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brand challenges

For Kraft Foods, Recalling 2.4M Macaroni & Cheese Boxes Isn't the Only Challenge

Posted by Dale Buss on March 17, 2015 09:09 PM

As Kraft Foods' new CEO John Cahill commented on a quarterly earnings call last month, times are tough for the consumer packaged goods giant—and that was before the company voluntarily recalled 242,000 cases or 6.5 million individual boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese today, or fell out with dietitians over a "Kids Eat Right" logo on Kraft Singles.

"Our brands can be found in 98% of the United States and Canadian households. They are some of the most well-recognized in our markets, if not around the world. Yet Kraft Foods hasn't gained share as a company for some time," Cahill told analysts on last month's earnings call. "And in 2014, we did not grow share in any individual category. We merely held flat at 60% of our US businesses, and lost share in the other 40%."

So if you’re Cahill or a fellow Kraft Foods executive these days, you realize that your competition isn't just other CPG giants such as ConAgra or Unilever or even Mondelez International, the Kraft spinoff where you’ve probably got several former colleagues.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Apple Watch Watching: This App Wants You to Be Quantifiably Happier at Work

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 17, 2015 07:03 PM

The gamification of play, skill and competition, coupled with the Fitbitification of digital devices, tracking and measuring every accomplishment and every failure, is influencing the workplace.

That's why BetterWorks wants to help people excel at work through wearable tech and is taking its performance tracking software to the Apple Watch, as Ciara Peters, the startup's product lead, discussed on a panel at SXSW.Continue reading...

digital moves

Google Expands Global Street Art Project With Stories, Partners and Mobile

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 17, 2015 04:46 PM

In June of last year, Google launched an online gallery featuring street art from around the world, one of the most popular subjects on Instagram and other visual sites.

This week, the Google Cultural Insititute expanded that online street art gallery to more than 10,000 images organized into collections and stories.

It shared in a blog post how it's highlighting and preserving this ephemeral artform, considered inspirational public art to many designers and creators, and a graffiti eyesore to the "get off my lawn" crowd:Continue reading...

media brands

Apple Polishes Appeal With Streaming TV Service—But Will NBCU Bite?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 17, 2015 02:04 PM

Apple keeps pushing ahead into new marketplaces—and its next announcement will likely be the launch of its own streaming service this fall, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The service is expected to have about 25 channels, including ABC, CBS and Fox, reports the Journal. NBCUniversal's cable channels such as Syfy and Bravo are not expected to be part of the planned package due to a disagreement between its parent company, Comcast, and Apple.

Apple already has a deal in place to launch subscription-service HBO Now on Apple TV in April, and just signed its first carriage deal with a cable operator: New York City area Cablevision, whose founder, Charles Dolan, also founded HBO.Continue reading...

event marketing

#SXSW 2015 Branding: Vitaminwater Contest Funds Entrepreneurs' Dreams

Posted by Dale Buss on March 17, 2015 01:02 PM

What's in the water at SXSW? Why, entrepreneurial spirit, of course. Coca-Cola’s Vitaminwater has decided to bottle that spirit and launch a crowdfunding-inspired contest, dubbed Project Hustle, to support entrepreneurs.

Ten finalists can win a combined total of up to $500,000 to bring their startup ideas to life. They can either submit their concepts online or make an actual in-person "elevator pitch" at SXSW.

"Vitaminwater hustled its way from a small startup in Queens," said Ryan Robertson, Vitaminwater’s Senior Brand Manager, in a press release. "So we understand that hard work is the only path to success, and now we want to support those at the beginning of their journey."Continue reading...


Target Collective: Made in USA, For Men—and Woven With Storytellling

Posted by Darcy Newell on March 17, 2015 12:04 PM

This weekend, Target launched the Target Collective, a curated, design-focused and locally crafted collection of men’s fashion and home goods from a six-pack of American designers: Billykirk, Owen & Fred, Taylor Stitch, Duluth Pack, Locally Grown and Terrapin Stationers.

The "lumbersexual" (as Fast Company calls it) collection will include canvas totes, leather goods, button-down shirts and gifts, ranging in price from $10 to $270.

The collection signals a few notable departures for the brand. For starters, Target Collective is its first mens-focused collection—previous capsule collections have focused on women’s fashion (showcasing high-end designers like Altuzarra and Prabal Gurung) or multibrand partnership (such as 2013’s unsuccessful holiday collaboration with Neiman Marcus and the CFDA).Continue reading...

cause marketing

SXSW 2015: Food Strike Takes Over Instagram to Eradicate Child Hunger

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 17, 2015 10:02 AM

Can a food strike on Instagram drive awareness that 49 million Americans lack nutritious meals on a daily basis? Great Nations Eat is betting $100 million on a media campaign that it can.

Inspired by the 2012 documentary A Place At The Table, Great Nations Eat—in partnership with nonprofit Share Our Strength—is calling for a social media food strike at South by Southwest 2015, asking foodies to swap out the 25 million pictures of food posted daily on Instagram with its image.

The #FoodPicStrike hashtag is being plastered on napkins and distributed to Austin's food trucks and restaurants to "temporarily hack the food culture on Instagram,” according to Share Our Strength. The basic message: “America Can’t Be Great on an Empty Stomach.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple TV, P&G, Chanel and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 17, 2015 07:59 AM


Apple is negotiating with TV programmers (except for those owned by NBCU) to carry their networks for a standalone streaming service, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple Watch, meanwhile, adds tony Maxfield in Los Angeles to list of luxury retail partners.

P&G weighs sale or IPO of beauty brands, including CoverGirl and Walla, according to Bloomberg.

Chanel aligns global pricing structure ahead of e-commerce rollout.

Google salutes St. Patrick's Day with homepage doodle.

adidas is ready to let its NBA jersey deal expire.Continue reading...

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