Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand faces

2 Guys, 1 Campaign: Sonic Puts 2 Guys Back in the Front Seat

Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2012 02:25 PM

Raising hopes that fans might hear a reprise of classic lines such as "Go long!" for tater tots, Sonic is bringing back "those two guys" who sat in a car outside Sonic restaurants in TV commercials for eight years, letting their friendship humorously unfold over bites of Sonic burgers and whatever special the chain was running.

With a new, character-driven viral campaign seeded on a mock websiteYouTube, Twitter, Facebook and, er, LinkedIn, America's fourth-largest fast-food chain is bidding to have the two guys join Old Spice's Isaiah Mustafa and Ford's Focus Doug in the pantheon of heroes of recent marketing campaigns that have relied heavily on social media.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Google, Pringles and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 10, 2012 09:04 AM

In the News

Apple, now worth more than Google and Microsoft combined, is hit with stores protest over Foxconn treatment of workers in China, while fans anticipate new iPad and iPhone models.

Barclays caps bonuses as profit falls.

Beyonce and Jay-Z move to trademark daughter's name.

Bing and Viggle partner for second-screen Grammy effort.

Citibank bill-pay app charged some users twice, bank concedes.

Continental pushes past Southwest in customer loyalty.Continue reading...

brand bites

Brand Bites: Old Spice Man Video-Bombs Other Commercials

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 3, 2012 11:46 AM

Old Spice Man is back — this time, it's Terry Crews — in a trio of commercials directed by comic writers Tim Heideker and Eric Wareheim from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! 

Crews video-bombs other P&G brand spots: for Charmin, Bounce and, for fun, a vending machine full of snacks.Continue reading...

retail watch

JCPenney Re-Refreshes Brand - Third Time's the Charm?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 26, 2012 03:35 PM

Trying to figure out what’s on sale when and then waiting for the next sale to buy particular items can be frustrating to consumers so J.C. Penney Co. — in its first major overhaul of its retail arm since former Apple exec Ron Johnson took over as CEO in November — is attempting to make things much easier.

The company this week announced that its stores are doing away with having seven kazillion different items on different sales simultaneously and just “marking down all of its merchandise by at least 40% so shoppers will no longer have to wait for a sale to get the lowest prices in its stores.”

The move, including the repositioning commercial above, comes as jcpenney, as the chain rebranded itself at the 2011 Oscars, is re-rebranding with a new logo — following the previous year's rebrand at the 2010 Oscars (check out the logo progression below). What was that about trying to avoid consumer confusion?Continue reading...

doing good

Justin Bieber Uses Clout to Promote WeTopia

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2012 02:01 PM

Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber is putting his money where his heart is and investing in Sojo Studios’ WeTopia, which launched late last year to produce social games with nonprofit beneficiaries in a Farmville-like Facebook game for developing countries (such as Haiti, as seen above).

Promoting WeTopia as a collective effort (replacing the implied 'you' in Utopia with 'we'), Sojo Studios encourages online gamers to ‘Play for Good,’ and its free-to-play, community-building game lets players create and nurture WeTopia villages, earn “Joy” currency, applicable to real-world charitable projects in the U.S. and abroad, and track the impact of their contributions.

Initial nonprofit partners include Save the Children, buildOn and Children’s Health Fund. Bieber, naturally, announced his involvement on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading...

games people play

WeTopia: Facebook Gaming for Good

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 30, 2011 03:01 PM

“If you’re going to waste your time playing games on Facebook, you might as well do it and help build a better world while you’re at it,” writes Techcrunch.com about Sojo Studios’ WeTopia, an online game launching today that’s designed to have fun while raising money for children’s charities.

It’s a free-to-play Facebook game where players build villages and help their neighbors – all for ‘joy’ currency, in-game coins for real charitable works. They're convertible to real-world non-profit donations to promote healthcare and education. WeTopia is advancing the collective notion of gaming rewards beyond points, discounts and coupon redemption.

“Each purchase results in a direct donation to a real world cause. Buying an in-game fountain, for instance, leads to the contribution of a donation of clean water,” notes Venturebeat.

WeTopia heralds the next iteration of combining social games with non-profit beneficiaries. It's backed by former Facebook employee, Path CEO Dave Morin, with digital doyenne Esther Dyson on the advisory board and an exclusive partnership with Ellen DeGeneres.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Ellen DeGeneres Opening Vegan Restaurant

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 9, 2011 12:02 PM

Daytime TV doyenne Ellen DeGeneres started writing a blog earlier this year to help those who are trying to transition to a meat-free diet. It looks like she’ll be able to make a good restaurant recommendation soon.

Showbiz Spy reports that the comedian-turned-talkshow host and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, along with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders fame and producer Steve Bing are all investing in a new vegan restaurant that will open in California’s San Fernando Valley.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Giordano's Pizzeria Chain Hard-Pressed for Dough

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2011 03:01 PM

Connie’s Pizza, a chain with five Chicago and three suburban locations, may soon get a lot bigger. An insider told the Chicago Tribune that Connie’s, through holding company parent Italian Food Network, has put in a $26 million bid on Giordano’s, a pizzeria chain known for its stuffed pizza (fans include Ellen DeGeneres), which is currently reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

That kind of cash can buy a lot of pepperoni but it is unfortunately not enough to clean up the financial mess Giordano’s — which has 45 restaurants in Illinois and Florida, 35 of them owned by franchisees — has on its hands. The chain owes its main lender, Fifth Third Bank, $45.5 million, the Tribune notes.Continue reading...

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