2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

viral buzz

Brand Bites: Doritos Brings Lady Gaga to SXSW 2014

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 9, 2014 06:13 PM

Little Monsters will be storming the Doritos #BoldStage at South by SouthWest this week, aka the next generation's Dylan-goes-electric moment.

Forget Grumpy Cat, 3D-printed Oreos and Cronut fever—this year's SXSW meme-tastic moment is happening with a hand from the PepsiCo-owned snack brand, which is bringing pop sensation Lady Gaga to Austin for an "intimate" performance to benefit the singer's Born This Way Foundation.

Of course, this isn't any old branded concert, as Gaga will perform inside a four story vending machine filled with—what else—Doritos bags. Fans will only gain admission to the exclusive concert after accepted a series of "bold challenges" from Doritos.Continue reading...

digital marketing

Mondelez Incubator Hatches Social, Sampling Platforms Conceived by its Employees

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2014 04:53 PM

Everyone wants to find the next WhatsApp or Snapchat. And that includes major CPG brands as well as investors.

That's why Mondelez followed in the path of PepsiCo, Target, Nike and other major brands and launched its Mobile Futures initiative last year to spur mobile innovation within the company behind brands such as Oreo, Trident and Cadbury. The incubator helped the company form ties with digital startups, some of which stemmed from the ideas of Mondelez employees.

And now Mondelez is ready to show its recent fruits of the program: Prankstr, which will allow users to prank their friends and share the gags via social networks, and Betabox, which aims to distribute product samples through e-commerce companies.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

The Re-Hire: BMW Brings Back Trailblazing Series of Web Films

Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2014 07:17 PM

Reports are that BMW is going to revive in some form its initiative of more than a decade ago that helped create—and, in the eyes of many critics, still reigns over—what has become an explosion in branded video content.

Trudy Hardy, BMW's CMO in the US, has indicated that the brand will be bringing back BMW Films, which comes as great news to auto buffs and film buffs alike.

The Hire, the automaker's award-winning series of eight online films, were directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Clive Owen, were produced for the web from 2001-2002. Arguably, every significant piece of high-quality, branded video content produced since then—right up through Jaguar's Desire project last year—owes something to BMW's groundbreaking branded entertainment series.

The Hire cost BMW $25 million to produce and featured a cast of celebrity directors, such as Ang Lee, as well as stars including Madonna and Don Cheadle, who interacted with Owen's James Bond-like character as the driver whose adventures always took place in a BMW model.Continue reading...

sip on this

Is Dumb Starbucks Brewhaha a Tempest In a Teapot? (Update: Mystery Solved)

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 10, 2014 02:47 PM

Not since The North Face sued The South Butt has the world seen a case pitting the free speech right of parody against the rights of a trademark holder.

Dumb Iced Coffee, Dumb Frappuccinos and Dumb Brewed Coffee—with the option of picking up a disc of the latest Dumb Jazz Standards—are just a few of the products awaiting customers at the new Los Feliz, Calif. cafe, "Dumb Starbucks." Is it a real thing or an an artist's statement about Starbucks? And if it is the latter, does the artist know it's 2014 and not 2004?

Customers waited for hours over the weekend to sip on free Dumb Iced Coffee and Dumb Frappuccinos in the curious "Dumb Starbucks," its interior decorated to match a typical Starbucks, with a "Dumb" menu and all. But the new shop situated next to a laundromat in a Los Angeles neighborhood was sure to make clear that it is not in fact a Starbucks. According to a posted FAQ statement, the cafe-as-art says, "Dumb Starbucks is not affiliated in any way with Starbucks Corporation. We are simply using their name and logo for marketing purposes."Continue reading...

brand extensions

Lego Movie Is a Success Before Film Even Hits Theaters, But Is There a TM Issue?

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 6, 2014 02:54 PM

"The first step to recover from your brickdiction is to admit you are powerless over bricks." That's the opening sentence from the book Brickdiction: A Seven Step Recovery Guide for People Addicted to LEGO®

Of course the irony about the book Brickdiction is that it's just a gag gift for that Lego lover you know, another brick in the expanding Legonomy that is about to go to a brand new level with Friday's release of The Lego Movie. With a staggering 98 percent "fresh" rating so far on film rating site Rotten Tomatoes, The Lego Movie is winning praise from critics across the board. (The one stick-in-the-mud is the NY Post.) The movie is so successful, in fact, that a sequel is already being built before the film's official release date.

With brands falling over each other to get a piece of the Legonomy, the question is not if The Lego Movie will be a success for the Lego franchise but how much of a success.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Chipotle Boosts 'Integrity' Message with Online Mini-Series

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 28, 2014 01:58 PM

Fast-casual juggernaut Chipotle Mexican Grill is taking its sustainable food efforts one step further with the launch of its own satirical, four-part series on Hulu. The branded content comes on the heels of the chain's most recent short film, Scarecrow, that criticized "Big Food."

Farmed and Dangerous will run alongside traditional entertainment videos on the site, becoming a cross between marketing and educational content to boost the brand's "Food with Integrity" mantra, which speaks to its commitment to use produce grown organically, dairy products from cows not treated with synthetic hormones, and animals raised humanely and free of antibiotics.

The fast-growing chain said its original series is not about “product integration,” but “values integration," according to the New York Times. "Farmed and Dangerous is meant to strike large emotional chords—it’s not about selling burritos,” said Daniel Rosenberg whose company, Piro, produced the series.Continue reading...

olympic effort

BMW Sponsorship, Car Tech Grease Rails for US Olympic Bobsled Team

Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2014 12:38 PM

The calendar has flipped, and so has BMW of North America—over the US Olympic bobsled team.

Even as BMW kept watch on Friday for year-end US sales-results comparisons between it and Mercedes-Benz over which brand ended up selling the most luxury cars in 2013, as BMW did in 2012 and 2011, the company also was gearing up to tout its marketing campaign around the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The highlight of BMW's effort clearly will be a groundbreaking branded entertainment program, titled "Driving on Ice." The half-hour documentary—debuting Sunday, Jan. 5, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, the hub for all things Olympic—highlights BMW's complete redesign of the US two-man bobsled.Continue reading...

ad watch

YouTube's Year-End Ad Leaderboard Speaks to Growth of Branded Content

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 20, 2013 11:17 AM

It’s that time of year to take stock of 2013's top moments—many of which were documented on video. YouTube's year-end ad leaderboard is flooded with top brands, but this year's blockbuster entries weren't your typical 30-second promo. 

The ads "are often longer, more compelling, more engaging. And people are choosing to watch them," the company wrote in a blog post. “These aren't the ads with the highest view counts, though, or the biggest budgets. They are the ones that skillfully deployed paid media to help great creative catch fire."

Indeed, 2013 saw the meteoric rise of branded content—a new marketing tool that has propelled brands into storytellers and entertainers. And so, from Geico's Wednesday anthem to Pepsi's prank, here are the top 10 ads of 2013, according to YouTube:Continue reading...

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