Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 05:17 PM
As three’s the charm, the Heineken Ideas Brewery is launching its third initiative: The 60+ Challenge. The previous challenges invited the public to reinvent the draught beer experience, and participate in a live innovation event.
Now the Dutch brewer, at 140 years young, is asking creatives worldwide to share observations and insights by Feb. 28th on the lives of those 60+. Participants will compete for a chance to win a share of $10,000 and have their entries, film, photos, or prose, included in a documentary.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 10, 2012 02:58 PM
Albert, killed during a 1948 experimental space mission launched by the United States, was not the first money in space. Or so contends a unique new viral promotion in China by SOHO China, one of the nation's largest real estate development enterprises.
"Abo," SOHO's campaign tells us, was sent into space by China in 1946. In this retelling, he returned to earth — a little changed. He spent time bonding, it seems, with some aliens and has returned to Earth to tell China it is a creative failure, a "copycat empire" that is "burying alive the creative spirit of a billion citizens."
Yes, this is a marketing campaign for a Chinese brand. A creative one — and a controversial one, with a debate raging on social media about what Time Out Beijing called "a crazy PR stunt."
"Of course some of the issues that Abo talks about sail very close to the wind," Ogilvy & Mather China Chief Creative Officer Graham Fink told brandchannel. The intention is not to offend people but just to make them think and to awaken their creative passion."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 9, 2012 05:05 PM
Businesses and brands are increasingly beholden to healthy communities and constituents for their bottom-line growth.
Coca-Cola just released its ninth annual Sustainability Report and second Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Report, making the point that sustainability and corporate citizenship aren't sidebars to the company. "We're working to embed sustainability-minded innovations into every aspect of our business, from sourcing ingredients to increasing beverage options to aspiring to be water neutral and recovering packages for recycling," stated Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola's CEO.
"Coca-Cola is intent on growing our business by making a difference wherever our business touches the world and the world touches our business,” added Bea Perez, the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, who was hired in July 2011.
The company's Sustainability Report is presented as a fully interactive website (tagline: "Every bottle has a story") features videos, social media capabilities, third-party opinions on global challenges and an updated digital design accessible through smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 24, 2012 11:12 AM
BMW is taking its Guggenheim Lab cultural collaboration to Mumbai after stops in New York, and Berlin.
The six-year collaboration between the blue chip automaker and the prestigious museum kicked off this past summer in New York. Now the global road show is heading to India to examine the relationship between social behavior and art and cutting to the heart of pressing urban challenges worldwide.
Running from December 9 through January 20, the Mumbai installation — which will be based in the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum — will offer “design projects, participatory studies, tours, talks, workshops, film screenings and cultural activities [that] will address challenges and opportunities related to public space and the choices Mumbaikars make to balance individual and community needs.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 23, 2012 12:02 PM
When 12-year-old Claudia Kincaid and her 9-year-old brother Jamie decide to run away in 1967’s The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, they head off to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they sleep in a big, antique bed and they make money from the coins tourists throw into the fountains.
If the fictional pair were to hit the road today, they might want to head to the headquarters of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in Stamford, Connecticut. That is where the company has opened its new two-level Starwood Experience, an open idea lab that might also appeal to another young hotel lover (Eloise). The showcase invites visitors to check out what’s coming next in a few “next generation model guest rooms,” according to a press release. (Certainly this would feel better than the old lumpy antique bed at the Met.)
The idea is to test out new innovations in two- and three-dimensional design, guest-facing technology, brand programming, event activation in public spaces, and food and beverage initiatives for such Starwood hotel brands as Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton.
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2012 09:32 AM
It's been a tough ride for the United States Postal Service. Never mind the rain, snow, sleet, or hail working conditions — as the Wall Street Journal reports it's under tremendous pressure to turn around its financials and create a new business model:
Its use plummeted amid the rise of e-mail. In recent months, it has defaulted on two payments to the U.S. Treasury for a total of $11.1 billion for future retiree health benefits. USPS has been seeking legislation to cut costs by eliminating Saturday mail delivery and reducing its annual health-benefits payments. And now there’s this.
"This" refers to the USPS name being dragged through the mud, along with what's left of Lance Armstrong's sports legacy, during last week's anti-doping report in which the cyclist's former allies in cycling. For a time, however, back in the very late '90s and early 2000s, USPS workers were associated with a winner, when the USPS-sponsored cycling team, with Armstrong at the helm, brought home its first Tour de France victory in 1999 and just kept on winning for seven straight years. Now the Postal Service is hoping to get back on a winning streak itself.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2012 03:45 PM
It was embattled Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald's turn today to describe what he sees taking place at the CPG behemoth now and in the future, as he assured shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Cincinnati that "we're confident we're doing what's right and necessary to achieve [our] objectives, now and for the long-term health of our business."
McDonald pledged that P&G is focusing on the company's 40 largest businesses, 20 top innovations and 10 most important developing markets as well as its $10-billion productivity program to drive future growth. "Our plan," he stated in a press release after the meeting, "is decisive, simple and focused. Grow our core and win with innovation fueled by productivity."
The CPG executive has been taking more heat than any other recent P&G CEO because the company lately has stumbled in meeting its growth objectives, has been shown up by competitors, and seems to have fallen off in innovation compared with a few years ago, when an emphasis on new products, new features, line extensions and new brands was propelling Procter & Gamble to record growth.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2012 03:08 PM
Nissan is doubling down on its investment in the Leaf electric vehicle in a big way, by opening a $1.6-billion factory in Smyrna, Tenn., to bring to the U.S. production of a car that has been built in Japan until now. Although Nissan is selling fewer Leafs than a year ago, the Japanese automaker — which just moved up 30 percent to #73, with a brand valuation just shy of $5 billion, on Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report — is determined to turn around Leaf's fortunes.
In addition to localizing Leaf production, Nissan underscored the EV's woes late last week as word got out that it plans to introduce a budget version of the nameplate next year in a bid to make the sticker price more plausible to more Americans, according to Automotive News. The low-cost trim level would be positioned below the two higher-spec Leaf versions currently on the market, apparently, and will debut as part of a 2013-model facelift of the entire Leaf line. Continue reading...