CIA: The Family-Friendly Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 9, 2011 12:30 PM

Among the world’s most glamorized and vilified agencies, the CIA is keeping up with the times, and presenting a new image to the public with a digital facelift – a prerequisite for any brand presence in the 21st century, particularly one charged with national intelligence.

It's also reaching out beyond its website, as evidenced by the above. America's Central Intelligence Agency has a new video on its YouTube channel — that’s right the CIA has a YouTube channel — as the first in a series of webisodes meant to engage not only the public, but children.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News; Nokia, Levi's, GLAAD and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 9, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Best Buy admits UK launch lacked impact.  

Bridgelux raises $21M in funding.

CNN anchor says network is getting outFoxed in 2010 election prep. 

Coca-Cola recognized for packaging design while Pepsi unveils "skinny can."  

eBay prepares plan to help PayPal repel Google and Apple threats. 

Facebook gains foothold in China with Hong Kong office.Continue reading...

kidding around

Lockerz: The Kids Are All Right-Clicking

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 4, 2011 04:00 PM

Stand down, Facebook and MySpace — Lockerz’ mission is to eat your lunch and have the cool kids sit at its table. With a goal of worldwide domination — which these days, means being the digital homepage of teens — the Seattle-based Lockerz is a social network with a twist.

Offering a blend of content, community and commerce, participation reaps tangible rewards in the form of points that can be redeemed for purchases and discounts. After watching a video, PTZ (points) can be redeemed for up to 100% on hot brands in the Lockerz SHOP.  Non-members are informed how many PTZ they earned watching that video, and are then invited to join.

Its two revenue streams: advertising and selling real (not virtual) goods. To boost engagement, time spent on the site and the user experience, Lockerz also offers its members original content, and is already seeing success from its scripted programming.Continue reading...

auto motive

Nissan Skips Super Bowl for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cameo

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2011 11:30 AM

Brand managers kept Nissan out of last month's Detroit Auto Show and Sunday's Super Bowl TV lineup, but they’re doing plenty of other things to make sure the company capitalizes on its increasingly strong performance in the U.S. auto market.

For several months, Nissan could rely on buzz about its Leaf all-electric vehicle to supply marketing energy behind the overall brand. But now that Leaf is on the market, the Nissan brand is moving into the next phase, as the American arm of the Japanese automaker tries to close the gap with its relatively stagnant main rivals, Toyota and Honda.

The biggest marketing gambit for Nissan — its sponsorship of the upcoming Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.Continue reading...

Johnnie Walker Celebrates Chinese Pioneers

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on February 3, 2011 01:30 PM

In the most populous country in the world, Johnnie Walker is launching a massive digital and social media campaign focusing on individuality and celebrating modern-day pioneers in China.

The campaign, which ties into the whisky’s “Keep Walking” theme, is called “Yulu” (“Words of a Journey”) and features mini documentaries on leaders in business and the arts, from Zhou YunPeng, a blind folk singer and poet, to Xiao Peng, entrepreneur and founder of

The subjects of these high-quality documentaries are certainly not shilling Johnnie Walker – the whisky isn’t mentioned at all by them – but rather, they are part of building a brand associated with following one’s dreams.Continue reading...

Fiat Pursues Mass-and-Class Strategy in U.S.

Posted by Dale Buss on January 31, 2011 04:00 PM

Now that Chrysler today has cleared the decks of leftovers from last year by reporting a $199-million loss for 2010, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne can’t pivot fast enough to building Chrysler’s future.

And in doing so, the charismatic Fiat CEO is pursuing a two-pronged strategy: re-ingratiating Chrysler (funding a "Game On" blogger road trip to the Super Bowl, above) and its pre-existing brands with the American masses while re-introducing the Fiat brand, via the 500, to an upscale market.Continue reading...

digital marketing

Brooklyn Decker Boosts Esquire, Barnes & Noble and New Movie

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 21, 2011 01:00 PM

Selling books got a whole lot sexier this week as Barnes & Noble hosts a virtual Brooklyn Decker. It's all an augmented reality stunt for Esquire magazine, whose readers voted her the sexiest woman alive, prompting a February cover that is now on newsstands.

The model/actress is virtually appearing in 700 Barnes & Noble stores via GPS-enabled technology that allows iPhone users to have their picture taken with her virtual image. It's also a clever digital marketing coup for all concerned.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

HP ePrint Live Premieres on YouTube with Live Improv Event

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 18, 2011 04:00 PM

Social media has pretty much reinvented everything, including the way brand advertisers approach digital marketing. So it's no surprise that marketers are employing a promotional technique commonly used in the past, but updated for the digital world.

Live product demos (and live television shows, for that matter) dominated the three television networks in TV's heyday, the 1950s and 1960s, as Stuart Elliott points out in today's New York Times. It wasn't unusual to see personalities like John Cameron Swayze demonstrate a Timex watch being mercilessly tortured in a live television commercial that ended with the famous line, "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

Fast forward to 2011 and watch Hewlett-Packard reinvent the idea. Marking its first foray into branded entertainment, the tech brand will stage a live product demo on YouTube, Facebook and mobile this Friday — instead of TV. And while it won't be torturing one of its Web-connected printers, HP hopes the blend of live + crowdsourced + comedy will engage viewers with its new technology.Continue reading...

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