brand ambassadors

Campaign Watch: Toyota Releases Hugh Jackman Ads in China and Japan

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 31, 2014 02:16 PM

David Duchovny isn't the Hollywood star who's moonlighting as a pitchman overseas—though Hugh Jackman's foreign-language star turn is likely to be less controversial.

Between stints as Wolverine, Jackman has become the new face of Toyota in Japan and China. In a new spot, below, Jackman stars as "Levin" in a short film that also stars Taiwanese actress Shu Qi as "Cynthia" and just debuted at a special event in China.

The Aussie actor joins other Hollywood leading men taking a spin in China for auto brands including Nicolas Cage in the Senova brand "Town of Car Legends" for BAIC (Beijing Auto) and George Clooney, who whisked away Bonnie Chen for Mercedes-Benz.

Watch Jackman's new Toyota China spot along with another spot in which he (literally) sings the praises of Toyota in Japan:Continue reading...

retail

Apple's Ahdrendts Scores Victory with EU Trademark for Store Designs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 10, 2014 03:39 PM

Apple scored a victory in an EU court ruling today, allowing the company to register the layout of its retail stores in Europe as a trademark, extending its intellectual property right that it acquired in the U.S. in 2010.

EU's top court said Apple's flagship stores fulfilled requisite trademark criteria: they constitute a sign, can be represented in a graphic and distinguish goods or services of one company from another. In its global expansion, Apple met resistance from German authorities last year, took the issue to court, and it eventually came before the European Court of Justice, the final arbiter on EU law.

"From this the Court concludes that the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," the court’s judgment said.

Going forward, new Apple stores will have a slightly different look.Continue reading...

lather, rinse, rebrand

Juicy Couture Rebrands to Recapture Global Fashionista Appeal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2014 04:41 PM

Juicy Couture, once the uniform of pseudo-celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, rose to enormous fame as the darling of the 2000s' teen fashion queens. 

But with the passing of the Millennium also came the fall of the fashion brand, which slipped deeper and deeper into shopping mall oblivion over the last decade as its label was dropped from Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Parent company Fifth & Pacific sold it to Authentic Brands Group—the owner of trademark rights to such dead celebs as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe—back in September, relinquishing any remaining high-end appeal when it landed on Kohl's racks two months later. 

With plans to shut down its remaining storefronts by the end of this month, it seems the brand has little life left in it. But that's not the case, as Authentic Brands has grand plans to relaunch the brand both in the US and abroad with new looks, merchandise and partnerships.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Brazil May Be the Host, But World Cup Ad Effect is Felt Globally

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 16, 2014 04:03 PM

The World Cup isn’t just bringing consumer attention to one sporting event—it's bringing major dollars to ad markets across the globe.

Media buyer ZenithOptimedia said the World Cup will “add as much as $500 million to the Latin American ad market this year, a further $300 million in the US and $300 million in Western Europe,” according to the International Business Times. The Asia Pacific region, however, will only see $250 million in related ad spend since the time difference between Brazil and the region makes it hard for consumers to watch the tournament. 

"The World Cup will provide a big boost to television in June and July, but we expect its share of the global advertising market to begin to fall this year, after peaking in 2013," said ZenithOptimedia. "Television's global market share rose slowly but steadily for decades, increasing from 29.9 percent in 1980 to 39.6 percent in 2013. We now expect its share to erode to 39.4 percent in 2014 and 38.3 percent by 2016.” Television ad spend is expected to keep rising at an average of 4.4 percent a year to 2016, but internet advertising is growing at 16.2 percent annually.

But Lou Aversano, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather New York, told Bloomberg that the World Cup is a worthy risk for brands looking to use the platform for advertising, as this year's social activity around the Cup has already surpassed that of 2010 tournament.Continue reading...

tech innovation

I'm A(I) Pepper: SoftBank Debuts Personal (and Affordable) Robot

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2014 05:47 PM

If you're lonely, you'll soon be able to buy yourself a friend. Asia telecom giant SoftBank and Aldebaran Robotics have introduced Pepper, the world’s first robot “with a heart.”

“For the first time in the history of humans and the history of robots, today is the day we take up the challenge of giving emotions to robots,” SoftBank Corp. chief executive Masayoshi Son said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Today will be a historic day when you look back hundreds of years from now.”

Pepper has two big eyes, human-like hands and stands slightly taller than 3-foot 9-inches. It supposedly can sense human feelings, like while at the press conference, as a number of cameras were flashing, the robot asked Son, “Aren’t you dizzy?”Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Visa, MasterCard Team Up to Push for Better Credit Data Protections

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 06:42 PM

As more information and new reports of data hacks continue to pour in, striking major retailers like Target, Neiman Marcus and others, the US is becoming increasingly aware of the many dangers associated with using debit and credit cards

MasterCard and Visa, whose businesses are eroded every time a consumer’s information is stolen, have decided to take action and are leading an effort to form a “cross-industry group to improve security for card transactions and press US retailers and banks to meet a 2015 deadline to adopt technology that would make it safer to pay with plastic,” Reuters reports.

Other members of the group include credit unions, banks, retailers, and industry trade associations, which are initially pushing for the implementation of technology already used in Europe and Asia—EMV cards—which “store information on computer chips rather than on traditional magnetic strips, making them harder to counterfeit,” according to the wire service.Continue reading...

brand partners

After a Two-Year Courtship, Facebook Buys WhatsApp to Connect the World

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2014 10:57 AM

In its largest acquisition to date, Facebook announced Wednesday that it will buy mobile messaging juggernaut WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, a massive landgrab that will cement Facebook's international growth plans. 

Widely used in Europe, India and elsewhere for sending text, images, audio and video messages over the internet for free, WhatsApp has 450 million active users, and adds nearly 1 million new users everyday that send over 50 billion messages daily. And while Facebook may rule the messaging roost in the US and Canada, WhatsApp was too far ahead of the international game for Facebook to even consider trying to play catch-up. 

With a youthful user-base that is snapping up mobile technology across emerging markets in Asia, South America and Africa, it's a safe bet to say that most of them will be using a Facebook-owned app in the future despite their growing habits to eschew mainstream social networks like Facebook itself. 

The huge move is indicative of Facebook's coming of age, the New York Times notes: "The company intends to acquire or build a family of applications instead of simply buttressing its core social network."Continue reading...

china

Coming Off a Record Year, Hong Kong's Disneyland Looks to Expand Offerings

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 18, 2014 12:52 PM

Hong Kong Disneyland wasn’t an immediate hit when it opened back in 2005, but things appear to have taken a turn for the better for the theme park. It doubled its net profits last year while setting a new attendance record, Variety reports, and it now plans to open a third hotel.

The park, a joint venture 52 percent owned by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and 48 percent owned by a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., brought in $31.2 million in the financial year that ended in September 2013. Attendance was up to 7.4 million, a 10 percent jump over the previous year, and more importantly, spending per head increased by 6 percent. 

“Steady growth was registered across the three main sources of guests from the local community, mainland China and international markets, with the latter two accounting for about two-thirds of total guests,” said Andrew Kam, HKDL managing director.

The park's hotel occupancy rates have been consistently over 90 percent over the last three years, giving the park confidence to open up a new, 750-room hotel in 2017 that will have an exotic locations theme. The new accomodations will bring the park's room number up to 1,750.Continue reading...

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