brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 10, 2014 11:46 AM
The start of the NFL season should be a celebratory time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but this year is a bit different thanks to TMZ’s timely release of a tape of former Baltimore Raven's running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancée inside an elevator in a (now shuttered) Atlantic City casino.
The Ravens released Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely (after first only serving him a two-game suspension), but the outcry is loud over how poorly Goodell and the league handled the serious situation. In light of the most recent revelations, Rice's many endoresement deals are disappearing—including the biggest of them all, Nike.
While Rice’s wife, Janay Palmer, expressed her support for her husband and outrage over the amount of publicity her private life has received, not too many others are offering up support for the 27-year-old.
Fans, in particular, were outraged by his actions and retailers including Modell’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and NFL.com immediately removed Rice’s jersey from shelves, while the Ravens announced that they will allow fans to exchange Rice jerseys later this month, as brands move to quickly distance themselves from the debacle.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 4, 2014 12:04 PM
Two giants of Chinese celebrity stand to be big losers if a new product endorsement law in China is enforced. (It won't be, but humor us.)
First, there is Jackie Chan, the acrobatic movie star who never uses a stunt double or met a product he wouldn't pitch.
The other is recently minted mega-star Fan Bingbing, who seems just as happy as the face of Louis Vuitton, L'Oreal, Cartier and Moet and Chandon as the face of a local laundry detergent and Lu Shou ("Thin Green") weight loss pills (below). Fan is also a fervent video gamer, apparently.
And then there are the foreigners.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 3, 2014 03:52 PM
Nationwide Insurance goes by many names these days, including Allied Insurance, Harleysville Insurance and Veterinary Pet Insurance, among others. But now the Columbus, Ohio-based company is uniting all of its brands under its largest, and most well-known name.
“The Nationwide brand is the core and embodiment of who we are as a company, and research shows it is our best-known asset,” said Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen in a press release. “We plan to leverage this asset to shine the spotlight on all of the products and solutions we offer.”
In addition, the company is introducing an updated version of the Nationwide "N" and Eagle brand mark that aim to bring to mind the company’s history and 50-year-old tagline, “Nationwide is on your side.” The full shift to the new logo and name will take 18 months.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2014 03:53 PM
Kia is bringing back its popular hamsters in a new TV ad campaign. While there has been criticism that the first commercial is sort of creepy, Kia might encounter a bigger challenge as it touts the new 2015 electrified version of its Soul model: to mix mammalian metaphors, is the brand barking up the wrong tree with this vehicle?
For now, Kia is generating excitement with the news that it is bringing back the six-year-old crew of hamsters that have entertained Super Bowl TV audiences, among others. They will be promoting the Soul EV with a music-harged commercial featuring Maroon 5's new single, "Animals," and a story line that has the lovable rodents creating sexy hamster companions in the laboratory. There's also a free iPad app that lets users digitally investigate the new car's features.
The ad will debut on the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday. Michael Sprague, Kia's North American chief, told USA Today that the spot will tap into "geek chic" as it focuses on lab-bound hamsters at first attempting to transform a gas-powered Soul into an EV—and ending up creating a leggy female of their species.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 11, 2014 06:37 PM
Aunt Jemima stares down from grocery-store shelves with a beatific smile, but the woman who is supposedly the inspiration behind the brand has at least one great grandchild who isn’t too happy.
Last year, the progeny of Anna Short Harrington, whose descendants argue that she was the inspiration behind the Aunt Jemima brand and recipe and whose likeness served as the model for the brand, which was bought by Quaker Oats in 1935, discovered that the company “had trademarked Harrington's likeness and picture in 1937" and "determined that they were owed royalties,” Reuters reports.
Harrington's great-grandson, D.W. Hunter, filed a $2 billion lawsuit on August 5 against Quaker Oats Co., PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats, Pinnacle Foods and Hillshire Brands Co., for exploiting Harrington's image and recipe for years without paying an "equitable fair share of royalties" to her family.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 11, 2014 04:29 PM
Acura sedan sales have been lagging and the launch of its new one, TLX, was delayed from spring to this month. So brand executives are counting on Acura's biggest-ever launch marketing campaign and its huge digital elements, beginning next week, to reverse the slide, accelerate Acura sales to a gain for the year, and re-establish bona fides in the luxury-sedan market in the US.
Meanwhile, brand sibling Honda has been spending the end of summer attempting to squeeze every possible sale out of seasonal-clearance mode with its clever short-term "Cheerance" marketing campaign and an aggressive effort to prod its dealers.
Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of an Acura division that has been newly separated from Honda marketing, told reporters that the aim of introducing the all-new TLX mid-sized sedan is nothing less than restoring Acura's once-respectable place in the sedan segment as it replaces current slow-selling TL and TSX models and joins the flagship new RLX sedan that was introduced last year.
And he's pulling out all the stops, including a relationship with Ludacris, to do it.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2014 06:20 PM
will.i.am is not afraid to share his creative vision with any brand willing to pay to hear his thoughts. The artist formerly known as Michael Adams has previously helped Intel and Coca-Cola shape their creative vision and new products and is now lending himself to Lexus Europe.
Lexus Europe is launching a new Lexus NX model and will.i.am will design his own limited-edition “sharply styled, premium, mid-size SUV” as part of it, according to Marketing Magazine. He’ll also star in the brand's Striking Angles campaign.
"We’re really excited to be working with will.i.am,” said Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe, Marketing Magazine reports. “His unrivalled passion for design and innovation, coupled with his incredible creativity, makes him the perfect partner for our Lexus NX 'Striking Angles' campaign."
But this isn't the artist's first rodeo with Lexus. Only a month ago, Lexus sponsored Pyramidi, “the debut gallery artwork by will.i.am,” according to The Auto Channel. The artwork was displayed at a gallery in London and “explores the interface between analogue and digital music in a live gallery experience featuring project-mapped visuals accompanied by a new song composed by will.i.am.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 31, 2014 02:16 PM
David Duchovny isn't the Hollywood star who's moonlighting as a pitchman overseas—though Hugh Jackman's foreign-language star turn is likely to be less controversial.
Between stints as Wolverine, Jackman has become the new face of Toyota in Japan and China. In a new spot, below, Jackman stars as "Levin" in a short film that also stars Taiwanese actress Shu Qi as "Cynthia" and just debuted at a special event in China.
The Aussie actor joins other Hollywood leading men taking a spin in China for auto brands including Nicolas Cage in the Senova brand "Town of Car Legends" for BAIC (Beijing Auto) and George Clooney, who whisked away Bonnie Chen for Mercedes-Benz.
Watch Jackman's new Toyota China spot along with another spot in which he (literally) sings the praises of Toyota in Japan:Continue reading...