brand revival

After Nike's Exit, LIVESTRONG Lands New Eco-Friendly Apparel Partner

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2014 05:16 PM

It may be fitting that the new apparel vehicle for LIVESTRONG is made from the valuable inner pith of the bamboo tree, because the LIVESTRONG foundation has been relying on its inner value as a brand and philanthropy vehicle helping cancer patients ever since its founder, mentor and original inspiration, Lance Armstrong, was totally discredited as an athlete and pitchman.

LIVESTRONG indeed has launched a new apparel partnership with tasc, which produces "all-natural" sports clothing by processing bamboo. tasc uses its "bamboo technology" to produce an entire range of men's and women's athletic wear ranging from tops to yoga pants.

Notably, tasc has come in to replace Nike, which originally dropped its sponsorship of the disgraced cyclist in late 2012 and then, after initially sticking with LIVESTRONG, last year announced that it would end its clothing-supplier relationship with the LIVESTRONG Foundation as well.Continue reading...

what's in a name

Is Your Brand FUCT? Lessons Learned from Scandalous and Disparaging Names

Posted by Courtney Cantor on August 13, 2014 12:33 PM

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has shot down a registration by the streetwear brand FUCT for the term "FUCT" for "athletic apparel," finding that the word is the phonetic equivalent (past tense) of that oh-so popular curse word sometimes called "the F-word" in polite company.

US Trademark Law prevents the registration of any trademark that "consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute," but what's "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous" is open to interpretation, of course.

The famed clothing brand French Connection faced no hardships in the US when registering for FCUK because it was an "acronym" for the brand's "French Connection UK" moniker, even though FUCT's trademark filing argued that it's a coined word and an acronym for "Friends U Can't Trust."

It is not uncommon for a company to push the boundaries of decency in its pursuit of a provocative brand name or logo, as FUCT founder Erik Brunetti (who last year published a book with Rizzoli about the brand's evolution as an in-your-face icon of skateboarding, graffiti and street culture) has stated was his intention. After all, as the popularity of TMZ and the Kardashians have shown us, the public is often captivated by a little bit of scandal.Continue reading...

campaigns

Gap Goes Cute and Dell Goes Cool for Back to School Season Campaigns

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2014 11:12 AM

With kids across the US trickling back to school over the next few weeks ahead of Labor Day, Gap is kicking its back-to-school campaign into high gear coming off a 2 percent sales boost in July. This year, the company is pulling out a major social effort tied to the brand's newest social presence, @GapKids

The launch of @GapKids includes a new contest, GapKids Class of 2014, that invites “parents to submit photos of their kids for the chance to be featured in a 2015 GapKids marketing campaign,” according to a company press release. All that enter will receive “a socially sharable moving image video of their child that encapsulates the GapKids aesthetic.” Gap has had a similar program, Casting Call, for the last six years, but this year's marks a much bigger investment in social media marketing.

The hope is that parents, who the National Retail Federation says will spend nearly $75 billion on back-to-school spending, will head to the @GapKids Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest channels to share and comment on parenting-related stories.Continue reading...

brand essence

Vans Goes Underground in London for Latest Brand Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 12, 2014 01:14 PM

Skateboarding culture is sometimes characterized as being underground, but Vans is taking the word a bit literally. The brand has just opened a skatepark beneath London's Waterloo Station in a spot known locally as the Old Vic Tunnels. The space, called House of Vans London, will also host house parties with a schedule of music performances, art and film screenings—and it’s all free of charge. What slacker isn’t going to love that?

“The House of Vans London is the physical manifestation of the cultures and creativity at the heart of the Vans brand. London is the perfect city to expand this original concept first established in Brooklyn and it’s an honor to take over this iconic venue from the Old Vic,” said Vans VP of marketing Jeremy de Maillard. “We’re looking forward to building on this legacy, working closely with the local communities and key stakeholders involved in the project.”

According to The Guardian, Vans beat out Apple and Nike for rights to the space and create a brand experience that's designed to "engage and inspire youth culture," one that's fortuitously close to London's infamous legal graffiti wall and the South Bank skatepark on the Thames.Continue reading...

brand essence

Made in USA, 21st Century Edition

Posted by Tom Shanahan on July 4, 2014 01:31 PM

When people think of the 4th of July, it’s fair to say that wide spectrum of things pop into their heads. America, our independence, the state of the union, flags, picnics, parties, and yes, those Budweiser American Flag cans.

Given that last example, it’s a perfect time to take a look at the new brands that are making things in the good ol’ U.S. of A., and ask ourselves, how are they doing it in today’s outsourced world, which are doing it best, and will they be able to continue well into the future?

There is a group of entrepreneurs that have been slowly—and strongly—making the case that this is possible, and using the value of brand to build a following and tell their story. The thinking: they can’t compete with countries that can churn out five times what we can for one-fifth the price, so they have to assure consumers that when they buy American, they’re buying quality.

Therein lies the answer to re-building America’s manufacturing arm: creating small-batch, quality-made goods that harken back to the good old days, when high prices meant nothing if they didn’t mean quality. Let’s take a look at a few that are doing it right.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Nike Risks Everything on Soccer Promotions as World Cup Kickoff Nears

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 9, 2014 02:10 PM

With the World Cup just four days away, millions of fans worldwide are gearing up to watch who will come out on top of the prestigious tournament—the same which goes for marketers who are waging millions of dollars on the global exposure. 

The battle between Nike and adidas, the world leader in football-gear sales, has played out across the screen for months leading up to the global sporting event, of which adidas is the official (and longtime) sponsor. But while adidas may have the edge for now, Nike has been gaining quickly thanks to its innovative technology and marketing strategies.

Today, Nike released a five-minute World Cup-themed short film, "The Last Game," featuring animated versions of the sport's best players, from Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo to Brazil's Neymar Jr., under the Nike Football campaign tagline, "Risk Everything." The film, Nike says, “tells the tale of a world where football has become bereft of risk and beauty, and only the world’s greatest players can save the game from extinction.”Continue reading...

sustainability

Amidst Denimgate, Levi's Breaks In New Green Jean Initiatives

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 23, 2014 12:23 PM

Levi Strauss & Co. created the first blue jeans in 1873, back when the concept of sustainability didn't exist. Now celebrating 141 years of its iconic 501 jeans, the brand continues to champion stylish, sustainable goodwill.

With just 15 percent of clothing and textiles being recycled in the US, Levi's recently partnered with the Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties and San Francisco State University's apparel design students to upcycle the brand's jeans that are used in the design review process. The initiative, which was launched in celebration of Earth Day, helped the Goodwill reduce waste in local landfills, and helped San Francisco on its journey to becoming a "zero waste" city by 2020. 

The project was just the latest patch added to Levi's worn in—and unwashed—pair of jeans.

Earlier this week, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh unwittingly unleashed a Denimgate for the brand by encouraging the audience at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference to stop washing their jeans, confessing (Anderson Cooper-style) that the pair he was wearing hadn't seen a washer/dryer in the last year—a comment he's now doubt regretting as it blew up on social and traditional media.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Pepsi Kicks the Ball Downfield with Soccer-Themed Clothing Collection

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2014 04:02 PM

In yet another timely play for soccer fever, Pepsi has launched a limited-edition clothing collection meant to capture the "art" and creativity behind soccer. 

The Live for Now Capsule Collection features clothing, accessories and electronics created by international designers including Original Penguin by Munsingwear, B&O PLAY, Gents, Goodlife, Del Toro and SHUT. 

The line, which overlaps Pepsi's "The Art of Football" initiative—celebrating soccer without being a FIFA World Cup sponsor—with its global Live for Now branding campaign, will be available at Bloomingdale's in the U.S., Colette in Paris, and Liberty in London.Continue reading...

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