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brand news

In the News: JPMorgan, Disney, Diet Coke and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2014 09:31 AM

TOP STORIES

Disney retains Bob Iger as CEO for two more years and expands "Star Wars" galaxy.

Facebook tightens oversight, wins EU approval for WhatsApp purchase and reportedly eyes healthcare.

JPMorgan discloses massive data breach.

Kellogg and United Biscuits will meet over possible merger.

Coca-Cola releases second TV spot in Diet Coke "Get a Taste" campaign. Up next: Taylor Swift.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Daimler and Renault-Nissan extend manufacturing alliance as Daimler will see a UAW organizing drive in Alabama.

Denny's launches animated "Grand Slams" video series.

Exxon Mobil delays drilling in Africa due to Ebola threat.

Fiat counts on Italian styling to boost new 500X crossover.Continue reading...

sip on this

Big Soda Shrinks Calories, Pushes Personal Responsibility

Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2014 05:13 PM

Soda marketers have been fighting gradual declines in US soft drink consumption for several years now. But with the imprimatur of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is meeting this week in New York in tandem with the UN General Assembly, the big three soda-makers behind the American Beverage Association (ABA) have decided to wrap a calorie-reduction PR campaign and associated pledges around this seemingly inexorable trend.

Under the auspices of the organization founded by former President Bill Clinton, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group this week pledged to reduce beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent nationally by 2025. Such calorie consumption already has dropped by about 12.4 percent between 2000 and last year, and 23 percent for carbonated drinks alone, estimated Beverage Digest.

In a collective statement issued by the ABA, top industry leaders gathered at the CGI meeting and pledged "engage in consumer education and outreach efforts to increase consumer awareness of and interest in the wide array of no- and lower-calorie beverages and smaller portion sizes available."

Under the banner of the Balanced Calories Initiative, the beverage industry leaders will put special emphasis on promoting reduced-calorie beverages in highly-trafficked sections of stores, such as checkout areas, and in communities (such as the president's birthplace of Little Rock, Ark., and the greater Los Angeles area) where purchases of low- and no-calorie soda drinks track behind the national average.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

will.i.am Designs for Lexus as Celebrity Creative Director Trend Rolls On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2014 06:20 PM

will.i.am is not afraid to share his creative vision with any brand willing to pay to hear his thoughts. The artist formerly known as Michael Adams has previously helped Intel and Coca-Cola shape their creative vision and new products and is now lending himself to Lexus Europe.

Lexus Europe is launching a new Lexus NX model and will.i.am will design his own limited-edition “sharply styled, premium, mid-size SUV” as part of it, according to Marketing Magazine. He’ll also star in the brand's Striking Angles campaign. 

"We’re really excited to be working with will.i.am,” said Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe, Marketing Magazine reports. “His unrivalled passion for design and innovation, coupled with his incredible creativity, makes him the perfect partner for our Lexus NX 'Striking Angles' campaign."

But this isn't the artist's first rodeo with Lexus. Only a month ago, Lexus sponsored Pyramidi, “the debut gallery artwork by will.i.am,” according to The Auto Channel. The artwork was displayed at a gallery in London and “explores the interface between analogue and digital music in a live gallery experience featuring project-mapped visuals accompanied by a new song composed by will.i.am.”Continue reading...

sip on this

Critics Make a Dent in Coke's Can as Brand Steps Up Health Marketing

Posted by Dale Buss on July 31, 2014 04:04 PM

Things aren't going well for Coca-Cola these days. While the company still returned $47 billion in profits last year, that amount was down by more than $1 billion from 2012.

That may not seem like much of a problem, but as newly chronicled in places ranging from the cover of the new issue of Bloomberg Businessweek to a prominent story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, minting profits—and sales—for Coca-Cola no longer is as simple as filling another bottle or can. The company and, especially, the brand are being hit with unprecedented resistance these days that is so stiff, some worry it ultimately could be existential for Coca-Cola.

Consumption of soda globally fell in the first quarter for the first time since 1999, though they rebounded in the second quarter; and the consumption slide continues in the US as the brand remains under assault from anti-obesity activists and politicians for its sugar and calorie content, while Diet Coke increasingly is suffering attrition as well because of concerns about aspartame. Meanwhile, new beverage startups in the flavored water and tea categories in which Coke has invested aren’t growing quickly enough to offset the continued losses in soda consumption.Continue reading...

cola wars

Pepsi, Coke Fight It Out for the Soft Drink Market—Or What’s Left of It

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2014 03:42 PM

While anti-soft drink activists are preparing to dance on soda’s grave at the upcoming National Soda Summit this week, the industry’s biggest players, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, continue to fight furiously.

No less a personage than PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has recently admitted that the category looks moribund, noting at a recent industry conference that company executives anticipated the decline of the carbonated soft drink market three years ago. Of course that was also the time when Nooyi was accused by shareholders of allowing the Pepsi brand to slump voluntarily.

“It may never be the high levels of consumption [of soft drinks] that we had when we were young,” Nooyi said. “The new consumers have too many choices that they are playing around with.”

However, Nooyi said, “I actually think there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring the consumer back” to the category by providing lower sugar levels and avoiding artificial sweeteners. That is why Pepsi has worked hard to bring alternative sweeteners to its drinks even though one of the first big possibilities, stevia, doesn’t work well, in Nooyi's opinion.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Alibaba, Airbnb, HP and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Alibaba files for U.S. IPO that is expected to be record-breaking.

Airbnb hires Coca-Cola's Jonathan Mildenhall as CMO.

Fiat Chrysler five-year plan elevates Chrysler brand, downplays Dodge.

HP invests $1 billion in cloud computing.

Twitter stockholders sold massively as lockup expired; stock price plunges.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

AOL acquires consumer-tracking platform.

Coca-Cola lifts lid on agency bonuses for cutting-edge work and drops "You're On..." tagline for Diet Coke.Continue reading...

sip on this

Sliding Coca-Cola Sales Apparently Cost Job of Coke's Americas Chief

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2013 03:49 PM

Steve Cahillane has been sidelined in the horserace to succeed Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, with the president of Coca-Cola Americas leaving the company as Coke restructures management yet again. It appears that slowing soda sales in the US nixed Cahillane's chances for the company's top job.

It was just a year ago that Coke streamlined its management to set up an apparent contest between Cahillane and the new head of the rest of the world, Ahmet Bozer, to succeed Kent someday; he's been CEO since 2008. Bozer now has been installed as a clear No. 2 to Kent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In its moves this week, Coke also said that it would divide North American duties into a job overseeing corporate North American operations that will be occupied by Sandy Douglas, who will also continue as global chief customer officer, and a North American bottling portion that will be overseen by Paul Mulligan, who had been in charge of bottling investments in Japan and Latin America.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent Steers Ship Through Positive Third Quarter

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2013 10:53 AM

Buffeted by what CEO Muhtar Kent called "headwinds" and aided by "tailwinds" around the world, Coca-Cola reported a good but not great third quarter and vowed once again to meet its target of doubling 2010 revenues by 2020.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo today reported a 1.5 percent revenue increase for the period while US beverage sales slid by 2 percent.

While much of the attention to the Coke brand these days is how marketers wrangle with the obesity issue, sales of the globe's leading soft-drink brand still grew 2 percent by volume during the period. About 70 percent of the company's sales are soft drinks.

Overall sales volumes including non-soda drinks such as teas and bottled waters grew by 2 percent in the United States. But it was emerging economies that gave Coca-Cola enough momentum to post a 4 percent rise in earnings per share for the period, in line with analysts' expectations.Continue reading...

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