Dumb Ways to Die Goes Plush for Public Safety Campaign Extension

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 21, 2014 03:46 PM

Last year, the marketing and advertising industry went nutty over Metro Trains Melbourne's "Dumb Ways to Die" cross-platform campaign by McCann Australia. The public safety campaign, which went viral thanks to a catchy song for its PSA ads, online game and addictive mobile app, took home top honors at Cannes Lions and continue to collect accolades, have now inspired a curious new line of products.  

Melbourne Metro has announced it's keeping the love going with a line of plush merchandise that is based on the characters in the campaign, and will be sure to appeal to kids of all ages in the same way that Uglydolls became a staple of dormitory rooms worldwide.

"We never set out for this to be a goal and it certainly didn't factor into anything around determining the creative," Metro General Manager-Corporate Relations Leah Waymark told Ad Age. "But countless people asked, 'Where can I get the t-shirt?' We had a lot of people who produce items approach us, from t-shirt makers to toy makers, to people who wanted to produce TV shows. But we narrowed it to what we thought would be most important, and that's the brand integrity."Continue reading...

With Global Nod, Ford Unveils Quintessentially American New Mustang

Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2013 11:45 AM

The new Ford Mustang is here, and for the first time ever, the half-century-old global icon of American-style automotive freedom has a global face. Ford officially launched its streamlined, modernized, sixth generation of the pony car today not only in its hometown of Dearborn, Mich., but also in New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Shanghai and Sydney.

On a day when (ironically, or deliberately, or both) cross-town rival GM announced that it was taking Chevrolet out of Europe and therefore diminishing its plans to make Chevy a global brand, Ford made sure that the formal launch of the long-awaited 2015 Mustang was a truly worldwide event.

In a first, the latest Mustang will be sold in Europe despite having remained very much an American project, Bloomberg said. Ford executives have shrugged at the thought of any risks that the car will be a tough sell in markets where it’s never competed.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Beer Vendors Struggling, Cerebral Palsy Ale, Australian Wine Dump and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 19, 2013 05:11 PM

Cubs’ Beer Vendors Hurting Like the Team

As the second half of the Major League Baseball seasons gets underway Friday, the Chicago Cubs are one of the worst teams in pro baseball. Dwindling attendance and down-trodden fans are having an effect on the club’s beer vendors.

Beer sales have been slipping for years at Wrigley and this one is no different. One vendor told ESPN that he’s down 15 percent in total earnings so far this year compared with last year. He’s had some games this year where he only sold two or three beer loads, which was once thought as ridiculously low. It doesn’t help that the club (and every other pro-sports team) keeps raising the price of a cup of beer (now $7.75 for Budweiser and Old Style products) and that people aren’t bothering to show up for games even when the tickets have already been purchased.

While the Cubs continue to be considered “loveable losers,” the vendors wouldn’t mind if the team decided to win a few. "People want to be attached to a winner," part-time vendor Nicolas Zimmerman told ESPN. "So when the Cubs start winning again, this will probably be the place to be again. But now, it just isn't."Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Singapore's Tigerair Strives for Renewed Reputation with Rebrand

Posted by Adeline Chong on July 9, 2013 01:07 PM

In Asia, the tiger is highly revered and seen as a symbol of strength, power, courage and energy. With its recent makeover and steps taken to improve its operations and customer service, it appears that the newly minted Tigerair intends to uphold the symbolism behind its name, leaping tiger in its logo or not.

The low-cost, Singapore-based carrier formerly known as Tiger Airways announced its rebranding earlier this month, complete with a new, more subtle logo and a renewed approach to consumer relations. The airline will now allow passengers to make changes to bookings online and have also announced mobile and web check-in for all passengers—services already widely available on competing low-cost carriers like Air Asia. The carrier hopes to get a leg up on competition though with its new call center—an ammenity that other airlines don't offer in the region—to field customer inquiries and opinions.

Tigerair CEO Koay Peng Yen told brandchannel, “We hope to be able to better connect with our customers through our new brand personality—warm, passionate and genuine. We will also strive to deliver more positive experiences to our customers by improving our service quality.”Continue reading...

brand innovation

Microsoft Unites Rugby Fans with Skype-Enabled 'Hole in the World' Activation

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 28, 2013 02:36 PM

Sports rivalries can get pretty intense when fans take to the streets, but Microsoft has found a way to make a series of rugby matches between Australia and Wales into not just a peaceful exchange between rivals, but one of the coolest fan interactions ever.

To celebrate a series of matches between the Australian and UK rugby sides, the Seattle-based tech brand is using its Skype technology to enable a virtual "Hole in the World" that allows supporters from both countries to look into an eight-foot-wide “hole” and see fans from the other side, in real-time, thus creating an opportunity for exchanges between the two groups.Continue reading...

Ford Launches New Campaign in Europe as It Plans to Shutter Aussie Output

Posted by Dale Buss on May 23, 2013 04:28 PM

The picture for Ford and other automakers in the US market continues to look pretty good, but Europe remains a very challenging market. So Ford is launching a major new European advertising campaign this weekend tied to the "Super Bowl" of the continent's favorite sport, soccer.

Ford of Europe is leveraging the hugely popular 2013 UEFA Champions League Final football match on Saturday to begin a new effort—one of the biggest so far under its worldwide "Go Further" positioning unveiled last year—that emphasizes technologies available across all or much of Ford's product lineup rather than focusing, as usual, on individual nameplates.

A TV audience of 150 million people across Europe is expected for the finals at London's Wembley stadium, where perimeter boards at the game also will direct viewers to a new website that includes entertaining videos and information about the featured technologies.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Coca-Cola Gets Personal in Europe with "Share a Coke" Campaign

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 15, 2013 02:42 PM

Summertime is a great time for sharing soft drinks—and Coca-Cola wants to make the most of it in a very personal way with the "Share a Coke" campaign, launching across Europe this month.

"This month we're swapping our names with yours," proclaims the world's leading soft drink in a concept that has a country's most popular names showing up on Coca-Cola bottle labels. In Great Britain, for example, Coke bottles on shelves this summer will feature 150 of the UK's most popular names. In addition, Share a Coke vending machines will be on tour so Coke fans can personalize their very own Coca-Cola or Coke Zero bottle. The company is also encouraging Facebook users to create a virtual personalized Coke can to share with someone.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Greenpeace Goes After Coca-Cola in Ongoing Recycling Battle in Australia

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 03:47 PM

Greenpeace is targeting Coca-Cola in its latest campaign, a crowd-funded TV ad that is a call-to-action for Australia’s "Cash for Containers" recycling program, which they say the giant bottler has sabotaged. “Behind Coke’s slogans and sunshine, the beverage giant is trashing Australia,” said Reece Turner, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 

In March, Coca-Cola won its court case to stop a recycling refund scheme in the Northern Territory—a program that doubled recycling rates and has run successfully in South Australia for more than 30 years, according to Greenpeace. The program added 10 cents to retail prices for manufacturers like Coke, but consumers would get a refund for recycling the containers in appropriate bins. 

Clean Up Australia estimates that Australians use between 13 to 14 billion drinks containers a year and that 45 percent of the plastic waste that is collected on Clean Up Australia Day is beverage industry-related. “This loose rubbish is estimated to affect up to 65 percent of Australian seabirds. Some mistake the plastic for food. When they swallow too much, their tiny stomachs become so full they're unable to ingest any food—literally starving to death on a full stomach,” according to Greenpeace.Continue reading...

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