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brand ambassadors

Campaign Watch: Toyota Releases Hugh Jackman Ads in China and Japan

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...

campaigns

Newcastle Brown Ale Touts July 3rd Holiday That Might Have Been

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2014 03:13 PM

The campaign: In a similar vein to Newcastle Brown Ale's tongue-in-cheek Super Bowl Mega Huge Football campaign with actress Anna Kendrick and former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson, this Fourth of July effort aims for the funnybone with two British celebrities—comedian Stephen Merchant and actress Elizabeth Hurley—and American actor Zachary Quinto of Star Trek fame. Web extras look at other ways (names, Mount Rushmore, English muffins, cabs) life might have been different.

The pitch: Newcastle makes the case that America would be better off if it had never split from Mother England in a continuation of last year's Independence Eve campaign: "Imagine how great it could have been. And imagine how much beer we could have sold. IfWeWon.com." Diluting the impact of the social marketing, there are two hashtags: #IfWeWon and #IndependenceEve. A Twitter typo in the latter likely didn't help.

The response: As with any celebrity-based effort, the brand hoped to target fans. Yet the celeb with the biggest social following didn't have the biggest pull.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Want More Mariah and Jay Z? Just Sip and Scan

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 24, 2014 07:20 PM

The world of celebrity-endorsed products knows no bounds. That's why Mariah Carey and Jay Z have teamed up with former Def Jam CEO Kevin Liles on two new, interactive beverages: Butterfly and 40/40. 

The beverage bottles deliver exclusive content to super-fans via the Go N'Syde app. “With Go N’Syde, an artist like Mariah can program this every day. She could say, ‘Hey I just got out of the studio, why don’t you go inside Butterfly with me right now?’ And then you’ll see her studio,” said Liles, now chief creative officer and exclusive Curator of Content for Go N’Syde.

Simply hold a smartphone up to a Go N’Syde bottle and an interactive menu appears, sans bar code or QR code, offering photos, videos, sweepstakes offers and more to fans, much like Lady Gaga tried to do with her community for her "Little Monsters." 

“We’re really creating it so that you get a real Mariah Carey life experience, by scanning the bottle and going inside,” he added. “So when you purchase a bottle you have an antenna into Jay Z or Mariah’s network, and that’s what’s so exciting about it.”Continue reading...

branding trends

Even Kanye Knows That the Key to Brand Advertising Success is Content

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 17, 2014 07:22 PM

The old Cannes is still on display; but while greying stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford were riding a tank into Cannes to promote the third installment of their blow-it-up series The Expendables, the young bucks were talking about branded content.

Most outspoken about the future of brands and messaging was—surprise, surprise—Kanye West.

In addition to offering to remake Instagram, West called out Samsung and BlackBerry for naming Alicia Keys "creative director." He also talked up Beats and praised Apple for its acquisition. But while West may have been most blunt, his message was in line with the rest of the Cannes community: the world needs more (and better) branded content.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Dead Celebrities are Big Business—But Should They Be?

Posted by Jacob Huval on June 3, 2014 11:02 AM

As with the reactions to Tupac Shakur’s 2012 appearance at Coachella, reactions to Michael Jackson’s recent holographic appearance at the Billboard Music Awards varied were a mixed bag, with some calling it more hollowgraphic than holographic and a “hollow tribute” at best. Whether you find it moving or morbid (and we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below), there's no question that it's big business. Jackson is the reigning top-earning late celebrity according to Forbes, which estimates his estate's earnings from June 2012 to June 2013 at $130 million.

There have been other such cases of digitally bringing celebrities back to life, of course: consider Audrey Hepburn in a Galaxy/Dove chocolate campaign, John Wayne in a Coors Light campaign, and Gene Kelly singing in the rain for Volkswagen. The controversy that such post-mortem celebrity-driven campaigns generate isn’t surprising—and may actually be part of the point since controversy generates more conversation about the ad and the brand that presented it.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

McDonald's New Mascot is All Teeth, Eyeballs and Terror

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 20, 2014 12:38 PM

McDonald's just wants things to go back to being happy, but the QSR brand's latest marketing move has done everything but. In an effort to boost sales and promote healthy additions to its Happy Meal product, the company introduced a new mascot, "Happy," an anthropomorphized Happy Meal box that proceeded to scare the bejesus out of everyone on social media. 

As the official Happy Meal brand ambassador, Happy is tasked with encouraging kids to enjoy fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy like McDonald's new Go-Gurt Low-Fat Strawberry Yogurt, but the character's online antics have distracted consumers from the new product launch. The character was first introduced in 2009 in France and has since traveled throughout Latin America and Europe, only to wash up on US shores with little fanfare. 

The reveal follows the makeover of McDonald's other (unsettling) mascot, Ronald McDonald, who was outfitted with some new attire last month. Surprisingly, the fast-food chain has chosen to ignore the cries of critics who fault McDonald's with selling less-than-healthy food to kids via cartoon characters.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

So Long, Jamie Lee: Activia Aims to Shake Up Marketing with Shakira

Posted by Dale Buss on March 12, 2014 02:07 PM

Danone dropped the other shoe in its repositioning of the flagging Activia brand worldwide -- and it's the Cinderella dance slipper of Shakira, the globally admired pop songstress. She will be the face of the company's biggest-ever dairy ad campaign under the tagline, "Feeling good starts from the inside."

The Shakira campaign (watch a behind-the-scenes video here) emphasizing the probiotic, digestive-health benefits of Activia will launch in 55 countries with print, outdoor and digital as well as TV ads featuring the Colombia-born singer and her new song, "Dare (La La La)." It helps takes the place of advertising that used to feature American actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who was phased out in January.

"For the first time we are using a global celebrity so we aim to have a global impact," Santiago Mier, CMO of Danone Dairy, told Reuters. "It's different also in the way we communicate with people, in a more modern and updated way."Continue reading...

red carpet

Coke Steals Pepsi's Thunder at Oscars Turned Ambush Marketing Awards

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 3, 2014 12:39 PM

Leonardo DiCaprio. Martin Scorsese. Meryl Streep. Julia Roberts. Oscar night 2014 was full of disappointment. But the biggest disappointment may have happened off-stage and off-camera, at the corporate headquarters of Pepsi and Samsung.

While both of the brands shelled out piles of money to be the official category advertisers for the Disney-owned ABC network telecast of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual ado—as the Oscars generate nearly $90 million in ad revenue—both also watched as their biggest rivals swooped in to ambush market their way into the spotlight.

When host Ellen DeGeneres ordered a few pies from local Los Angeles pizzeria Big Mama's & Papa's—whom she has previously ordered from on her own talk show—she likely had no idea she was about to insult the broadcast's official soda beverage sponsor, Pepsi. But when the pizzas showed up to feed the first few rows of celebs, so did a big Coca-Cola logo on the side of the pizza boxes.Continue reading...

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