Best Global Green Brands 2014

video killed the _____ star

Continuing to Make Gains on HBO, Netflix Looks to a Collaborative Future

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 11, 2014 11:33 AM

Notoriously passive aggressive Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to Facebook last week to announce the streaming network's latest milestone: with $1.146 billion in subscriber revenue, Netflix has officially passed HBO. 

"They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy's, but we are making progress. HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league," Hastings wrote. 

The streaming king can attribute its most recent success to the brand's wildly successful original series, including "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black," the most-watched show ever. The network also recently announced a new season of "Arrested Development," as well as five new series based on Marvel characters, a comedy special, docu-series and talk show starring Chelsea Handler, and the debut of the brand's first adult cartoon later this month. 

The major investment in more shows makes sense, as nearly three-quarters of titles viewed by Netflix subscribers are TV series. But while Netflix may finally be making significant gains against HBO, its main competitor, Amazon's Prime Instant Video, is growing at a more rapid pace.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: NASCAR, Microsoft, GSK and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 11, 2014 09:16 AM

TOP STORIES

Amazon halts some movie preorders in dispute with Disney.

GlaxoSmithKline nears clinical trial of ebola vaccine.

McDonald's reported worst monthly sales results in more than a decade as China meat scare whacks results.

Microsoft reignites Mac vs. PC debate in new Surface Pro 3 ad campaign.

NASCAR and sponsors grapple with Tony Stewart weekend tragedy.

MORE BRAND NEWS

adidas faces uphill battle for cool with Nike, which sees Rory McIlroy build acclaim (and justify brand's $200 million bet) with thrilling PGA Open win.

Alibaba cleans up "gray market" for brand-owners including Kering.

Annie's is energized by frozen-food launches.

Apple's Apple University design academy revealed in rare profile.

Aunt Jemima heirs file $2 billion suit against PepsiCo and Quaker Oats.

Bear Grylls backs down in trademark tussle with knife-maker.Continue reading...

week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: P&G Cuts, Aero Rebrands, Taco Bell Goes Upscale

Posted by brandchannel staff on August 8, 2014 07:44 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

#1 P&G Plans to Shed More Than Half Its Brands to Focus on Billion-Dollar Keepers

#2 Aeropostale Crops Its Brand to Reveal Younger, Fresher AERO

#3 Trouble in Big Box Land: Target, Walmart Fight Slow Demise with Digital

#4 With US Taco Co. Test, Taco Bell Takes a Swing at Fast-Casual

#5 McMahon's Go Big or Go Home Strategy for WWE Network Isn't Working... Yet

#6 American Apparel Sees Lift from Boy Band Music Video Product Placements

#7 Luxury Retailers are Slow to Invest in Omnichannel Evolution

#8 Branded Entertainment Watch: Budweiser, Old Navy, Lexus and More

#9 will.i.am Designs for Lexus as Celebrity Creative Director Trend Rolls On

#10 Walmart.com Gets a Mobile-First Facelift to Take On Amazon

sip on this

Coke Debuts Virtual Assistant to Promote Share a Coke Campaign in UK

Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2014 06:22 PM

The moment of truth for beverage retailers has gotten more interesting in the UK as Coca-Cola Enterprises has rolled out a "virtual assistant" to provide a last attempt at persuasion.

Projected onto a life-size, thin screen by Tensator, Coke's virtual assistant "Isabelle" tells retailers about the success of the brand's can-personalization marketing campaign, Share A Coke, suggests how retailers can maximize shopper interest in their stores and plays a new Share a Coke TV advertisement.

The digital signage, which uses innovative HD projection and audio-visual technology, is being used at Dhamecha cash-and-carry depots in London.

Isabelle "is a creative and fun way to reach our customers with the campaign and is a piece of genuine digital innovation that we're excited to bring to the market," Simon Miles, digital director at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said in a statement.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

Booze News: Guinness Goes Blonde and Buffalo Wild Wings' Breakfast Beer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 8, 2014 06:03 PM

Guinness Goes Blonde

Guinness may be known as a stout to most beer drinkers, but American imbibers will have to reconsider when the company releases a new brew on US soil: Guinness Blonde American Lager.

According to AdAge, the beer is part of a new “Discovery Series” that Guinness-owner Diageo is testing to try and create new revenue. After all, North American sales of Guinness stout dropped 6 percent in the 12 months ended June 30, and drinkers in the States tend to prefer lighter lagers

The new beer is being introduced via a BBDO-designed campaign that debuted in Playboy with an ad that read, "The most talked about American blonde in years … will come from a most unexpected source."

Guinness hopes the new beers will help it do battle with the hefty craft-brew movement in the US and elsewhere. This isn’t the company’s first attempt at a lager, though. Three years ago, Diageo introduced Guinness Black Lager, which didn’t do as well as the company expected but is still on the market. Diageo plans to release two beers a year as part of the new series.Continue reading...

brandcameo

Branded Entertainment Watch: Bacardi, Dodge, Toyota and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 8, 2014 05:20 PM

It's been a busy week for branded entertainment, from Dodge's new funny-man to Toyota's musical city in Prague. Below, check out more branded entertainment projects, including a graphic novel from Bacardi and a Christmas-sized countdown to National Bratwurst Day from Johnsonville.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

CVS Trades Cigarette Sales for Positive Social Standing

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 8, 2014 04:21 PM

Back in February, CVS Caremark took a major step—and a big risk— towards bringing its brand full circle when it announced that it would no longer sell tobacco products in its 7,700 stores.

The US' largest provider of prescription drugs, valued at $126 billion, says the removal process is 70 percent complete, with a goal to be tobacco-free by October. While the company stands to lose $2 billion in revenue a year, the move has helped it gain a positive position in the minds of consumers and the media. 

“We were willing to take that risk, to ensure a positive impact on the long-term health of our customers, clients and colleagues and to advance the dialogue on public health,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy at CVS Caremark and President of CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, according to Forbes.

The decision caused a bit of a "CVS effect" among other CSR-centered brands that took action on other hot-button issues. Disney, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Intel, AT&T, and USPS pulled funding from the Boy Scouts of America due to their anti-gay policies; Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors who deny climate change that his company is going full steam ahead into sustainability; and Safeway and Kroger announced that they would stop selling GMO salmon.Continue reading...

games people play

Mobile-Focused Zynga Hopes to Turn the Tide with Sports Games

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 8, 2014 01:41 PM

Video game maker Zynga is trying to turn back the clock to get back to its gaming hayday, but its latest earnings report didn't provide much confidence. The brand reported a loss of $62.5 million in the quarter, and revenue was below expectations at $153.2 million. 

It's a time of transition for the brand that was at the top of its game for the past few years, riding on the wild success of Facebook-based games like FarmVille and Words With Friends before playing hours and sales started to slide. Now, the company plans to focus on mobile gaming over desktop. After all, as CEO Don Mattrick told analysts, “About 32 percent of time spend blended between smartphones and tablets is spent having fun.”

Just six weeks ago, Zynga released FarmVille 2: Country Escape, and Mattrick told shareholders that the company realized it missed a major opportunity to capitalize on the rise of mobile gaming back when it launched the original FarmVille—an opportunity that Mattrick vowed the company won't miss again.

"We’re cleaning up some of those misses and getting to a point of view on what categories are important and how to build great teams, great leaders and go after it in the mid-term but in a persistent way,” Mattrick said.Continue reading...

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