start your engines

MINI Launches Cross-US Rally on Fourth of July

Posted by Dale Buss on July 4, 2012 12:05 PM

MINI has continued its remarkable U.S. sales surge through the first half, this week reporting a 15-percent gain in June for June over a year earlier and an 8-percent gain over 2011 for the year to date. Both were record results for the BMW-owned tiny-car brand. "It's a wonderful time to be MINI," Jim McDowell, MINI USA VP, stated.

Indeed, America's leading little-car brand has continued to pile up sales gains even as competition in its segment has intensified with the arrival of the Fiat 500 and, now, variations; Scion's new iQ; and a new effort by Mercedes-Benz to finally turn its Smart brand around in the U.S.

For its next act, as McDowell noted, MINI is about to launch "the greatest rally in our fabled history" — MINI Takes the States. Beginning on the Fourth of July — hence the tagline "Go Forth. Go West. Go Mini" — following a PR kick-off Tuesday on NBC's Today Show, thousands of MINI owners and enthusiasts are expected to take part in MINI's cross-country rally, or part of it, covering a total of 16 states and 13 cities.Continue reading...

Ben & Jerry's Mobile Tour Rolls Into the Big Apple

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 29, 2012 11:55 AM

It's the summer of mobile marketing in America, with brands including P&G and Walmart hitting the road to engage consumers with roadside pit-stops.

Back again this summer, Ben & Jerry's scoop truck has been wending its way across the U.S. And for ice-cream fans in New York City through August 3rd, the truck can be found by following its Twitter feed as it makes stops at local businesses, non-profits and community events to give away samples of its new Greek Frozen Yogurt.

Nothing so new for the Unilever-owned ice cream brand, but what is new this summer is it's social media fans will determine the stops. “Traditionally, when companies sample their product they stay at one spot, serve tiny little samples, and hope that consumers can find them,” said Jay Curley, Integrated Marketing Manager at Ben & Jerry’s.Continue reading...

London 2012

London 2012 Watch: McDonald's UK Launches "We All Make the Games" Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 28, 2012 02:14 PM

As an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic (that part, sadly, often gets left out), McDonald’s has already invested a lot of money to support the event, from building the world's biggest restaurant and to encouraging youths to get in the spirit and get moving. The next phase in this McOlympics: a £10 million responsive advertising campaign called “We All Make The Games.”

Leveraging multiple media channels, the plan is to document, replay and celebrate the people, moments, and emotions of the games in three phases:Continue reading...


Mercedes-Benz Woos Gen Y With Digital Avant/Garde Events and Editorial

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 26, 2012 11:58 AM

Automakers have been panicking throughout the recession that Gen Y is abandoning the American dream of car ownership (forget home ownership). The answer: create buzz and a cool factor by targeting the creative class. The above photo doesn't look like a custom publishing project by an automaker, and that's the whole point.

Mercedes-Benz is positioning The Avant/Garde Diaries as a digital project, curating interviews, video and photos promoting its events appealing to not-always-affluent but certainly influential creatives in key cities. It all kicked off with the brand's Transmission 1 event in Berlin, continued with Movement Copenhagen then the recent Transmission LA - AV hybrid arts/music/digital happening in Los Angeles curated by the Beastie Boys' Mike D.

Last week saw the opening of A/D's editorial office, at the corner of Broome and Mott Streets in New York's Nolita neighborhood, whith hipster fave photographer Cobrasnake on hand to photograph the 700 guests who attended.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Move to the Summer Beats for Youthful Campaigns

Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2012 01:12 PM

Following rumors last fall, Coca-Cola confirmed that it's producing a global TV series to woo teens with music in more than 30 countries during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

As a (lightly) branded entertainment extension of its global youth and music-oriented "Move to the Beat" Olympics marketing platform, Beat TV is being distributed in partnership with MTV Networks International, producing 10 episodes aimed at bringing youths some of the cultural flavor and excitement of the Games and its London setting. It's also not to be confused with "Move to the Beat TV," above, a web series Coca-Cola produced for European audiences as part of its Olympic marketing. (Coke's Move to the Beat campaign just picked up a bronze Cannes Lions award for mobile this week.)

While sponsored TV programming isn't new — look at NBC's recent Escape Routes series touting the Ford Escape crossover vehicle — Coke says Beat TV will run as a regular TV show (including channels with official rights to the Olympics and previous ad commitments from Coca-Cola); it won't feel like an infomercial for Coke's official Olympics sponsorship and the brand's presence won't be "overt"; and ad opportunities will be open to other brands.Continue reading...


No Running of the Brides Until Macy's Puts a Ring on Bankruptcy Auction

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 7, 2012 04:04 PM

Running of the Brides, the infamous, annual Filene’s Basement sale where brides-to-be madly dash for deeply-discounted wedding gowns, (as seen above from last year's sale at Boston's Hynes Convention Center) may have run its course, as the chain with roots dating back to 1909 continues to be dissolved.

It’s been a sad saga since Filene's Basement, the American retailer famed for its high-spirited Running of the Brides franchise — which sees shoppers line up at the crack of dawn, dress up and cheer as they storm the racks of bridal gowns — and sibling retailer Syms, known for its tagline "an educated consumer is our best customer," announced they were facing the ultimate markdown: Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Fast forward to this week, and the indefinite postponement of a scheduled auction to sell off the intellectual property of Filene’s Basement and parent company Syms Corp. until creditors can agree on a plan to close out the bankruptcy case.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

The Pepsi Taste Challenge is Alive and Well and Living in Canada

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 18, 2012 01:01 PM

Pepsi Canada took a big risk back in 1976 when it challenged consumers to a blind taste test, hoping that they’d not only top rival Coke but also that some of those folks who generally purchased Coca-Cola would surprise themselves and choose Pepsi.

Well, it worked then and the company hopes that it will keep on working this summer. PepsiCo Beverages Canada has announced that it is touring the nation this summer to administer the test to 1.5 million consumers at more than 1,000 events across the land.

With all this energy being thrown into it, Pepsi has gone ahead and renamed the promotion the Pepsi Ultimate Taste Challenge, which makes one wonder how they can possibly top that in the future.

Since 1976, the company has given nine million taste tests and this summer’s taste tests will feature the use of new technology, more than a thousand local events, and tricked-out semi-trailer crossing the country.Continue reading...

London 2012

London 2012 Watch: Coke Invites London Club Kids to the Move to the Beat

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 14, 2012 09:31 AM

Coca-Cola held a "secret gig" in London on Friday night, featuring producer Mark Ronson and singer Katy B promoting "Move to the Beat," the anthem and youth-oriented integrated marketing platform for the London 2012 summer Olympic games.

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