chew on this

Burger King Gets Trucking, Brings Home the Bacon

Posted by Dale Buss on April 20, 2012 01:58 PM

Food startups are familiar with the effectiveness of handing out free samples of their goods. Trial can be victory with consumers and sales traction for the business. That's why entrepreneurs favor vans, pickups, delivery trucks, mobile kiosks and any other way to get around to where people are gathered in order to get their products into eager mouths.

But Burger King? As it kicks off its celebrity-studded, $750-million brand refresh, BK is deploying a fleet of 30 food trucks to travel among 40 U.S. cities, handing out free samples of new menu items including fresh-fruit smoothies and chicken strips with new dips.

It's an unusual move for such a huge brand, but that may be the kind of tactic required for Burger King to reverse recent trends that have found it falling to No. 3 in QSR sales behind Wendy's and, of course, McDonald's at No. 1.Continue reading...

automotive

Rising U.S. Sales Mask Big Three Automaker Losses

Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2012 04:59 PM

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are facing their biggest test since beginning their recoveries three years ago. Even in a bullish market, the challenges are huge.

Before the end of last year, many automotive pundits brought up two distinct possibilities about how the big car-makers could be faring differently in 2012 from the way 2011 was ending up. And already, the industry seems to be tacking in the direction of both of them.

One clear trend after first-quarter sales is that Detroit's Big Three automakers are already giving back much of the hard-won share of the market that they gained over the last two years. The other big news: Toyota has recaptured much of the mojo it lost in the U.S. market over those two years.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Ad Watch: Richard Gere is Big in Japan Thanks to Orangina Campaign

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 4, 2012 01:46 PM

Richard Gere's new French-made commercials for Suntory's Orangina drink in Japan have skyrocketed sales to the tune of a million cases in the first four days of the commercials' debut. In the spots, the American actor plays Tora-san, an updated version of a sentimental figure from Japanese cinema: a "hapless traveling salesman from an iconic series of Japanese films," according to the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Japan blog. Watch more below.Continue reading...

brand bites

Brand Bites: Ben & Jerry's Gay Marriage Ice Cream, Naked PETA and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 16, 2012 12:19 PM

Ben & Jerry's supports gay marriage in the UK with "Apple-y Ever After" ice-cream and Facebook app.

How do you promote a parking app at South by Southwest? Fake parking boots!

Of course there's a "woody" Toyota Prius.

Lingerie retailer Figleaves escapes outdoor ad ban.Continue reading...

brand accolades

How Japan's Top Brands Inspire Through Passion

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 24, 2012 05:03 PM

Interbrand Global CEO Jez Frampton this week announced Japan’s Best Global Brands 2012 in a keynote speech in Tokyo.

“It’s a testament to the excellence of this country’s leading companies and the wealth of talent their brands represent,” Frampton commented. "It's not just 'business as usual' we are witnessing. It's business driven by passion and a will to overcome adversity."

The remarkable success stories highlighted in the new ranking includes such top Japanese brands as Toyota, Honda, Canon, Sony, Nintendo, Panasonic, Nissan, Lexus, Toshiba and Komatsu.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Amazon Harpooned Over Whale Meat Sales on Japanese Site

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2012 05:09 PM

Amazon.com, ranked at #9 among U.S. retail brands on Interbrand's new Best Retail Brands report, has found itself in hot water with environmentalists.

The Seattle-based company “allows” (or at least has turned a blind eye to) its Japanese website to "traffic in whale and dolphin products,” according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Whaling has been illegal since 1982. Britain's the Mirror states that “animal rights groups found 147 illegal items advertised including whale curry, whale bacon, whale stew and tinned whale hamburger” on the site. That's right: whale burgers.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Fujifilm’s Picture-Perfect Brand Extension: Anti-Aging Skin Cream

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 25, 2012 12:01 PM

You may not have heard of Astalift, but you will soon. The line of skin creams, which promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, is expanding from Asia to Europe. Its claims may not be unique, but the brand behind it is: Fujifilm.

Cosmetics, specifically anti-aging creams made from the same antioxidation technology used in preventing photos from fading, are the backbone of a brand extension which has kept Fujifilm alive in Asia, where Astalift has been available in Japan and China for the past couple of years, in a rapidly changing world where its core product, photography and film, shifted 180 degrees, leaving one major brand, the newly bankrupt Kodak, in its digital dust.

Applying its patented chemicals in new ways, with Astalift Fujifilm claims that Pico-Collagen penetrates the skin through cell gaps, working from the inside-out to restore suppleness and elasticity, and has built its Fujifilm Beauty brand around that claim, first in Asia and now coming to Europe. Using collagen in cosmetics is relatively new, but its use in preventing photographic images fading is tried and true.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Volt, Harley-Davidson & more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 24, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

AMR reassures employees on pensions.

Amazon builds Fire tablet on Android without Google apps.

Anheuser-Busch president steps down.

Apple aims to shore up financial results.

Callaway tries to lure young golfers with Justin Timberlake involvement.

Chesapeake Energy pulls back on gas drilling amid glut.

Conde Nast may be cooking up another "shelter" magazine.

GM deals with Volt mini-mutiny as some Chevy dealers spurn allocations of the car.Continue reading...

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