brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 25, 2012 01:09 PM
Greenpeace activists recently scaled the headquarters of the KFC headquarters building in Louisville, Kentucky to hang a giant banner with a Sumatran tiger saying: “KFC Stop Trashing My Home.” A second banner was deployed on the lake the KFC building, dubbed “the White House” due to its resemblance to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, overlooks, bearing a similar message.
“We're here today to expose KFC's secret recipe. KFC customers worldwide will be horrified to learn that the fast food giant is using rainforests to make its packaging,” said Greenpeace Forest Campaign Director, Rolf Skar, about the protest action, which has gone global including a protest stunt in China and London this week. “The decisions being made here at KFC HQ are fuelling the destruction of some of the world’s last remaining rainforests, driving climate change and pushing the Sumatran tiger closer to extinction.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 18, 2012 11:13 AM
Barbie’s lived high on the hog for generations now, riding around in her own beach buggy, horse and carriage, private jet, Vespa. When she hasn’t been traveling in style, she’s been hanging out by the pool or in her three-story, pinkariffic dream townhouse.
But she may need to put away her fancy dresses and modes of transport for the time being, roll up her sleeves, and get her well-manicured fingers to work. (To that point, she's now making another run at the White House with a presidential glampaign.)
In the first three months of this year, for the first time in 10 quarters, sales of Barbie products went down for Mattel, which directly hurt the company’s bottom line, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Part of the explanation: Toys “R” Us and Walmart cut back on Barbie products in the first quarter, and a few other Mattel lines, such as Hot Wheels, Cars, and Fisher-Price, didn’t do so well, either.Continue reading...
in it to win it
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 9, 2012 03:03 PM
Barbie, Mattel’s iconic model of curvaceous, blonde female beauty will very soon be bald. Next year, Barbie's world of dream houses, beauty salons and fancy cars will include chemotherapy.
A Facebook campaign titled "Beautiful and Bald Barbie" initiated by Jane Bingham, a young survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, asked Mattel to create a doll for kids who have lost their hair due to cancer or other medical reasons.
"One of the major reasons was to reduce the stigma for women and children who have hair loss — being not accepted to be able to go out in public without something covering their head, whether it be a wig or a scarf or that sort of thing," Bingham says. "Their beauty and their self-worth is not dependent upon their hair."
Mattel's initial response was cool: “Mattel doesn’t accept ideas from outside sources.” But after the campaign drew 158,000 likes and fans on social media recalled other Mattel initiatives like Tattoo Barbie, the toymaker relented, announcing the creation of the new (Friend of) Barbie doll by 2013. The toy comes accessorized with wigs, hats and scarves "to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience" said Mattel spokesman Alan Hilowitz. Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 6, 2012 11:44 AM
Kicking off this week's Brand Bites, model Bar Refaeli's new under.me lingerie line campaign channels an iconic cheeky tennis poster.
PETA take note: the Sierra Club's new "Coal Will Say Anything" campaign shows how it's done.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 29, 2012 01:03 PM
Johnson & Johnson’s Band-Aids have been around since 1920 and it feels like its logo has been around even longer. But now the iconic brand owned by Johnson & Johnson is changing its look a wee bit, something that hasn’t happened since the ‘80s.
There’s a new logo coming soon to a scraped knee near you. It's designed by Kevin Dresser of the New York design firm Dresser Johnson. The challenge: Since the iconic Band-Aid logo has been around for so long, the hope with the redesign is to show that the adhesive bandage has “a new direction that represented the future of the brand.” So Dresser created “a bolder, more distinctive look that better stands out on drugstore shelves,” J&J's press release notes.
"My goal for the logo restoration was to create a timeless design," stated Dresser. "Band-Aid is an iconic American brand. I wanted to honor that heritage and at the same time create something that feels contemporary and modern."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2012 10:17 AM
For generations, Lego has been considered a pretty unisex toy. You could build anything with those colorful little plastic blocks, but that was before big-time partnerships and licensing ever became truly part of the marketing equation.
When you walk into a toy store and look at the Lego shelves, it’s not too hard to find Lego products aligned with things that are traditionally marketed to boys, and lately they've been co-branded: Lego Harry Pottery, Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Alien Conquest, etc. The strategy helped Lego engineer a massive brand turnaround, making about $1 billion last year in the U.S. alone. The next step, naturally? Creating Lego lines aimed at girls.
Having dipped a toe in the water with pink boxes containing brightly colored bricks and flowers, Lego went all out with the launch of Lego Friends, a line expressly targeted to girls, that launched in December. Not everyone, however, is convinced that gender-specific Lego is the way to go.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2012 09:02 AM
Anheuser-Busch InBev considers bid for European brewer StarBev.
Apple defends rights to iPad name in Shanghai court.
Barnes & Noble sees profits crimped by digital investments.
Carbonite encourages planning for loss.
Comcast takes aim at Netflix.
Ford boosts pay for directors by 25 percent.
General Mills and Kraft promise to hold line on marketing spending in tough environment.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 15, 2012 12:04 PM
Today is the final day of the Toy Industry Association's 109th annual Toy Fair, wrapping up in New York with a power surge of touchscreens, apps and other tech-based entertainment (or edutainment) items designed to engage young minds — and open their elders' wallets. At a time when toy sales have been stagnant for the past several years, major toymakers and upstarts alike were banking on the whiz bang of tablets, interactivity, and apps to lift the industry from its doldrums.
This year's Toy of the Year at the fair is symbolic of the direction the industry is taking: LeapFrog's LeapPad Explorer Tablet, a $99 kid's version of a computer tablet introduced last February that was so popular retailers couldn't keep it in stock during the 2011 holiday selling season. LeapPad also won "Educational Toy of the Year" and "Preschool Toy of the Year."
The two leading toymakers, Hasbro and Mattel, both debuted app-related products at the Toy Fair. Hasbro updated its clasic board game, "The Game of Life," by promoting a version ("The Game of Life zAPPed," which is available now for $25) that resides on an iPad — literally. Download the app, place your iPad on the middle of the board and it serves as the "spinner" as swell as adding interactive games and videos to the fun.
Mattel's big entry into app-land is "Apptivity," a whole new toy line that turns the iPad into a live board game, by integrating such popular toys as Barbie dolls and Hot Wheel cars with tablet-based games. A child can race one of the new Hot Wheel cars on the screen of an iPad, or use Apptivity to enhance Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds game play.Continue reading...