sports in the spotlight

Brands Catch NFL Draft Fever

Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2012 05:04 PM

Are you ready for some football? Tonight the NFL draft begins, on ESPN, seasonally ushering in the source of America's most popular TV programming — and one of its biggest branding vehicles —back into the cultural discourse.

As we noted earlier, Nike is running with its "Fast is Faster" campaign touting its new NFL uniforms during the 2012 draft. PepsiCo's Quaker Oats brand also kicked off its new status as the "Official Hot Cereal Sponsor" of the NFL yesterday with a Play 60 Youth Football Festival that starred Andrew Luck, the fortuitously-named Stanford University quarterback who is the presumptive No. 1 choice in tonight's draft. 

And Google, not missing a chance to promote its social networking platform, is inviting fans to join the top two draft picks (Luck and Robert Griffin III) virtually via Google+ hangoutsContinue reading...

survey says

Harris Survey Highlights 15 Top Brands With Staying Power

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 29, 2012 12:07 PM

For the past eight years, fifteen brands have ranked at the top of their category in the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, a survey of over 1,500 brands across more than 127 product categories.

"These 15 top brands have consistently found a way to remain relevant and valuable to the consumer," said Aron Galonsky, SVP for Harris Interactive's Brand and Communication Consulting group. "It's not surprising why these perennial leaders continue to stay on top. They continually deliver a consistent and balanced brand experience, year after year, that really resonates with the consumer."

Check them out below, along with more from Harris about why they made the 2012 list.Continue reading...

sip on this

Beverage Giants Ride Out Softening Soda Market

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2012 03:01 PM

Soda makers have continued to expand their offerings over the past few years, which has been a smart move for business since soft-drink sales in America fell yet again in 2011, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. That marks seven consecutive years where the numbers have spiraled downward.

While the market has slumped to 1996 levels, Coca-Cola continues to ride atop with Coke and Diet Coke topping third-place Pepsi, AJC notes. 

Beverage Digest has it that “volume for the carbonated drinks segment was down 1 percent in 2011,” which follows a “0.5 percent drop in 2010,” according to the paper. This sets industry volume back to where it was in 1996 at about 9.3 billion of 192-ounce cases.

Don’t shed a tear for the beverage giants, however. Non-carbonated drinks are doing just fine.Continue reading...

sip on this

Pepsi Expands Mid-Calorie Brands with 60 Calorie Pepsi Next

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2012 12:06 PM

PepsiCo is fighting back in the war on soda by offering a new version of its flagship beverage, called Pepsi Next, which will have 60 calories, about half of its regular soda, according to the Associated Press.

Don't think of it as a "diet" or "low calorie" beverage so much as a mid-calorie drink. Consumers should be able to find the beverage, made with three artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup, on store shelves by the end of March.

Pepsi has been researching the "taste curve" to figure out the sweet (but not too sweet) spot as it tweaks the brand. The move follows sibling brand moves at Gatorade, whose G2, at 20 calories, has a little less than half the calories of the original version; and Trop50, which is half of the 110 calories in a regular glass of Tropicana orange juice.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...

brand news

In the News: Kindle, Panasonic, Virgin & more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2011 09:01 AM

In the News

Amazon considers remedy for Kindle faults.

Anheuser-Busch InBev plans reality show for Budweiser brand.

Apple and HTC face judgment day on patent dispute, as Apple celebrates 100M apps from the Mac App Store and The Beatles' success on iTunes.

AT&T reportedly gets a break in its T-Mobile acquisition plan.

Auto Nation seeks new dealerships in existing Sun Belt markets, while U.S. auto dealers get creative with promotions.

Diamond Foods faces challenge over payments to walnut growers, complicating acquisition of Pringles from P&G.

Disney Four Seasons hotel begins construction.

General Mills takes G-WIN digital innovation initiative global.

GM faces potentially long investigation of Volt fires.Continue reading...

brand targets

As NBA Lockout Ends, What's the Damage to Michael Jordan's Brand?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 28, 2011 10:10 AM

Everybody loves Michael Jordan, right? The ultimate brand spokesman, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, has been affiliated with a slew of brands in his 48 years: Nike (which produces his lucrative Jordan Brand line), Coca-Cola, Gatorade, MCI, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Wheaties, Rayovac, Ball Park Franks, and Hanes.

Since March of 2010, he’s been the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, the first former player to hold such a title. Since he’s seen both sides of the coin, you’d think that when the NBA lockout occurred, Jordan would have been able to help broker a deal between the players and his fellow owners.

Instead, Jordan went hard-line against the players, not wanting to give in an inch, and reportedly getting fined by the NBA for his public comments. Now that the lockout's end is looming, one wonders how much his sudden tough-guy appearance hurt his brand.Continue reading...

afternoon snack

Food: “Better-For-You” Means Better for Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2011 02:01 PM

Big food and beverage companies argue they are fighting federal regulators so stiffly about new front-of-package labeling standards for the nutritional characteristics of their products for an important reason: the government doesn’t want producers to be able to highlight the amounts of fiber, omega-3s and other positive nutrients in them – just to summarize how little sodium and other “bad things” they contain.

The debate could get sharper in the wake of the release of a new report that dimensionalizes the financial advantages brought to companies by developing and marketing “better-for-you” foods. Companies with a higher percentage of sales from BFY products had a 50 percent increase in operating profit (compared to 20 percent at companies with a below-average percentage of sales of those items), outperformed the S&P 500 by an average of 60 points (vs. 40 points) and generated higher shareholder returns than the other companies, according to a new study by the Hudson Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Continue reading...

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