Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 1, 2013 03:50 PM
For decades, the eponymous mascot of Chuck E. Cheese has appeared to the general public as an extremely sizeable mouse that’s eaten a little too much of the famed restaurant’s pizza. For a time, the guy even carried a cigar around with him. But in a world that has heard a steady drumbeat against child obesity, it hasn’t exactly looked good to have a mascot who looked like he could lose a few pounds.
On Tuesday, Chuck E. Cheese execs and shareholders at the CEC Entertainment’s annual meeting in Texas met a slimmed-down version of Mr. Cheese, whose transformation began last year when his illustrated form changed shape in advertising and signage to become a lot more rock star than his past version.
With the change came the disappearance of the man who was his longtime voice, Duncan Brannan, and the introduction of Jaret Reddick as the new voice of Cheese, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Reddick, of course, is the lead singer of pop-punk band Bowling for Soup, which has a few albums Cheese execs probably wouldn’t want their mascot singing on, such as “Drunk Enough to Dance” and “A Hangover You Don’t Deserve.”
Changing the mascot may be the simplest thing CEC does this year. The 36-year-old company announced in February that its profits fell 20.7 percent to $43.6 million in fiscal year 2012. That’s a little surprising for a brand that was just named the No. 1 kid-friendly restaurant by Technomic's Consumer Restaurants Brand Metrics, based on customer surveys over the last two years.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 30, 2013 01:35 PM
Most Americans had never heard of Jason Collins before Monday. Even the large majority of NBA fans wouldn’t have immediately placed him, even though he’s played on six teams over the course of 12 seasons. Now he’s going down in the history books as the first active male athlete on a major US sports team to reveal he's gay.
After breaking the news on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the social web lit up with support for the Washington Wizards center, who said he first contemplated coming out during the 2011 lockout, and then was further motivated by the Boston Marathon bombings.
Thankfully, the sporting community and the world in general have changed a lot in recent years, as those that have come before Collins—like the NBA's John Amaechi and tennis legend's Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King—faced harsh criticism from peers and big financial losses from sponsors.
But as for Collins, his announcement will likely be followed up by a multitude of endorsement deals from top brands and maybe even a new contract for next season.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 26, 2013 02:30 PM
When you’re as big a star as Beyonce, you can pick and choose your gigs, and that includes what causes you lend your money (and fame) to.
The star's latest philanthropic engagement is with Goodwill. The charity will collect donations at stops on Beyonce's Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, with proceeds from the sale of the items going towards Goodwill efforts to help unfortunate individuals find jobs. In further collaboration with CharityBuzz.com, ticket packages to the tour will be auctioned, with all proceeds going to Goodwill.
Earlier this month, Bey partnered with mom Tina Knowles and sister Solange for an initiative called "Miss A Meal," where the family called on others to miss a meal and donate the money to charity. In February, Beyonce joined Salma Hayek Pinault and Frida Giannini to promote Chime For Change, an organization founded by Gucci to promote education, health and justice for girls and women around the world.
In the past, Beyonce has co-founded the Survivor Foundation to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, holding food drives during her 2006 tour. In 2005, her ambassadorship for World Children’s Day led to the release of “Stand Up For Love,” the anthem for the annual event to raise awareness and funds for children’s causes. She has supported 23 charities and foundations in all.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 12, 2013 05:54 PM
When it comes to headphones, it’s all about whose head they're sitting on. Last summer at the Olympic Games in London, plenty of companies shelled out millions to be official sponsors, but one that didn’t bother was likely the biggest winner. Beats by Dre headphones kept getting airtime on international TV as athlete after athlete seemed to be sporting them.
These days, the business started by one of the world’s most influential—and richest—rappers, Dr. Dre. is commanding top billing among audio equipment providers. Dre is sitting extra pretty after HTC bought a 51 percent stake in the company in 2011 to the tune of a reported $100 million. (HTC later sold back 25 percent to Dre and co-founder Jimmy Iovine for $125 million.)Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on April 11, 2013 08:12 PM
Pepsi isn't the only cola brand that has a songstress on its payroll. Diet Coke has been busy collaborating with golden-girl Taylor Swift for the next installment of its "Stay Extraordinary" campaign.
Debuting during the American Idol broadcast on FOX Thursday night, Swift's new spot, "Music That Moves," highlight's the Grammy-winner's unique approach to song writing. Created by Droga5, the spot captures Swift in her natural element, penning lyrics whenever inspiration strikes—with a Diet Coke in hand, of course.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 4, 2013 11:05 AM
Beyonce's new TV commercial for Pepsi was released today after being teased on Wednesday.
Reinforcing Pepsi's "Live for Now" global tagline, the "Mirrors" spot features a Bey dance-off with her many personas including alter-ego Sasha Fierce — watch it below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2013 02:28 PM
You want to make Reddit sensation Grumpy Cat really grumpy? Try using her name on a product without prior authorization.
The owners of the cat that took social media by storm five months ago have filed for a trademark for the name "Grumpy Cat" as well as the cat’s likeness. After all, their little kitty, whose name is actually Tardar Sauce, has since gotten her own website, Facebook fan page, retail space, an appearance on the Today Show and her own commercial for Friskies cat food, according to SmallBizTrends.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 13, 2013 10:25 AM
After a short teaser spot two weeks ago, the Cadillac ad for China with the brand's new spokesman Brad PItt is here. It's terrible in general, but it's even worse for the Chinese market. Cadillac knows white is the color of funerals in China, right?
In the ad, Pitt (or maybe a CGI Pitt, it's hard to tell) cruises around San Francisco, pensively doing "creative" person things. Maybe the actor is on his way to Chinatown since he's banned from entering China itself.
He swipes some digital displays while never saying a word. Couldn't GM have asked him to speak a little Mandarin? Chinese love it when celebrities humble themselves by mangling some Chinese. It's even been rumored that Pitt and Angelina Jolie are learning a little Mandarin. Not that Cadillac appears to "speak Mandarin" any better. It's latest attempt to grow its flagging sales in China may hint at a deeper problem with its fundamental understanding of the market.Continue reading...