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video killed the _____ star

Continuing to Make Gains on HBO, Netflix Looks to a Collaborative Future

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 11, 2014 11:33 AM

Notoriously passive aggressive Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to Facebook last week to announce the streaming network's latest milestone: with $1.146 billion in subscriber revenue, Netflix has officially passed HBO. 

"They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy's, but we are making progress. HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league," Hastings wrote. 

The streaming king can attribute its most recent success to the brand's wildly successful original series, including "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black," the most-watched show ever. The network also recently announced a new season of "Arrested Development," as well as five new series based on Marvel characters, a comedy special, docu-series and talk show starring Chelsea Handler, and the debut of the brand's first adult cartoon later this month. 

The major investment in more shows makes sense, as nearly three-quarters of titles viewed by Netflix subscribers are TV series. But while Netflix may finally be making significant gains against HBO, its main competitor, Amazon's Prime Instant Video, is growing at a more rapid pace.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Of Mazda, Music and Miata: 5 Questions with Russell Wager

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2014 03:03 PM

Music has long been a great currency of marketing. But automotive brands are taking their involvement with music to new levels these days as they seek ways to make connections digitally and with their toughest demographic, Millennials.

Honda, for example, just launched an ambitious effort called Honda Stage that involves concert sponsorships and other music touch points. Nissan this week announced a two-year partnership with the Americana Music Association, give the brand closer ties to country music and Nashville.

And Mazda, though a small brand by automotive standards, now also is trying to mount an outsized presence in the music arena. The automaker just announced an expanded partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, making Mazda the official automotive partner and doubling the brand’s participation this year to eight or nine events.

The series involves combining entertainment and running, featuring live bands performing at every mile along the course and a post-event headliner concert. Mazda will also have lots of on-site activations such as the Mazda Fueling Station with free food and beverages. It kicked off in Chicago this week and continues through December.

Mazda’s North American vice president of marketing, Russell Wager, talked to brandchannel about the new partnership and the brand's bigger strategy and goals:Continue reading...

brand challenges

Bid Adieu to Aereo—At Least for Now

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2014 01:52 PM

In a significant victory for traditional broadcasters, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday against internet streaming service Aereo, saying that the service infringes upon  broadcasters’ copyright when it picks up over-the-air TV signals and streams them to internet subscribers.

In a 6-3 decision, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, “Aereo’s behind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems, which do publicly perform.” 

Aereo is backed by IAC Chairman Barry Diller and others, who invested close to $100 million. “It’s not a big (financial) loss for us [IAC], but I do believe blocking this technology is a big loss for consumers, and beyond that I only salute Chet Kanojia and his band of Aereo’lers for fighting the good fight,” Diller said in a statement

Aereo fought against the industry since day one in February 2012, with all major broadcast networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS filing suit against Aereo, as well as local TV station owners including Hearst TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Aereo’s position was consistent—it was renting a personal antenna to its subscriber’s in its 12 markets of operation, but all while avoiding the $3 billion that broadcasters pay in retransmission fees.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Comcast, Pinterest and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2014 09:13 AM


Brands to Watch

As contentious net neutrality proposal gets FCC greenlightComcast tightens data limits and firms up new "SpinCo" unit.

Red Lobster is sold by Darden for $2.1 billion.

Pinterest funding round brings valuation to $5 billion.

GM agrees to pay "substantial fine" over switch recall.

Microsoft celebrates Nokia acquisition with stylish brand book, and gets ready to reveal new Surface tablet.


Abbot Labs to buy CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion.

Barclays stars in London Pride event's first ad campaign.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk touts ice cream in the UK with #freezethejoy push.

CBS unveils plans for 24-hour digital news channel.Continue reading...

media brands

Celebrity Parents Net a Win as Media Brands Commit to "No Kids" Photo Policy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 28, 2014 03:39 PM

Following a grassroots campaign by actors and couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, People, Entertainment Tonight, NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Insider, E! News and Just Jared have sworn off publishing paparazzi photos of famous kids—an action that simultaneously invades their parents' privacy and exploits the children. 

Fed up with paparazzi snapping photos of their 11-month-old daughter, the celebrity couple took to social media in January to ask consumers to boycott magazines and media outlets that use "pedorazzi" photos.  

Shepard penned a blog post late last month, saying "We pray that one of the classier weeklies, like People, will enact a no-kids policy, and that they will be rewarded by the consumer for doing so,” Shepard wrote. “And we hope that leads to others following suit." 

Soon enough, Entertainment Tonight stepped forward, followed by People and Just Jared, a celebrity gossip site, and vowed to stop using the photos.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Coca-Cola, Aston Martin, Sony and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2014 09:12 AM

In the NewsCoca-Cola teams with Green Mountain for home soda-making systems.

Aston Martin recalls 75 percent of cars made since 2007.

Sony slashes outlook and puts Vaio PC brand on block.

CBS wins rights for new Thursday night football package.

GM posts fourth straight profitable year since bankruptcy.

ADT addresses security anxieties.

Apple is hit with $2 billion cellular patent claim in Germany.

Buffalo Wild Wings capitalizes on lower chicken-wing prices.

GlaxoSmithkline returns to growth despite China problems.

Google dodges EU $5 billion anti-trust fine.Continue reading...

brand evolution

50 Years Later, The Beatles Still Inspire a Frenzy as US Celebrates American Debut

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 4, 2014 08:33 PM

When the Beatles took the stage 50 years ago on the Ed Sullivan Show, just weeks after JFK had been assassinated, there was no way to know what a complete cultural phenomenon the band would turn out to be. But here we are, a half-century later, celebrating a musical and cultural legacy that has enamored fans and critics alike for decades. 

Beatlemania, aka the British Invasion, sparked a fascination with the lives of the four members and all those they touched. Undoubtedly, brands have always been eager to attach their names to John, Paul, Ringo and George, and in 50 years, that fact has not changed. 

CBS will air a two-hour tribute to the band on Sunday night, the actual anniversary, and the network will be sure to pay its respects to the Beatles all week, particularly on David Letterman’s late-night show, which is filmed in the theater Sullivan once presided over, though the network certainly won’t be expecting to get the 73 million viewers it had for that first Ed Sullivan appearance.

Still, last year the band sold almost 1 million albums and more than 2.7 million digital songs, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

As the New York Post notes, it isn’t just old-timers reliving their youth that accounts for all those purchases. “The Beatles cover all my emotions,” Nat Meguid, 14, of Connecticut, told the Post. “I feel like I can just tune out and all my problems disappear. Nobody else comes close to The Beatles. Sometimes I think I was born too late.”Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Scarlett Johansson Adds Fizz to SodaStream's Pop Ahead of Super Bowl

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 14, 2014 02:47 PM

Scarlett Johansson has been a comic-book heroine, a muse of sorts for Woody Allen, and a lost soul in Japan alongside Bill Murray, among many other things. Now she can add SodaStream lover to the list.

The actress has signed on to be the first global brand ambassador for the home carbonation system that has been trying to make inroads into Coke and Pepsi’s revenue for years. Johansson will have her first worldwide exposure in her new role when SodaStream airs its commercial during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

"We are thrilled to welcome the remarkably talented Scarlett Johansson into the SodaStream family," said Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, in a press release. "Scarlett is a long-time user and genuine fan of our products, a role model for healthy body image and a champion for environmental responsibility, making her the perfect choice for our global ambassador. She truly embodies our brand values and we are honored to have her join our team."Continue reading...

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