that's entertainment

Summer's Here and the Time is Right for Branding of Your Beats

Posted by Claire Falloon on July 21, 2014 01:03 PM

As concert and festival-goers don their denim cut-offs and band t-shirts this summer, they should also get ready for the usual barrage from brands clamoring for their money and attention.

This year fans will encounter everything from advertising and promotions to carefully integrated digital and live experiences from brands including Jim Beam, HondaBudweiser, Vans and even Staples, which is sponsoring Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour (seriously, office supplies? What happened to sex, drugs and rock & roll?)

Old school purists may not like it, but concert sponsorship is nothing new and the presence of big corporate brands in music is a reality we may all have to get used to. 

As Lady Gaga noted at SXSW back in March, “without sponsorships we won’t have any more artists in Austin, because record companies don’t have any f*cking money.” And as music labels recede, the big brands are marching in.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Of Mazda, Music and Miata: 5 Questions with Russell Wager

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2014 03:03 PM

Music has long been a great currency of marketing. But automotive brands are taking their involvement with music to new levels these days as they seek ways to make connections digitally and with their toughest demographic, Millennials.

Honda, for example, just launched an ambitious effort called Honda Stage that involves concert sponsorships and other music touch points. Nissan this week announced a two-year partnership with the Americana Music Association, give the brand closer ties to country music and Nashville.

And Mazda, though a small brand by automotive standards, now also is trying to mount an outsized presence in the music arena. The automaker just announced an expanded partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, making Mazda the official automotive partner and doubling the brand’s participation this year to eight or nine events.

The series involves combining entertainment and running, featuring live bands performing at every mile along the course and a post-event headliner concert. Mazda will also have lots of on-site activations such as the Mazda Fueling Station with free food and beverages. It kicked off in Chicago this week and continues through December.

Mazda’s North American vice president of marketing, Russell Wager, talked to brandchannel about the new partnership and the brand's bigger strategy and goals:Continue reading...

diversity watch

Brand Pride: Apple's Tim Cook Stands Side by Side With LGBT Employees

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 8, 2014 04:43 PM

As noted here, TD Bank was a proud sponsor of the first WorldPride event held in North America. Also showing its colors in Toronto late last month: the smart auto brand, which sponsored the event's opening ceremonies in Toronto. And south of the border, on June 29, thousands of Apple employees and their families marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, where employees were welcome by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was lauded in today's Wall Street Journal as a "more collaborative" and compassionate leader than Steve Jobs. Check out both brands' 2014 Pride videos below.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Forever Proud: TD Bank Walks Its Talk With WorldPride 2014 Sponsorship

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 7, 2014 06:05 PM

The recent WorldPride event in Toronto marked the first time the event had been held in North America—and served as a testament to platinum sponsor TD Bank Group's acceptance of diversity.

The most valuable brand on Interbrand's Best Canadian Brands report, TD Bank not only sponsored WorldPride 2014, which ran from June 20 to 29 and attracted an estimated two million people across the Greater Toronto Area, but helped the host committee land the event by sponsoring their bid and accompanying them to make their case to InterPride, the event's organizer, in a first for a corporate sponsor.

It also wasn't a one-off commitment. TD is supporting 42 Pride events across North America this year, including signing a multi-year partnership with Boston Pride, all part of its bigger committment to equality and creating an inclusive workplace. "This is our tenth year of supporting Pride events," notes Scott Mullin, the bank's Vice President of Community Relations. "Ten years ago it was seen as pretty edgy for a financial institution."Continue reading...

start your engines

Harley-Davidson Promises New Electric Bike Won't Disappoint

Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2014 05:10 PM

It emits a metallic purr rather than a throaty roar, but Harley-Davidson’s first-ever electric motorcycle is expected to make a big statement for how the brand is transitioning to an era that is increasingly friendly to EVs and more suspect of old-fashioned power supplied by internal combustion of hydrocarbons.

Dubbed Project LiveWire, the brand is taking the new EV prototype across the US to give fans a chance to try out the new technology. The tour will kick off with a journey along Route 66, the fabled US highway in the western part of the country, visiting more than 30 Harley dealerships this year. Riders will be able to ride the Project LiveWire prototype and non-motorcyclists will be able to enjoy a simulation. The tour will extend to other parts of the United States, Canada and Europe next year, the company said.Continue reading...

chew on this

Golden Years: Pop-Tarts, Nutella Take Different Paths To 50th Anniversaries

Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2014 10:14 AM

Nutella and Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts started from very different places to end up as very similar brands: mainstream snack sensations celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year.

Pop-Tarts began as a favorite breakfast convenience for American moms to give to their boomer offspring, while Nutella was long popular in Europe and now is riding a wave of adoration as a guilty pleasure in the United States as well.

Kellogg is still continually repositioning its well known ready-to-eat cereal brands as better-for-you breakfast choices in a variety of ways, but the company basically has given up making a lot of nutritional pretensions for Pop-Tarts toaster pastries.Continue reading...

sip on this

Go West, Young Frap: Starbucks Spreads Cool with Frappuccino Food Truck

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2014 12:16 PM

Everywhere consumers turn these days, they can find food on wheels (and a Starbucks). From PB&J to Schnitzel and cupcakes, the food truck craze has shown no signs of slowing down. And with summer finally starting to show its face in the US, Starbucks, itself a purveyor of sweet, frozen treats, is hitting the road to serve up Frappuccinos on the go. 

The truck, which had a test run in Hong Kong five years ago, set out on its current trip from San Diego, CA, on May 15, and is now stationed in the Los Angeles area until June 15, according to The Street. Fans will find the usual Starbucks fare as well as limited-time drinks on the truck, and will get to enjoy Jenga, croquet and a digital jukebox as well to complete the experience.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...

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