2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

in the spotlight

Wall Street Wobbles as Occupy Wall Street Marches On

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 19, 2011 02:10 PM

With the Occupy Wall Street movement now one month old and continuing to rattle workers in the financial industry around the world, a few big financial brands are being rattled independent of placard-carrying protesters in their midst.

Goldman Sachs lost $428 million in its latest quarterly earnings report, its second quarterly loss ever.

Citigroup has agreed to pay $285 million to settle SEC charges that it misled investors related to its mortgage businesses.

And Bank of America can't bank on being Number 1 anymore, as BofA cedes top spot to JPMorgan Chase this week.Continue reading...

follow the money

Bank of America Increases Fees Despite Ongoing Occupation

Posted by Matthew Moore on October 12, 2011 05:01 PM

While some companies are embracing the ‘Occupy’ demonstrations popping up across the United States, others like Bank of America have made the decision to ignore the impact that these demonstrations can have on consumer sentiment.

Less than two weeks after ‘Occupy Wall Street’ demonstrations began in downtown New York, executives at Bank of America thought it a good time to roll out a new $5 monthly charge to its customers making check card purchases in a given month. Two other large banks, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, are also reported to be considering similar fees.

Bank of America is now taking heat (including being spoofed on Ellen) for its recent fee introduction from both legislators and the media. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill. urged customers to take their money to different banks. A Fox Business Network anchor went further and made headlines when she cut up a Bank of America debit card on air.

Consumer watchdogs will argue that the fee is not fair and that the government needs to protect consumers; however, the damage for Bank of America has already been done thanks to all of the negative press its announcement has received. Recent reports of sluggish performance on the bank’s website over the past few week have even been attributed to the bank’s fee announcement.Continue reading...


Fidelity Reaches for the Little Red Book of Marketing to Pitch China Fund

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 11, 2011 07:30 PM

What to make of Fidelity International's appropriation of Chinese Cultural Revolution propaganda imagery — replacing Mao's Little Red Book and a gun, there are golf clubs and an iPad, for example — to pitch its China investment fund?

The digital campaign — generated by its Singapore office, where its agency must have made one helluva convincing pitch to equate the Chinese "consumer revolution" with the Cultural Revolution, in which an estimated 30 million people died — can be dismissed as creative expression based in ignorance. Still, it shows a surprising insensitivity to the region where the fund is based.Continue reading...

follow the money

Gulliver's Twist: HSBC Sells U.S. Credit Card and Retail Services to Capital One

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 10, 2011 11:00 AM

Following a strategic review of its global operations that was announced in May, HSBC will reap $2.4 billion by selling its credit card and retail services operations in the U.S. to Capital One. The $32.7 billion deal called "a home run" by TheStreet.com.

Stuart Gulliver, HSBC Group CEO, stated in a press release: "This transaction continues the execution of the strategy we announced at our Investor Day on 11 May to focus our US business on the international needs of customers in Commercial Banking, Global Banking & Markets, Retail Banking and Wealth Management and onshore Global Private Banking. Although dilutive in the short term, this transaction will reduce Group risk-weighted assets by up to US$40bn which, together with an estimated post-tax gain on sale of US$2.4bn, will allow capital to be redeployed over time."Continue reading...

branding together

Let's Make a Deal: American Express Offers Foursquare Exclusives

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 22, 2011 10:00 PM

Following a trial run at the South by Southwest digital conference in March, Foursquare and American Express are teaming up to offer discounts across the US to AmEx cardholders. AmEx commented tonight on Twitter: "Amex and Foursquare go national! Sync, explore, save... GET STARTED NOW."

As the New York Times notes, "Foursquare users are accustomed to receiving awards in the form of coupons and digital merit badges. But more substantial deals like those being offered to American Express cardholders may bring Foursquare and other location-based services further into the mainstream."

“In 2010, it was all about the check in,” commented eMarketer analyst Noah Elkin to the Times. “Now, it’s about checking out.”Continue reading...

web watch

Citigroup Latest to Wonder: Who the Hack is Out to Get Us?

Posted by Dale Buss on June 9, 2011 03:00 PM

Becoming the biggest name so far in June to have to parry a major cyberattack, Citigroup has joined the spring lineup of significant corporate victims of digital assaults, which includes Lockheed Martin, Sony, Google, Fox Networks and Michaels Stores.

And while company and brand executives grow increasingly frustrated by the attacks themselves and by vast damage to their businesses, their customers and clients, and their reputations, there’s something else vexing them nearly as much: Who's behind this, exactly, and why are they doing what they’re doing?Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Polish Banks Battle Over Celebrity Endorsements

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2011 03:00 PM

If New Zealand ends up banning brand endorsements by celebrities, they can always head to Poland.

Polish banks are on a spending spree so far this year to hire celebrity endorsements, such as Antonio Banderas, to bring the funny to the business of money.Continue reading...

social marketing

Capital One Visigoths Ransack FarmVille

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 3, 2011 02:00 PM

Visigoths may have settled west of the Black Sea in the 3rd century A.D., but now the barbarians are ransacking FarmVille on behalf of Capital One.

Using the unruly early Germans in its advertising has proven a brand bonanza for Capital One. Now, the credit card brand is bringing limited edition virtual Visigoth items to FarmVille players for one week.

Players with a Visigoth statue on their farms receive coveted “Double Mastery” points on harvested crops and trees, augmenting the rate at which they can advance to higher levels in the game.  

Additional access to branded clothing – a Farmville first – lets players outfit their avatars with  Visigoth costumes (male and female), and earn “Farm Cash” by interacting with Capital One TV ads featuring the Visigoths, characters that were introduced by the brand in 2000.

Capital One’s social media activities, as with many financial service companies, are limited by regulations, but now they’ve joined the ranks of 7-Eleven, DreamWorks and Lady Gaga in digging into FarmVille with a branded tie-in.

Will Ostrogoths be next?

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