china

Bradillac: Cadillac Tries to Build Brand in China with Brad Pitt, Smoother Lines

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 22, 2013 11:38 AM

It's a rough start when your new China spokesman is banned from China—but it appears Cadillac is going ahead with a new deal to make Brad Pitt its face in the world's fastest growing auto market.

Though with sales plunging in China and Audi and BMW eating its lunch, the brand needs to do something. It's too bad that even Brad Pitt won't likely be able to sell the Chinese an angry car they don't want. 

Cadillac's new $3 million dollar endorsement with Pitt (Bradillac?) may add some perspective to Pitt's recent, less than smooth entry to Chinese social media. In January, Pitt joined microblogging platform Weibo and posted "Yep, it is the truth. I am coming…"

The news was forwarded tens of thousands of times by those wondering if China's ban on the actor—following his film "Seven Years in Tibet"—had been lifted. Just a few weeks later, Pitt's account disappeared. It's unclear if the actor himself deleted it or if Weibo shut it down, something the platform is wont to do. Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Lindsey Vonn Supports Sponsor Red Bull While in Rehab

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 20, 2013 10:29 AM

When Gold Medal skier Lindsey Vonn's uplifting Facebook post from rehab carried the Instagram/Twitter hashtag #givesyouwings, it was just the latest example of how injury has become another opportunity for athlete spokespeople to service their brands.

Vonn posted the positive message alongside a picture of herself working out her abs as she is recovering from knee surgery after a brutal injury. The picture included her Red Bull water bottle. (She later tweeted a graphic picture of her post-op knee).

Yes, Red Bull is a Lindsey Vonn sponsor, but the fact that the four-time World Cup champion might not strap on skis for another six to eight months isn't stopping her endorsement duties. In fact, as many brands are learning, there may be as much to gain from a sponsor's thrill of victory as there is from his or her agony of defeat.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

'Blade Runner' Sponsors Nike, BT Shocked, but Sticking with Oscar Pistorius, For Now

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 01:53 PM

Oscar Pistorius was a man once known for being the fastest double-leg amputee on the planet. Now that the so-called Blade Runner has been charged with murder for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early Valentine’s Day morning, his sponsors, who pay out about $2 million to Pistorius annually, are moving just as quickly as Pistorius to figure out how to deal with the sudden PR nightmare.

Nike’s attachment to Pistorius was compounded by the fact that an ad featuring the Olympian used the tagline, “I’m the bullet in the chamber.” It was pulled from Pistorius’s website on Thursday, Ad Age reports. The victim's tweets before her murder also created a social media nightmare for anyone or any company attached to the paralympic athlete.

"Nike extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families concerned following this tragic incident," his sponsor said in a statement. "As it is a police matter, Nike will not comment further at this time." Two other sponsors, Oakley and BP Global, both used the word “shocked” in their statements on the issue. Thierry Mugler fragrances had nothing to say other than it was waiting to see what happens with the investigation.

British Telecom, better known as BT, also went the “appalled” route with its statement: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Seen Enough Beyonce Yet? Expect More With Pepsi, HBO, Oprah, Doc and Tour

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2013 02:09 PM

Pepsi promoted new artists like Hunter Hayes as part of its presence on the Grammy Awards last night, but most of its music marketing budget remains devoted to one very established diva: Beyonce.

Beyonce is demonstrating her personal-brand firepower these days like no time in recent years. Using her Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl halftime show as a launching pad, she also gave an award at the Grammys with Ellen Degeneres, made time to serve as the cover girl for the March issue of Vogue, taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey scheduled to run on Saturday and, of course, is awaiting reaction to the documentary about her that HBO plans to run on Sunday.

That's all by way of ramping up fan fever for her new "Mrs. Carter World Tour," which kicks off in Belgrade in April and finally reaches the United States in late June. MasterCard is holding a ticket presale event.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Watch Miracle Whip #KAOM #Grammys Music Video With Susan Boyle, Lance Bass and the Village People

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 10, 2013 05:13 PM

Call it "We are the Swirl." As brandchannel broke on January 7th, Kraft's Miracle Whip dressing brand has produced its first musical video, an "anthem" that will premiere during Sunday night's Grammy Awards telecast, but won't run on CBS. Instead, it's being promoted on the brand's social and digital channels.

The tongue-in-cheek video, above, stars Scottish songbird Susan Boyle (in her first U.S. commercial endorsement) and an unlikely crew of musicians, including Lance Bass (formerly of 'N Sync and readying his first solo album), country star Wynonna Judd, '80's pop star Tiffany, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, alt rock drummer Philip "Fish" Fisher of Fishbone, heavy metal singer Don Dokken, rap/hip-hop artist Chali 2na, and members of the Village People.

In the vein of "We are the World" and other musical pleas for understanding, the eclectic mix of performers sings "Keep an Open Mouth," continuing on a theme that debuted during last year's Academy Awards telecast. The sense of humor is in keeping with a brand that makes light of its claim that "a lot of people say they hate us without every (even) trying us," as its YouTube channel notes.

As Judd tweeted, the campaign's goal is "to set all the pre-judgers out there straight." Addressing the "haters," the Miracle Whip Twitter feed promoted the video (hashtag: #KAOM) with the comment, "Don't knock it 'til you try it," and will be live-tweeting throughout the Grammys telecast.

brand collaborators

Gimmick or Gold Mine, 'Creative Director' Brand Craze Adds Timberlake to Ranks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 8, 2013 03:24 PM

The list reads like a Who’s Who of A-list celebrities: Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, Swizz Beatz, will.i.am. But it's not a concert bill.

Instead, it's a list of stars who have recently agreed to serve as creative directors for brands — a trend that seems to blur the lines between star bling and business acumen.

Bud Light Platinum is the latest, announcing this week that it's inked deal with Justin Timberlake “to provide creative, musical and cultural curation for the brand.” The collaboration is to debut at Sunday’s 55th Grammy Awards via an ad, "Platinum Night," which features his latest single, "Suit & Tie." "Bud Light Platinum brings a refined, discerning aesthetic to beer that plays well with what I'm doing," Timberlake stated in a press release.Continue reading...

super bowl

Making Out Well: Ferrell's Old Milwaukee Ad Airs Regionally, But Spreads Virally

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 5, 2013 11:59 AM

While many brands paid as much as $4 million to air a Super Bowl ad, one figured out a way to get a lot of attention for much less.

Old Milwaukee aired an ad during the game featuring mustachioed comedian Will Ferrell in an extended kiss with a fellow bus passenger — but only in three tiny markets: Sherman, Tex.; Ardmore, Okla., and Glendive, Mont.

It wasn't immediately clear what the residents of those locales thought of "their" Super Bowl spot. But given its high-profile smoocher, it has resulted in the brewer getting a decent amount of attention compared to the brands that shelled out big bucks to have their ad seen by the huge Super Bowl viewing audience. USA Today, Yahoo!, and other highly watched media outlets had written about the Ferrell spot. 

Ferrell’s ad had received more than 1.5 million YouTube views by midday Tuesday, and seemed to be posted online only by fans of the ad itself. (Budweiser's popular Super Bowl ad featuring the adventures of a young Clydesdale had received more than 9 million by that point, but spent a comparative fortune.)Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Unilever Taps Buzz Aldrin to Help Find 22 Men for Axe and Lynx Space Program

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 10, 2013 05:31 PM

As we reported on Wednesday, Unilever's AXE brand is launching a Red Bull-challenging space program related to its new line of Apollo men's personal care products — taking 22 fans (men only, sorry ladies) from around the world to the edge of space as part of its Apollo Space Academy program in December 2013.

The last day to apply is February 3rd (aka Super Bowl Sunday) at AxeApollo.com (terms and conditions are here) or LynxApollo.com in the UK, Ireland and Australia, where Axe is sold as Lynx.

Below, watch Buzz Aldrin announce the AXE Apollo Space Academy (Lynx Apollo Space Academy to some), along with related videos and commercials related to Axe's new Apollo product line and contest:Continue reading...

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