Ford Looking to Sustain Social Buzz, But No More Prelaunch in Primetime

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2012 04:02 PM

Ford has taken some arrows as the auto industry's social-media-marketing leader, most notably around a staged press conference in Sept. 2011 that was pushed out on social media. But for the most part, the automaker's social aggressiveness has helped it conquer new territory. Becoming an acknowledged trailblazer in the arena also has helped Ford sidestep potential problems that can attend companies if they get too far out on social-media limbs.

"Ford being well-respected ... in the social space, has given us an added level of credibility and it has given us a legion of fans who actually act as our eyes and ears and who can flag stuff for us," Scott Monty, Ford's director of social media, told Business Insider. People are "looking out for our best interests and will say, you know, 'You guys might want to take a look at this.'" Including, evidently, the company's CEO.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Paper Cuts: Staples Closes Stores in Shift to E-tailing

Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2012 04:07 PM

For decades, pundits have been saying that the rise of the computer would vanquish paper to the trash shredder of history. But they haven't been right.

Maybe, that is, until now. Because the whole issue of the feasibility of paper products may have reached a tipping point with the news that Staples is realigning its retail and e-tail strategy in a massive rethinking of its business.

The company announced that it "will integrate its retail and online offering, increase investment in its online businesses, reorganize its operations, implement leadership changes, initiate a multi-year cost savings plan, and restructure its International Operations."

Specifically, it plans to slash its U.S. store footage by 15 percent and invest the savings in its e-tailing business. In addition to shrinking its U.S. retail footprint, it's closing 45 stores in Europe. It's also rebranding its Australian business "as it continues to move toward one global brand."Continue reading...

brand launch

Is Apple's Brand Lost? Yes, If It's Using iOS 6

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 21, 2012 10:14 AM

Everyone wants to tear down the guy at the top. But in a matter of a month, Apple has made that work a lot easier. And for once, it has nothing to do with China. Well, not Foxconn anyway.

First, Apple's court win over Samsung for patent infringements met with "rounded corner" derision with the brand seen as an anti-innovation patent bully (a German court ruling today puts the patent wars ball back in Samsung's court). Then, there is the ongoing iOS 6 Google Mapsgate. And now, Apple has been accused of jobbing its fans to promote the iPhone 5 release.

But really, it's all about the maps. The stupid, stupid maps.Continue reading...


Toyota Unveils New Slogan: "Let's Go Places"

Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2012 06:33 PM

Just in time to further boost Toyota's comeback in the U.S. market, the Toyota brand has come up with a new tagline — "Let's Go Places" — that it's promoting starting today on its website and other messaging.

As an exercise in gauging the wisdom of switching to a new advertising slogan, quick — what has Toyota's tagline been lately? Of course, this lack of memorability of its marketing message is one big reason for Toyota's new move. It's been "Moving Forward" since 2004. 

Another reason is that the automaker wanted to reflect what it called, in a statement, its "commitment to more exciting products." Over the last several years, a paucity of new sheetmetal, and the relative lack of excitement created by the new products Toyota did introduce, have been as responsible for the brand's swoon in the U.S. market as its 2010 troubles with recalls and its problems last year as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.Continue reading...

fashion week

Woolite Pops Up at New York Fashion Week, Woolmark on Anne Geddes Calendar

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 11, 2012 11:02 AM

While fashionistas bring their stilettos to the streets of New York for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week spring runway shows, wool is likely one of the last fabrics on their minds.

Woolite is hoping to change that, opening its first pop-up store in New York's Soho district an extra week, through Sept. 16. The installation promotes the brand's new laundry detergent — all of the items sold in the store have been washed in the detergent and carry its distinctive scent — and will be promoted with a Twitter party today.

According to the press release,

True to the brand's campaign slogan, "WooliteWashed. Clothes look like new, longer", each item showcased will be washed in Woolite® so that consumers can experience firsthand and be amazed by the brand's product benefits. Consumers will be able to purchase limited-edition garments and accessories (which have been) pre-washed in Woolite, from five notable designers – Dannijo, Felix Rey, LNA, Laundry by Shelli Segal, and Timo Weiland. Items will retail from $28-$60, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Save the Children, a non-profit creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world.

Halfway around the world, one of wool’s top wool-producing nations and trademarks – Woolmark – has partnered with famed Australian photographer Anne Geddes, who has made a name for herself taking photos of babies in flowers and other fairytale-like settings, “to photograph them nestling in cradles of wool,” as Stock and Land notes, for a 2013 calendar that features what may be the cutest interpretation of a logo ever.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Cap in Hand, SABMiller Apologizes For Reformulating Australia’s VB Beer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 6, 2012 04:09 PM

Victoria Bitter beer used to rule the roost in Australia, but that was before some marketing genius at Carlton & United Breweries decided to go all New Coke on the poor suspecting brewski drinkers Down Under and changed their beloved VB's recipe. It turned out, of course, to not be such a good idea. Why mess with success?

That was way back in 2007 and, since then, VB has, of course, fallen to second place in Australia behind Kirin Holdings Co.’s XXXX Gold, according to Bloomberg Businessweek

SABMiller acquired Carlton & United last year and now they are undoing the damage done, Businessweek reports. The old formula will be back in action starting in October and the alcohol content will go up from 4.6 percent to 4.9 percent from October this year.

To commemorate the event, SAB bought ads in Australia’s largest daily newspaper, the Herald Sun, that read, “We Got It Wrong.” Thanks for the newsflash, fellas.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Giant, Apple, Björn Borg, Scotland, Australia and Bentleys

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 31, 2012 12:19 PM

China is the second latest economy in the world, every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse!); but who's got the time?! A weekly potpourri of ten reads that will make you look like a keen China observer during any conversation about China.

Apple, Björn Borg, Scotland and Australia, Ford, Hermes, brand colors, Bentleys, deleted photos of China's leader riding a Taiwanese bicycle and more... Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: NFL Women, Ben & Jerry's, Nike and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 15, 2012 08:53 AM

In the News

Ad Age honors China's women to watch.

AT&T faced with technicians' class action suit; promotes anti-texting campaign.

Axe brand releases music track.

Ben & Jerry's gets a boost on Robert Pattinson's The Daily Show segment.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports next-generation toilets.

Condoleeza Rice and Serena Williams endorse new NFL women's clothing line.

Facebook tests promoted newsfeed posts for non-fans.Continue reading...

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