brand news

In the News: Facebook, Sbarro, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2014 09:20 AM

In the News

Facebook sees growth anxieties drive WhatsApp purchase.

Sbarro closes 155 company-owned units.

Walmart offers weak forecast and plans to accelerate rollout of small stores.

Aereo suffers a defeat in court.

Audi gives TT Roadster a fresh look.

Budweiser unveils World Cup teaser.

ConAgra seeks to revitalize Healthy Choice brand.

Fiat gives buyers an iconic track experience.

Ford splits with TV pitchman Mike Rowe.

FCC plans to overhaul rules to rescue net neutrality. 

Gap announces voluntary minimum wage boost.Continue reading...

social media watch

Super Bowl's Real-Time Battle: JCPenney Mittens vs Budweiser Puppy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2014 07:49 PM

Following last year's blackout, which Oreo won hands down in a real-time marketing play hard to replicate, brands this year did all the prep work they could ahead of the Super Bowl to best prepare for that fleeting moment of social opportunity. What they couldn't prepare for, though, was a boring game. 

And so while brands over-touted their hashtags and engaged in banter with fans over their ads, there were bound to be missteps. This year's Super Bowl real-time battle was a "is this account hacked?" face-off between JCPenney and Budweiser.

In an attempt that left many wondering if JCPenney's Twitter account had been hacked (although our editor-in-chief called it), the struggling retailer seeded the stunt with a promotional tweet pushing its Team USA mittens—and then things got weird.Continue reading...

The Big Game

#ItsGoTime - The Hashtag Super Bowl is Here

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 2, 2014 05:47 PM

All rules are off this year as advertisers rush to preview their Super bowl ads and prime the social media engine before Sunday’s big game. And the majority of the advertisers have been seeding buzz with hashtag marketing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and as teaser taglines in their video spots released before the game.

From Pepsi's #Halftime pre-Game campaign to Coca–Cola's #AmericaIsBeautiful, from GoDaddy's #ItsGoTime to H&M's contest asking if fans want David Beckham #covered or #uncovered during the brand's GameDay spot (a rhetorical question, surely), if you see a brand's 2014 Super Bowl messaging, it will inevitably include a hashtag. Whether consumers could identify the brands just based on the hashtags is another matter.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Cheers to Booze Brands at the Big Game

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 31, 2014 08:25 PM

AB InBev Yanks at the Heartstrings 

Having a whole Bud Light-themed ship moored on the West Side of Manhattan isn’t enough of an attention-getter for AB InBev, the official beer sponsor of the Super Bowl. The world’s largest brewer is set to air five commercials during Sunday's Super Bowl.

Like many other Big Game advertisers this year, it has released some of its ads ahead of time. Following a teaser, Budweiser's “Hero’s Welcome” shows the true tale of an American soldier returning home from Afghanistan, while it has also revealed half of the Bud Light “Epic Night” commercial, the second half of which will air during Sunday’s game. 

In true AB InBev tradition, the brand's famous Clydesdales make an appearance in the spot “Puppy Love,” which pulls at the heartstrings with a charming relationship between a puppy and the iconic horses. In two days, the ad has already garnered over 26 million views, and saw the Budweiser puppy get its own (official) Twitter handle (@BudweiserPuppy), hashtag (#BestBuds) and take over the Budweiser Twitter feed. Awww.Continue reading...

The Big Game

Brands Are At the Ready to Capture Real-Time Social Media Gold During Super Bowl

Posted by Dale Buss on January 31, 2014 07:52 PM

"War rooms" used to be reserved for military conflicts and geopolitical tensions. Now, every big brand worth its salt is staging a social media war room for Super Bowl Sunday (as well as other tent-pole events), including many that aren't advertising in the game.

They all want to be first to jump on in-game and surrounding developments with that clever tweet or buzz-building Facebook post that helps them fan their Super Bowl spot into an ongoing phenomenon or gets them a place in the cultural conversation even if they didn't pony up $4 million for a 30-second Big Game ad. Oreo's success in doing so last year with its "dunk in the dark" tweet really fueled the fire.

Count Adobe as one unlikely combatant. It's launching a "real-time" campaign aimed at other marketers with its Super Bowl war room of 15 people filled with "listeners," social media analysts, social publishing, creative, IT, facilities and legal members, according to Advertising Age.Continue reading...

The Big Game

For Food and Bev, Super Bowl Will Be a Battle of the Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on January 29, 2014 06:50 PM

No doubt Scarlett Johansson's ad for Sodastream will be among the most-anticipated of the the big game on Sunday. Cheerios' reprise of its mixed-race family will strike some of the most emotional cords. And a Budweiser spot featuring a puppy and a Clydesdale might convert a lot of snack-table napkins into makeshift hankies.

But more impressive than all of those things individually is the likelihood that food and beverage brands finally will rival automakers as the highest-impact vertical choosing to advertise in the Super Bowl this year. (Watch some of the Big Game spots that have already released below.)

One brand in particular, Pepsi, has a lot riding on the Super Bowl—so much in fact that the brand launched a seperate lead-in campaign to build up excitement for the Pepsi-sponsored halftime show.

"The heart and soul of our brand is pop culture and sports and music," Simon Lowden, CMO of Pepsi Beverages North America, told brandchannel. "And there's no better event than the Super Bowl to bring that to life."

The Big Game will be a major platform for Pepsi's tack to what it is calling a "master brand" strategy in which it treats the variety of Pepsi products as a single brand rather than calling out individual products as has been its tendency.Continue reading...

ad watch

AB InBev Mixes Classics with New Hits to Sell Super Bowl Fans the 'Perfect Beer'

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 15, 2014 06:41 PM

Anheuser-Busch InBev's Super Bowl XLVIII game plan is a mixed bag of old and new as the alcohol giant turns its focus to its core brands—Bud Light and Best Global Brand Budweiser—as competition from Coors Light, craft beers and imported brews heats up.

In total, AB InBev will air five ads, three for Bud Light and two for Budweiser. 

A veteran Super Bowl advertiser, Budweiser will once again utilize its iconic Clydesdales in a new spot, "Puppy Love," as well as one that honor's returning military troops that is "particularly special because of the sheer number of troops coming home from Afghanistan," Budweiser VP Brian Perkins told USA Today

Bud Light, on the other hand, will showcase an innovative re-sealable aluminum bottle, "Cool Twist," in spot called “So Cool” that is scheduled to air in the game's first timeslot along with two others that include celebrity tie-ins.

One thing that isn't resting on nostalgia is Bud Light's four-year-old tagline, "Here We Go."Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Craft Beer Confusion, Bud Loses Italian Battle, Molson Goes to Indonesia and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2013 06:47 PM

Molson Heads to the Philippines

Molson scored a hit earlier this year when it stuck red fridges filled with brews all over Europe that only opened when Canadian passports were presented. People loved it so much that the company decided to extend the program, the Globe and Mail reports.

The company asked its employees to come up with interesting Canadians across the planet and settled on a man on an exotic island in the Philippines. Molson delivered a fridge full of the beer to him, his two best friends, and a satellite so he can watch Team Canada play. The full video will be aired during Team Canada’s first game of the world junior hockey championship on Boxing Day.Continue reading...

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