Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2013 07:31 PM
Many of our questions about Super Bowl advertising storylines are already answered days ahead of the Big Game itself.
Few of the ads will still have us hanging on the edges of our couches, waiting to see how the commercial ends and wondering how all the strands of the plot or the joke or the jolt will be resolved.
Is that a good thing? Brand after brand is betting it is. Here are some recent developments:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 05:45 PM
Unilever's recent sale of its Skippy peanut butter brand in North America was just one indication of how slow-growing food businesses have begun to weigh down the global CPG giant.
Today's earnings report underscored that difficulty for Unilever: Fourth-quarter sales of Ben & Jerry's, Knorr soups and other Unilever food brands rose only 1.3 percent as consumers in debt-laden U.S. and Western Europe markets continue to pare back their supermarket purchases.
On the other hand, Unilever's business in Asia, Africa and Latin America demonstrated enough strength that the company was able to report an overall 5.4 percent rise in net profit for the period. In those markets, its revenues accelerated in home and personal-care items such as surface cleaners, soap and deodorant.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 02:03 PM
The Axe Apollo Big Game Sweepstakes is "the most ambitious thing we've ever done with the brand" in Axe's 30-year existence, Matthew McCarthy, senior brand development director for Axe North America, told brandchannel.
And it's no wonder: the plan is to launch 22 people into space — or at least up to 64 miles, achieving weightlessness for up to six minutes — next year.
But don't pin this envelope-pushing campaign on any desire by the Unilever-owned brand to try to one-up Red Bull's recent Stratos stunt, in which Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner fell more than 128,000 feet to Earth.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 22, 2013 05:05 PM
Super Bowl XLVII may be unique in that one of the biggest potential branding opportunities has suddenly materialized less than two weeks before the Big Game. And the opportunity is called the Brothers Harbaugh.
It seems unlikely that even the biggest brands would be able to land a deal with Jim or John Harbaugh, or both, this close to the Super Bowl, given that each is now consumed with how to beat the other's team -- and that, for the winner at least, there should be plenty of endorsement opportunities after the game.
But some marketers may be able to figure out how to tie themselves tangentially at least, maybe even convincingly, to what already has become the most intriguing Super Bowl story line perhaps in decades: the mutual success and striving of two accomplished opposing coaches, less than two years apart in age, who happen to be siblings. They're also young for their profession, telegenic, well-spoken and smart.
So we await news on Brother International or some other less obvious brand figuring out how to tap into all of that. In the meantime, there are plenty of other brands gearing up for a Super Bowl lift ahead of Game Day, including Mercedes-Benz.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 10, 2013 05:31 PM
As we reported on Wednesday, Unilever's AXE brand is launching a Red Bull-challenging space program related to its new line of Apollo men's personal care products — taking 22 fans (men only, sorry ladies) from around the world to the edge of space as part of its Apollo Space Academy program in December 2013.
The last day to apply is February 3rd (aka Super Bowl Sunday) at AxeApollo.com (terms and conditions are here) or LynxApollo.com in the UK, Ireland and Australia, where Axe is sold as Lynx.
Below, watch Buzz Aldrin announce the AXE Apollo Space Academy (Lynx Apollo Space Academy to some), along with related videos and commercials related to Axe's new Apollo product line and contest:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2013 06:26 PM
Axe has made its reputation with edgy advertising that makes no bones about why it believes young men should use it — to attract women to them as if they're sexually magnetized.
Now, the Unilever brand is pushing the envelope just a bit more in two ways: entering the Super Bowl advertising derby, and launching a Red Bull-esque promotion in which it promises to send 22 people just to the edge of space, with the tagline: "Leave a man, come back a hero."
The Super Bowl ad doesn't seem like such a big deal in comparison, but it will be for Axe. The brand will be airing a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl titled "Lifeguard" which, according to a press release, "includes a twist at the end" that aligns with a larger creative campaign scheduled for launch this month.
That other creative campaign — which Gaston Vaneri, Axe brand director, promised would take the brand "to new heights" — involves what it's calling the Axe Apollo Space Academy. The brand's new online contest promises to send winners to the edge of space and back aboard a private craft: a Lynx space plane built by the U.S. company XCOR Aerospace and operated by the tourism firm Space Expedition Curacao.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 17, 2012 01:01 PM
With the Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans just seven weeks away, more brands are announcing and making their decisions about TV spots and about the ever-broadening advertising environment around the Big Game. CBS is working to sell the last handful of spots for the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII from New Orleans, and Ad Age reports that ad packages are going for an average of $3.7 million to $3.8 million. A few of the latest:
MillerCoors is sneaking through the back door into the Super Bowl using a tactic that other advertisers, including auto brands, have used over the years: buying up regional and local TV time. In the brewer's case, it has purchased time during the game on local TV stations in the Great Lakes and Southeast for a 15-second ad for Redd's Apple Ale, an apple-flavored malt beverage that it began testing over the summer, Ad Age reports. MillerCoors can't do national Super Bowl buys because Anheuser-Busch InBev is the exclusive beer sponsor of the NFL, meaning it gets to bring back its Bud Light Hotel to the Big Easy among other cross-promotion around the game.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2012 01:32 PM
Japan experienced a "lost decade" of economic stagnation in the Nineties, and that was bad enough. But now the CEO of Unilever warns that Europe's slump may end up lasting at least that long. And that means Unilever and the rest of the CPG industry will continue having to adapt to it.
"We are in for at least 10 years of slow economic growth in Europe, and I don't see that changing" after the continent already has been slumping for a few years, Paul Polman told Bloomberg. "The key thing is to see reality in the eye."
And while Polman looks for continued difficulties in the Dutch company's close European market, which accounts for about 25 percent of its $65 billion in annual sales, he also doesn't like what he sees — and foresees — in the economy of the U.S., for which Unilever now depends for about 16 percent of sales.Continue reading...