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automotive

America's Import: Chrysler Takes on Foreign Rivals in New Ads

Posted by Dale Buss on October 27, 2014 02:18 PM

Chrysler has begun ratcheting up exposure and promotion of the all-new 200 sedan in the next phase of its advertising strategy for the car, USA Today reports. Four new TV spots take the notion of "America's Import" to new level as Chrysler it casts the 200 and its attributes against the traditional strengths of foreign competition, Auto News notes.

And in an interesting twist, Chrysler launched the new campaign during the NFL broadcast on Sunday of the early-morning game pitting the Atlanta Falcons playing the Detroit Lions—in London, as the NFL looks to boost its global brand.

Fiat Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois views gaining the deep and widespread enthusiasm of American consumers for the 200 as perhaps his most important task for the entire company right now. "My personal challenge is to prove that with the right product, Chrysler [brand] can make it," he recently told brandchannel. "The 200 is the right product. And my top thing at this moment is to convince the people in this country that the 200 is all-new."Continue reading...

e-commerce

Japan's Rakuten E-Commerce Giant Launches in America With Fashion Site

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2014 11:29 AM

Amazon, Google, and American consumers, take note: If you haven’t yet heard of Rakuten, you will soon.

The Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company is the world’s third-largest online marketplace behind Amazon and eBay. In its homeland, Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in the country, earning $4.9 billion in revenue last year to make it the Amazon and Alibaba of Japan.

Founded in 1997 by CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, the Tokyo-based Rakuten now has more than 10,000 employees worldwide and is ready to take on the big dog of e-commerce—Amazon—with the launch of its first website in the U.S. this week: Rakuten Fashion, which delivers the same level of tech savvy and device acumen that has helped the company grow exponentially over the years. Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Toothpaste Gets the Uber Treatment as Car Service Tests Same-Day Delivery

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 21, 2014 04:47 PM

In an instant-gratification world filled with consumers who, like Veruca Salt before them, want everything right this very second, major brands have engaged in a battle to be the fastest and most-efficient at bringing them whatever they desire.

But while Amazon, Google and Walmart have been duking it out for a while, smaller, and perhaps more nimble brands are set to disrupt the same-day delivery fray. The latest master of delivery (of both people and things) is Uber, which is currently testing a delivery service in Washington D.C. 

The car-service app is testing a new service called Corner Store that "lets users request more than 100 common items like allergy medicine, diapers, toothpaste right through the app,” according to PC Magazine. In addition, to boost business, it has now allowed other apps, such as Starbucks, Hyatt, and United Airlines to add in an Uber button to their apps.Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Toyota Busts a Rhyme, Apple, Greenpeace and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 15, 2014 01:16 PM

It's been a busy week for branded content, and it seems like everyone was feeling a bit musical. From Depend's rap for "Underwareness" to the Manning brothers' remix for DirecTV, more brands than not were dropping the beat this week for fun, entertaining content and campaigns. Below, check out more branded content projects, including an emotional tribute to moms in Japan from Pampers and a short film from Apple, which shows how the iPad can be integral to music-making.Continue reading...

campaigns

Goodbye, Kitty: Japan Sends Hello Kitty into Orbit to Boost Space Program

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 14, 2014 01:42 PM

NASA isn't the only space program in jeopardy. Japan, for one, is also trying to re-engage young minds with the fascinations of space using a tried and true method: Hello Kitty.

The iconic figure, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, has created billions of dollars in revenue for its owner, Sanrio, and Japan hopes that its internationally-recognized animated toy will drive the same kind of cultural interest for its space program. 

To get more private companies interested in using satellites, the government has invested $40 million toward the project, Reuters reports. The satellite carrying the 1.6-inch Hello Kitty figurine was fine-tuned over a couple of months of experimentation and is about the size of a garbage can.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Campaign Watch: Toyota Releases Hugh Jackman Ads in China and Japan

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 31, 2014 02:16 PM

David Duchovny isn't the Hollywood star who's moonlighting as a pitchman overseas—though Hugh Jackman's foreign-language star turn is likely to be less controversial.

Between stints as Wolverine, Jackman has become the new face of Toyota in Japan and China. In a new spot, below, Jackman stars as "Levin" in a short film that also stars Taiwanese actress Shu Qi as "Cynthia" and just debuted at a special event in China.

The Aussie actor joins other Hollywood leading men taking a spin in China for auto brands including Nicolas Cage in the Senova brand "Town of Car Legends" for BAIC (Beijing Auto) and George Clooney, who whisked away Bonnie Chen for Mercedes-Benz.

Watch Jackman's new Toyota China spot along with another spot in which he (literally) sings the praises of Toyota in Japan:Continue reading...

retail

Apple's Ahdrendts Scores Victory with EU Trademark for Store Designs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 10, 2014 03:39 PM

Apple scored a victory in an EU court ruling today, allowing the company to register the layout of its retail stores in Europe as a trademark, extending its intellectual property right that it acquired in the U.S. in 2010.

EU's top court said Apple's flagship stores fulfilled requisite trademark criteria: they constitute a sign, can be represented in a graphic and distinguish goods or services of one company from another. In its global expansion, Apple met resistance from German authorities last year, took the issue to court, and it eventually came before the European Court of Justice, the final arbiter on EU law.

"From this the Court concludes that the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," the court’s judgment said.

Going forward, new Apple stores will have a slightly different look.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Squeezed by the Competition, Tesco Hopes Customer-First Approach Works

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 4, 2014 04:23 PM

The UK's biggest retailer, Tesco, is going through its roughest patch in decades, dogged by the rise of discount chains like Lidl and Aldi and consumers opting to shop online as opposed to in-store. 

In the fourth quarter of 2013, sales in the core UK business dropped 3 percent from the same period the year before, but things got even worse in the first quarter of 2014, with sales falling 3.8 percent compared with the previous year's numbers. According to Kantar Worldpanel data, Tesco has lost more than one million customer visits per week, worth an estimated £25m ($41.9 million) in sales—a staggering exodus that led to a 29 percent fall in market share, its largest drop in at least 20 years.

No wonder investors are starting to wonder if CEO Philip Clarke has the right plan to get the once-dominant retailer, which fell 16 percent in brand value according to brandchannel parent Interbrand's latest Best Retail Brands report, back on track.Continue reading...

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