sports in the spotlight

MLB All-Star Game Brings Out the Sponsors

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 6, 2012 10:59 AM

After this weekend, a whole slew of Major League Baseball’s biggest names will be heading to Kansas City for next week’s All-Star Game. And when you’ve got a bunch of big names together, marketers can’t be far behind.

While the July 10th game itself will have plenty of Your Brand Here Moments for the FOX cameras, some advertisers aren’t waiting for Tuesday’s game to attach their name to the 2012 event.

State Farm is sponsoring the HomeRun Derby on July 9th on ESPN. Firestone sponsored the final fan Twitter vote that will get the last few players onto the team. All-Star voting is a bit more of a popularity contest than anything else and the final hours of fan support can be frenetic. What better time for a marketer to get its name in front of a massive amount of eyeballs?

Chevrolet, which is not coincidentally the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, is also getting itself out into the public eye early by bringing a fleet of its 2013 cars, trucks, and crossovers out to K.C. to showcase to baseball fans (and whoever else wants to take a gander).

"We're looking forward to introducing our family of Chevrolet vehicles to current and new customers in Kansas City, and celebrating our shared love of baseball," stated Phil Caruso, Chevrolet national promotions manager. "We will have product displays, ride and drives and other activities around Kansas City to enhance the fan and customer experience."

GM Wrests 'Better Data' From Facebook in Paid Advertising Stand-Off

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 10:13 PM

Two months after pulling its paid ads from Facebook, General Motors is "in talks" to return to the site as a paid advertiser in return for access to "better data," according to the Wall Street Journal (which broke the original story of the pull-out on May 15th). GM CEO Dan Akerson and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have spoken about the issues — GM's desire for better measurement and analytics to gauge the effectiveness of any paid Facebook advertising — that led to the falling out, WSJ reports.

GM's chief marketing officer Joel Ewanick and Facebook's global ad sales head Carolyn Everson reportedly met for the first time at the recent Cannes advertising festival to discuss what would bring the automaker back to the table, the Journal heard from a source. At that meeting, "Everson said Facebook is willing to provide GM with better data on how their ads can turn into dollars, as it has agreed to do with other advertisers, this person said. Facebook won't provide any special treatment for GM, however."

Whether or not GM can take credit for getting Facebook to improve its metrics and reporting (or receives any "special treatment," cheaper ad rates or additional data), it's certainly good news for other marketers feeling a similar need for more granular data in the never-ending quest to "prove" the ROI of paid Facebook advertising.Continue reading...


GM CEO Touts U.S. New Product Parade at Annual Meeting

Posted by Dale Buss on June 12, 2012 05:41 PM

General Motors has come a long way in three years. But GM has far to go to solidify its long-term future. That was the message from CEO Dan Akerson at the automaker's annual meeting today in Detroit.

Having already roared back from bankruptcy three years ago, returned to profitability, and launched a number of winning new products, GM has been trying to consolidate and build on those gains worldwide. It's easier said than done, of course. GM was the world's largest-volume automaker in 2011, but even that crown looks more iffy this year with Toyota recovering nicely.

Akerson stated today that GM is in the process of boosting quality and replacing or refurbishing 70 percent of its North American model lineup over the next two years.

"We are now in the early days of one of the biggest global product offensives in our history," he told shareholders and analysts in his speech. He said the impact of new vehicles "will be especially profound in the United States," citing the new Buick Verano small sedan as an example. GM today announced a turbocharged version of the car.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Watch the Phone: Jay-Z Makes NYC a Wireless Charging Pad with Duracell

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 11, 2012 03:54 PM

In an unusual partnership, New York rap legend Jay-Z and Proctor & Gamble's billion-dollar Duracell brand are joining forces to market wireless charging systems and deploy wireless hotspots in New York, including one at the multimillionaire’s own 40/40 Club on Madison Square Park in Manhattan.

“Mobile devices have become essential tools in business, entertainment and managing our social lives,” said Jay-Z, an investor in the Duracell Powermat joint venture. “Being able to charge wirelessly is a necessary step into the future.”

The 24-Hour Power System contains a charging mat that serves as a wireless power transmitter and a portable backup battery with micro-USB output and iPhone connection when in between hotspots. The kit is designed specifically for the iPhone 4 and 4S, but Duracell is working on greater device compatibility.

It hits select retailers today (just as Apple announces its new iOS 6 features) and is also available online. The complete system costs $99.99, with additional (colorful) cases for $34.99 and additional batteries for $49.99.Continue reading...


Is Chevy's "Night Swimming" Ad a Worthy Successor to VW's "Pink Moon"?

Posted by Dale Buss on June 7, 2012 02:50 PM

Chevy's new TV ad for its Sonic subcompact, "Night Swimming," is one of the industry's best spots so far this year because it effectively targets the Millennial generation whose interest is so crucial to the success of any car in that segment.

There are a few reasons why, including how the commercial highlights the myChevrolet app after the driver has locked his keys in the car. “The all-new Chevrolet Sonic, with the myChevrolet app,” intones Tim Allen in the voice-over, as the spot's happy swimmers drive away. “From ‘close call,’ to ‘best night ever.’”

Two other big reasons are the director, Jason Reitman, and the soundtrack. It's not unusual for automotive OEMs to snag big-name directors for their commercials anymore. For example, Paul Feig (The Bridesmaids) and Rob Cohen (The Simpsons) helped Ford pull off its highly successful Focus Doug online video campaign last year.

Reitman, of Juno and Up in the Air fame, was attracted to the idea of helming the "Night Swimming" spot in part because of the creative possibilities, Matt Scarlett, Sonic advertising manager, told brandchannel.Continue reading...


Why GM Dropped Facebook + Super Bowl for Man United + Chevy China Cup

Posted by Dale Buss on May 31, 2012 01:02 PM

General Motors CMO Joel Ewanick didn't wait long to drop the other shoe after departing Facebook and Super Bowl advertising a couple of weeks ago.

In announcing Chevrolet's China-focused global sponsorship deal with the world's most popular soccer franchise — Manchester United — today, the GM marketing chief switched the focus to a bold step of commission rather than omission, accelerated Chevy's identification as a worldwide rather than a U.S. marque, and just may have changed one of America's most iconic brands forever.

"As Chevrolet continues to grow as a global brand, this is the right time to make a commitment and establish a presence in international football," Ewanick said in a press release about becoming the official vehicle of the Barclays Premier League giant. "Our ambition is to connect with football in a fashion that transcends traditional sponsorship."Continue reading...


Chevy Volt Sales Pick Up Some Juice

Posted by Dale Buss on April 6, 2012 05:05 PM

Is the Chevrolet Volt coming back off the mat, or isn't it?

That was the question this week after General Motors reported that a stunning 2,289 Volts were sold in March — the controversial nameplate's best single month of U.S. sales, more than double the number sold in February, and nearly 300 percent more than the 600 or so Volts sold a year ago March and also this January, when the car arguably was at its reputational nadir.

The sales bonanza in March probably isn't repeatable this month, Alan Batey, Chevy's VP of sales, told brandchannel, because it resulted from some unique factors including a strong surge in demand from dealers in California, where new lower-emissions version of Volt could be eligible for single-occupancy access in carpool lanes and up to $1,500 in state rebates.Continue reading...

branding together

Play Ball! MLB Opening-Week Chevy TV Ads Highlight Hometown Detroit Tigers

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2012 07:07 PM

Whether Chevy is running deep, running sure (with its new global Commonwealth ad agency) or running well (based on recent strong sales), one thing the brand isn't running is away from its traditional association with baseball as the official sponsor of Major League Baseball.

And so in this opening week of the 2012 MLB season, Chevy has reached back to 1974 to remind American baseball — and car — fans to make sure they remember that it's always been behind America's Pastime. New ads key in on the catchy jingle from the old ads, "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet," and put them in new voices.Continue reading...

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