get creative

Oreo Feeds the Beat During Day One of SXSW 2014

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 7, 2014 06:49 PM

SXSW 2014 kicked off today in Austin, Texas, with the festival's film portion expected to attract 30,000 people alone. 

The interactive festival, better known as the launching pad for Twitter and Foursquare, has become "a living, breathing manifestation of the Internet where you can get all kinds of different inputs and all kinds of different ways of information and put them all together and somehow come out slightly better at the end of the whole experience," Hugh Forrest, the festival's interactive director, told NPR. 

This year's festival is a cultural mélange with a line-up that includes Edward Snowden, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Julian Assange and feline Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, as well as musical acts including Lady Gaga. Speakers include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and SVP Sundar Pichai, as well as Dell CEO Michael Dell.Continue reading...

get creative

SXSW '14 Preview: Snowden, Gaga and Nye, Oh My!

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 6, 2014 06:20 PM

Each year, it seems SXSW (South By South West) gets more and more curious—and this year is no exception. Once dedicated to music, the 2014 SXSW festival, running from March 7 through 16 in Austin, Texas, now defines itself as "Music, Film, Interactive." Indeed, the festival has served as the launch pad for some of the market's most high-profile startups, including Foursquare. 

Beyond that, SXSW is a potpourri of personalities, popular trends and brands vying for attention. Indeed, last year's extravaganza was a "feeding ground for viral campaigns and unique marketing stunts." This year? Well, you can expect more of the same—just amped up a few notches.

In fact, SXSW 2014 may end up being known for notoriety. None other than the world's most infamous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, will speak on March 10 via teleconference. He'll be conversing with Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "on the impact of the NSA's spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance," according to the festival's site.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2014 09:08 AM

In the News

Microsoft confirms rumored frontrunner Satya Nadella as new CEO. Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman but remaining on the board.

Facebook celebrates 10 years by thanking its 1.23 billion members as rumored "teen problem" may be overblown

AT&T hails Olympians with new app.

Lenovo and Sony reportedly eye PC business alliance.

Nestle sells PowerBarMusashi brands to Post.

Alfa Romeo names new rear-wheel drive platform “Giorgio.”

AppleMicrosoft join carriers in $750M pledge to education.

Apple is reportedly building out its own content delivery network.Continue reading...

social media watch

Super Bowl's Real-Time Battle: JCPenney Mittens vs Budweiser Puppy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2014 07:49 PM

Following last year's blackout, which Oreo won hands down in a real-time marketing play hard to replicate, brands this year did all the prep work they could ahead of the Super Bowl to best prepare for that fleeting moment of social opportunity. What they couldn't prepare for, though, was a boring game. 

And so while brands over-touted their hashtags and engaged in banter with fans over their ads, there were bound to be missteps. This year's Super Bowl real-time battle was a "is this account hacked?" face-off between JCPenney and Budweiser.

In an attempt that left many wondering if JCPenney's Twitter account had been hacked (although our editor-in-chief called it), the struggling retailer seeded the stunt with a promotional tweet pushing its Team USA mittens—and then things got weird.Continue reading...

The Big Game

Meet the Unofficial Super Bowl Advertisers That are Packing a Punch Without Paying Up

Posted by Dale Buss on January 30, 2014 05:49 PM

Call them wanna-bes, hangers-on, coat-tailers or worse, but a growing number of brands are trying to achieve the Super Bowl effect without actually paying for it.

From Ford to Newcastle, marketers are finding more ways to take advantage of the Big Game atmosphere but not having to shell out an estimated $4 million for a 30-second spot on Fox this Sunday during the actual contest.

There are juicy pre- and post-game spots that deliver huge audiences as well but at a fraction of the price. And brands are managing to insinuate themselves into all the excitement and heightened promotional sensitivity that has turned a Super Bowl Sunday-only marketing extravaganza into a veritable season of fresh and often remarkable advertising, with all the media coverage and other knock-off effects that it brings.Continue reading...

The Big Game

For Food and Bev, Super Bowl Will Be a Battle of the Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on January 29, 2014 06:50 PM

No doubt Scarlett Johansson's ad for Sodastream will be among the most-anticipated of the the big game on Sunday. Cheerios' reprise of its mixed-race family will strike some of the most emotional cords. And a Budweiser spot featuring a puppy and a Clydesdale might convert a lot of snack-table napkins into makeshift hankies.

But more impressive than all of those things individually is the likelihood that food and beverage brands finally will rival automakers as the highest-impact vertical choosing to advertise in the Super Bowl this year. (Watch some of the Big Game spots that have already released below.)

One brand in particular, Pepsi, has a lot riding on the Super Bowl—so much in fact that the brand launched a seperate lead-in campaign to build up excitement for the Pepsi-sponsored halftime show.

"The heart and soul of our brand is pop culture and sports and music," Simon Lowden, CMO of Pepsi Beverages North America, told brandchannel. "And there's no better event than the Super Bowl to bring that to life."

The Big Game will be a major platform for Pepsi's tack to what it is calling a "master brand" strategy in which it treats the variety of Pepsi products as a single brand rather than calling out individual products as has been its tendency.Continue reading...

The Big Game

Doritos Names Five Finalists in Annual Super Bowl Commercial Contest

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 2, 2014 08:01 PM

With game ticket sales already reaching record prices, this year's Super Bowl, the first to ever be played in cold weather, will no doubt attract an extra-large veiwing audience. And all the better for PepsiCo's Doritos brand, which plans to grab attention with another installment of its Crash the Super Bowl commercial contest

Doritos, which upped the stakes this year with by making the contest global, will unveil the winner of its fan-made commercial contest during the game by airing the spot. Five finalists' commercials have been posted on Doritos.com for voting, the winner of which will collect $1 million.

This is the first time in the eight years of the Crash the Super Bowl contest that the company has opened it up to international submissions. The Doritos team will choose a second commercial from the finalist pool to also air during the game. The winners of the first and second-pick will get to work on the set of Marvel’s "The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” All five ads will be judged by a panel that will include Stan Lee, the legendary comics genius who created such characters as Iron Man and Spider-Man.Continue reading...

chew on this

Cheetos-Dusted Wings? Mtn Dew Cocktail? It's All Possible with PepsiCo, Buffalo Wild Wings Deal

Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2013 06:16 PM

It may not be long before Buffalo Wild Wings introduces Cheetos-flavored chicken wings to rival Taco Bell's' Doritos Locos Tacos in harnessing flavors direct from a Frito-Lay bagged-chip brand. Because under the new deal struck by the popular restaurant chain and Frito-Lay parent PepsiCo, just about anything combining restaurant food and beverages and PepsiCo IP may be—and could appear—on the table.

The immediate impact of the deal is that PepsiCo beverages, including Pepsi and Mountain Dew, are to replace Coca-Cola as the beverage supplier to one of the nation's hottest restaurant chains.

But recognizing the continued decline in the relative value of soda sales compared with other faster-growing segments of its portfolio, PepsiCo made it clear that the company believes many other dimensions of its new deal with Buffalo Wild Wings could become valuable as well.Continue reading...

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