital cred both internally and externally—including to potential employees and partners—by revving up its new RED Lab.Continue reading...

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