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Pepsi Parties With "Coke's" Santa for First Campaign in Three Years

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 27, 2011 10:00 PM

Pepsi tonight unveiled its new summer campaign, with the tagline "Summer Time is Pepsi Time" and a none-too-subtle tweak at its chief rival in the cola wars. Yes, Virginia — that's Santa Claus, the iconic Coca-Cola brand mascot.

Saint Nick is shown boogying on summer vacation (with assorted elves in tow) to the Pepsi beat — and rejecting a bartender's offer of Coke. Watch it below and tell us what you think.Continue reading...

brand mascots

McDonald's Sends Out the Clown

Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2011 11:30 AM

If Ronald McDonald could ever have wiped that perpetual smile off his face, he could have seen his demise coming a mile away.

Ronald – the iconic clown used by McDonalds to appeal to kids for decades – isn’t dead yet, but the chain seems to be benching him.

After 48 years, Bloomberg reports, McDonalds has been distancing itself from the clown mascot that got its start when eventual TV weatherman Willard Scott morphed his Bozo character into a brand-specific cousin in a promotion for Washington, D.C. area McDonald's.

Rumors of his demise have been around for a while; indeed, some "video artists" have taken it upon themselves to hold the character hostage (warning: it doesn't end well for Ronald.)

A few years ago, the company essentially sidelined Ronald’s friends in McDonaldland, such as Mayor McCheese and the Hamburglar.

Now, the US war on Happy Meals and marketing with toys in an era when there's national outcry from the White House on down about childhood obesity seem to have dealt Ronald a blow that eventually will indeed prove fateful.Continue reading...

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Old Spice Takes Fans to Fiji, and Behind the Scenes

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 3, 2011 04:15 PM

Here's the latest Old Spice Man ("Fiji") from P&G and W+K and, of course, Isaiah Mustafa. And in case you missed the brand's "making of" one of these trick-laden, CGI-free commercials, watch below.Continue reading...

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Is Old Spice Man Jumping the Komodo?

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 17, 2011 04:00 PM

Isaiah Mustafa for Old Spice can do no wrong in our books (unless that book is written by Abe Sauer). But the YouTube comments on his new Old Spice Man commercial — promoting the brand's Komodo antiperspirant with, of course, a komodo — are a little mystified. 

Tell us what you think of the spot. Is the year-old "Old Spice Man" character and campaign starting to wear thin?

brand ambassadors

Pop Quiz: Name That Insurance Brand Rep

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 13, 2010 03:00 PM

One of the toughest challenges facing brand strategists is insurance.

For starters, it's not sexy. Often purchased solely on price, the true brand value of an insurance company does not become apparent until the day it is needed. For many, who will never "need" their insurance company on any significant way, that day never comes, leaving price sensitivities the primary brand identifier. Is it any surprise insurance advertising so often focuses on "saving more"?

One tactic branders use is create a memorable pitch man. The theory is that a stand-out character as the face of the brand helps with recall and brand association, and overrides consumers' fixation on costs by creating a memorable brand halo. That brand association need not even be an emotionally positive one. But all these pitchmen (-women, -critters) floating around can cause confusion.

So we put together an insurance branding quiz to show how it works. Can you identify the faces of a dozen major insurance brands?Continue reading...

brand mascots

Firefox Version 5.Aw — Mozilla Ups the Stakes in Mascot Marketing

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2010 12:30 PM

The smart-as-a-fox marketers at Mozilla Firefox are using real firefoxes to sell its latest version…and, no surprise, it’s working.

Supported by 24/7 live stream at FirefoxLive.org, the message to visitors reads: “We’re streaming cuteness. We’re dedicated to doing good. We’re out to make the web a better place. Thank you for supporting Mozilla Firefox.”

The so-called firefoxes are, in fact, endangered baby red pandas (aw...) residing at the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee, along with their parents and aunt. Mostly playful and entertaining, if the action gets slow, you're encouraged to download the latest Mozilla Firefox update. Why? If enough virtual visitors download the upgrade, the baby pandas get a new jungle gym. Who could refuse?Continue reading...

brand mascots

Rico Suave? Air New Zealand goes all animal on you

Posted by Caroline Smith on November 9, 2010 12:30 PM

Fuzzy, brown creatures are getting their fifteen minutes of marketing fame, and Air New Zealand is hopping on the furwagon!

Meet the newest star to emerge: Rico, Air New Zealand’s cheeky spokespuppet. “Sexier than Virgin’s Richard Branson and  Singapore Air’s Singapore Girls,”  (at least in the eyes of CEO Rob Fyfe), Rico – part sloth, part Latin lover – is taking the friendly skies by storm, to promote Air New Zealand’s new seats and sleek black livery.

In a series of online video advertisements, all of which begin with a short warning of the sensitive nature of the contents and language, Rico interacts with Air New Zealand passengers of all ages, mispronouncing words (“beach” being the cheapest shot) and inadvertently offending his fellow passengers.

While Rico may seem an improbable success, Fyfe explains that the strategy was actually to avoid stereotypes by using a puppet as a spokesperson, rather than a human being. Continue reading...

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