brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Comcast, Pinterest and more

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

TOP 5 STORIES

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.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

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...

brand news

Brand News: NYT, Dixons Carphone, McDonald's and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 15, 2014 08:28 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

The New York Times ousts its first female executive editor as Le Monde's female top editor resigns.

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse to merge in the UK as Dixons Carphone.

McDonald's, Burger King and other fast food brands brace for walkouts across U.S. and globally.

Univision and T-Mobile partner on co-branded Hispanic wireless service.

Walmart profit hit by severe winter weather as Asda unit restructures and warehouse workers win back pay.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Amazon wants to charge more for "access to its pipes."

Apple and Samsung compete for "atom-thick patents" as Apple's Beats deal may be announced next week.

Beefeater celebrates modern London with limited-edition packaging.

BMW and Toyota's Lexus reportedly partner on "supercar."Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Taco Bell CMO's Goal: To Boldly Disrupt (and Egg On Rivals)

Posted by Dale Buss on May 2, 2014 01:01 PM

Taco Bell wasn't done trying to shake things up in the fast-food business with its launch of those cheeky breakfast ads starring real-life citizens named Ronald McDonald.

Now the Yum!-owned brand is redoubling efforts behind its new breakfast menu, planning another Doritos Locos Tacos rollout—and even testing a fast-casual concept meant at unsettlling Chipotle.

After an initial push that finally gave real-life Ronalds a comeback to years of bad jokes—while underscoring Taco Bell's seriousness about taking on the McDonald's breakfast juggernaut—the brand is back with new ads that tweak the Golden Arches in a different way.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Continues Global Decline as it Pins Hopes On New Menu Items

Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2014 12:58 PM

McDonald's just introduced a Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich and is testing new McCafe Petite Pastries for breakfast. But will either product save the chain's dough?

That's not likely after McDonald's posted the fourth consecutive month of declines in US same-store sales, a 1.4-percent drop in the market that the brand blamed on "challenging industry dynamics" as well as the severe winter weather that has slowed much of the American economy.

Neither is McDonald's offsetting its sluggish US performance with strong overseas sales as it once was capable of doing. Globally, sales declined 0.3 percent at locations open at least 13 months in February. In a region encompassing the Middle East, Africa and Asia, sales declined by 2.6 percent; there also was weakness in Japan and Australia. McDonald's said a change in the timing of the Chinese New Year also was a problem.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Chili's Heeds the Chipotle Effect As It Deploys Five Counter-Strategies

Posted by Dale Buss on March 10, 2014 02:16 PM

Chipotle has heavy footsteps. They've been haunting McDonald's and other fast-food outlets. Now it's Chili's that is heeding the effect of the fast-growing "other" Mexican-food brand.

Chili's now is trying to outflank competition from fast-casual chains such as Chipotle and Panera, Guy Constant, CFO of parent Brinker International, indicated to an industry conference this week—and it has been launching five major initiatives to do so.

First, the chain is refreshing its look with a system-wide rebranding of company-owned US locations, to be completed in fiscal 2015, according to Food Business News. Second, Chili's is increasing media spend where the brand had lost its share of voice, particularly national TV.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Google, Instagram, MasterCard and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 10, 2014 09:32 AM

In the News

Google looks to repeat Android success with wearable devices.

Instagram inks ad deal with Omnicom worth up to $100 million. 

MasterCard and Visa form payment-security group.

AT&T and T-Mobile rejigger wireless prices.

American Airlines and JetBlue end sales partnership.

Biomet files for IPO.

Boeing inspects undelivered Dreamliners for cracks and braces for any tarnish from Malaysian Airlines disaster.

Buffalo Wild Wings ramps up tablet rollout.

Cars.com goes on block for $3 billion.

Caterpillar and Sany argue over which is No. 1 in China excavator market.

Chipotle is asked to do sustainability reporting.

Chiquita buys Fyffes to create world's largest banana company.Continue reading...

sporting brands

MLS Looks to Inspire Homegrown Pride with New Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2014 02:57 PM

Hoping to ride the World Cup's coattails, Major League Soccer has launched a new campaign to attract more fans to the sport in the US, where pro-soccer sits in a far-off fifth place behind the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. The campaign, “MLS: For Club and Country,” will launch in conjunction with the league's March 8 season opener.

Soccer is "very different from, say, football or baseball when you have one team and one team only. In soccer, you root for club—and country," said MLS CMO Howard Handler, who learned his trade while working for the NFL and Madison Square Garden, according to Ad Age.

The campaign hopes to remind soccer fans where some of their favorite national team players come from—a message that is more timely this year as more than a dozen of the players slated to represent the US at the World Cup this summer play in MLS. That wasn't so during the last Cup in South Africa, where only four of the national team's players hailed from the US league, while all others played for international leagues.Continue reading...

chew on this

Perdue Joins All-Natural Crusade with Antibiotic-Free Harvestland Line

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2014 06:20 PM

Antiobiotic-free chicken has come home to roost in the US market. The "Eat Like Your Ancestors" campaign just launched by Perdue for its antibiotic-free chickens is the latest evidence of that.

Chicken raised without antibiotics still comprises only about 9 percent of the $9 to $10 billion US chicken market, according to NPR. But the trend is definitely moving in that direction as supermarket suppliers of chicken, such as Perdue, join an increasing number of fast-food chains, including Chick-fil-A, in making antibiotic-free birds available and pledging to stop using chicken that has been raised with antibiotics.

Chipotle, of course, was a leader in this movement by going antibiotic-free more than a decade ago and calling for "humane housing standards" for chicken suppliers. More so, its recent short film, "The Scarecrow" and its new satirical series, "Farmed & Dangerous," have fingered an "industrialized" food industry for continuing to rely on antibiotics and other less-than-optimal food sourcing tactics. Continue reading...

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