Posted by Abe Sauer on April 24, 2013 10:47 AM
The upcoming re-imagined Great Gatsby 3D has a slew of roaring '20s brands going along for the ride. Moet & Chandon and MAC Cosmetics are listed among the film's partners in its official "Guide to Style." As is New York's Plaza Hotel, which will "celebrate the Roaring `20s with period-inspired affairs throughout the spring," while Brooks Brothers has released a special Gatsby collection. While not listed in the film's official style guide, Prada has its own major partnership and Gatsby-inpired line. Tiffany & Co. has embraced its tie-in as well.
But one needn't be at entertainment's high-end to grab a fashion line tie-in. Clothing brand Opening Ceremony partnered with Spring Breakers to release a line based on the exploitation film: "Accessories include unicorn bandanas, mesh backpacks, lighters, cotton beach towels, 'HARMONY' friendship bracelets, and 'SPRING BREAK 4EVER BITCHES' wristbands."
It's all part of a booming product placement business that grew 11.7 percent in 2012 and promises to get bigger this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2013 08:02 PM
It was inevitable that, as infotainment has risen in importance as a consideration for auto purchase, the value of the "info" part of infotainment would rise as well.
Now, that evolution has reached a likely and logical next step: Infiniti is making the information core of its concierge "personal assistant" service available to you even if you choose not to buy or drive an Infiniti.
The Nissan-owned luxury make, newly under the global leadership of Johan de Nysschen, has been telling dealers to give out free access to the Infiniti Personal Assist service as a tool to stimulate floor traffic, according to Automotive News. Dealers have been authorized to sign up showroom visitors for free 60-day trial subscriptions to the feature even if they have no interest in buying an Infiniti.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 22, 2013 07:36 PM
As Chinese consumers begin filtering into the Shanghai Auto Show this week, their desires and intentions are being dissected in every possible way by auto brands from around the globe that don't want to blow it in the world's largest auto market.
Behind the phalanx of new sheet metal, new brands, larger and more luxurious vehicles than before and, of course, ubiquitous, western-style fashion models adorning the platforms where the cars are displayed, European, American, Korean, Japanese and domestic Chinese brands are grappling with various approaches to a handful of key issues about the market in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2013 08:02 PM
There remain obstacles in doing it, but there's no denying the strong rush of foreign upscale automakers that are announcing plans to expand production in the United States these days.
Toyota is expected to confirm on Friday morning that it is moving production of its Lexus ES from southern Japan to Georgetown, Ky.; Nissan is looking to build a second US plant for its Infiniti brand, which already makes the JX SUV in Tennessee; and German luxury automakers each in their own ways are expanding American manufacturing footprints that used to be mainly afterthoughts. Mainstream players are participating in the trend too, such as Subaru, which is set to expand US production, presumably at its existing plant in Indiana.
For Toyota, one of the keys to its Lexus decision was several years of appreciation in the value of the yen, which made Japan manufacturing cost-prohibitive. Another key in the Lexus decision was recognition that, after decades of closing the gap, the quality standards apparent in US manufacturing by all brands, and by American workers, finally rivaled those established by Japan in the 80s.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 15, 2013 07:14 PM
Volvo owners always knew they were different from other consumers. Now, the brand is launching a new, integrated advertising campaign in the US that explicitly appeals to the non-materialistic, minimalist ethos which differentiates Volvo aficionados from buyers of other luxury and near-luxury brands.
In the process, Volvo brand stewards hope to finally begin turning around the sales of a franchise whose US results peaked a decade ago, when the company was owned by Ford, and have kept on sliding over the last few years as Ford lost interest and then, in 2010, sold Volvo to Geely, a large Chinese automaker, for $1.5 billion.
Volvo owners' "interpretation of luxury is different but very real," Tassos Panas, vice president of marketing and product planning for Volvo of North America, told brandchannel. "They're more into life's experiences, and more into a Scandinavian simple design [of vehicles] versus a lot of clutter. They are very much luxury customers and love luxury products, but they don't feel a need to impress others."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 12, 2013 01:04 PM
Above, Hitchcock H7N9 bird flu poster featuring Shanghai's skyline, via Weibo.
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: What's haunting Weibo?... Chicken woes for KFC... North Korean beer... New Zealand product placement... Audi's new branded film... Car plates... Skinny Uniqlo goes bigger... Inflation... Diaosi Mike Sui... Fan Bingbing for booze... Disneyland... Jordan gets countersued... Chinese spending in Europe... Former Google China head picks a fight with a 13-year-old... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 11, 2013 11:04 AM
Behind Robert Downey Jr. were three product logos during a recent junket to Beijing to promote Iron Man 3. One was Audi, one was FAW-Volkswagen and the other was TCL.
Iron Man 3 re-upped its deal with Audi, a deal we said complicates the product placement continuity across Marvel's Avengers property. One other Iron Man 3 partnership that could also cause future continuity issues is the film's big tie-in with China's tech brand TCL.
But this is not TCL's first dance with a US blockbuster. Once again, the brand is hoping to use its position as a Hollywood sidekick to springboard its way into foreign living rooms. It appears to be working and TCL might soon be one of those select few Chinese brands that have cracked foreign markets, even if those foreign markets don't know TCL is Chinese.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 9, 2013 01:37 PM
Audi along with other automakers has seen how infotainment features have risen like a rocket as consideration criteria for US luxury buyers lately. As Audi seeks to penetrate the ranks of upscale American Millennials—in general, and with its new, entry-level A3 sedan due out around the end of this year—the brand is making a new play for this crowd.
In partnership with T-Mobile, Audi is offering a new, $15-a-month data plan that will give drivers in-vehicle connectivity through the Audi Connect service, which includes access to Google Earth and Google Voice Local Search; news, weather and fuel prices; and a WiFi connection including broadband connectivity for up to eight devices in an Audi vehicle.
"We want people to be attracted by the price and to be able to keep their connection [to Audi Connect] alive continuously," Anupam Malhotra, senior manager of Connected vehicle for Audi of America, told brandchannel. "We can ensure continuity of support. And people don't have to deal with reminder-of-renewal e-mails or worry about whether the service is still active."Continue reading...