Posted by Abe Sauer on October 4, 2011 03:01 PM
The behind-the-scenes world of trademarking the US military was thrust into the public sphere earlier this year when it was revealed that Disney had filed to trademark "Seal Team Six" just hours after it was announced the elite group had killed Osama Bin Laden. Soon after the fiasco, we found various armed forces extensions moving quickly to trademark their respective intellectual property.
One US armed forces unit that has long understood the value of its brand is the Army. While most Americans are probably familiar with the Army's branding with regard to recruitment and retention efforts, from "Be All You Can Be" to "Army Strong," they are probably less familiar with brand extensions like the Army's new line of toys.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 29, 2011 02:00 PM
Obesity is one of the dirtiest words you can say in Washington, D.C., these days. America is overstuffed with a massive collection of overly large individuals and that number continues to grow, particularly in children. So the federal government has been attacking the issue on a number of levels.
From First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House garden, restaurant and retail-lobbying efforts and Let's Move! initiative to the new daily-nutrition-recommendation plate (above) from the USDA, the folks in the federal government are doing what they can to help Americans know their chard from their Cheetos. Not everyone inside the Beltway agrees on how to take in the Beltway a few notches, however.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 26, 2011 02:00 PM
Maybe McDonald's is just feeling generous because its second-quarter net income rose by 15% and the iconic brand has been able to buck the vestiges of recession that have been afflicting so many of its competitors. Or maybe company executives are just tired of being played as villains by food activists.
Whatever the reason or reasons, McDonald's today laid out details of a new multi-pronged, multi-year commitment to boost nutrition in its menu and, to the extent it can, across American society. Most notably, it includes a major overhaul of the much-maligned Happy Meal in response to concerns about childhood obesity, as well as significant new uses of its influence in various forms of communication about food choices.
The company’s “Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices” aim to help Americans “make nutrition-minded choices whether visiting McDonald's or eating elsewhere.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2011 03:00 PM
America’s food and beverage makers, in tandem with casual restaurants including Burger King, have stepped up their marketing offensive against federal regulators who are seeking to impose tough new “voluntary” standards about marketing to children.
Industry groups are intensifying their battle on two fronts: extending more effort on self-governing programs to offer more healthy-product options and to soft-pedal their marketing, and punching back harder against the proposal by the Obama administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on marketing food to children.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2011 12:30 PM
On the day that the Obama administration had to ruefully acknowledge that the unemployment rate is rising again – to 9.2% in June – the US Association of National Advertisers tried a clever tactic that attempted to leverage renewed fears about joblessness to advance what probably ranks as the ANA’s No. 1 public-policy concern these days.
The ANA produced a study purporting to show that a cross-agency federal proposal to curtail marketing of certain products to kids could translate to the loss of at least 74,000 American jobs in the retailing, marketing and manufacturing of foods and beverages that the government believes contribute to childhood obesity.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 12, 2011 11:30 AM
You know those funny-looking graphic squares — the ones that appear to be a cross between a bar code and a complicated maze? Those ubiquitous QR codes (short for Quick Response) are popping up just about everywhere these days — on print and television ads, on outdoor billboards, in store windows, and on product packaging.
The appeal is simple: QR codes can embed text, URLs and other data that can be decoded by a camera phone with the appropriate software. Basically, when consumers point an enabled phone at a QR code, they get taken to a special offer, a promotional website, or some other relevant information.
While QR code usage is widespread in Japan, where it was invented, the concept is still gaining traction in the US. But as smartphones proliferate, product marketers like the 99-year old Sun-Maid brand are leveraging the new technology in the hopes of gaining a competitive edge.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 11, 2011 03:00 PM
Abercrombie and Fitch got into hot water with its push-up bikini top aimed at girls. Walmart's tween makeup line raised a few parental eyebrows. Now it's Skechers turn in the hot seat.
The brand's Shape Ups for Girls commercial (above) has been out since September, but it's still raising hackles among parents and others who don't feel "slimming" shoes should be targeted at girls.Continue reading...
license to thrill
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 28, 2011 01:00 PM
Credit Disney with the first large-scale branding of imaginary characters. The house that Walt built is one of the great branding and licensing machines on the planet, and serves up characters galore as a regular part of its marketing menu.
Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Snow White, Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" and other figments of the imagination are not just characters but perennial revenue producers through merchandise sales and "appearances" at Disneyland, Disney World, and Disney Resorts. They also don't grow up and wind up in the tabloids.
That's why other character rights-holders are following suit, including DreamWorks — which makes perfect sense as it's run by former Disney animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg.Continue reading...