brand news

In the News: Taco Bell, JCPenney, Netflix and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Taco Bell eliminates kids' meals.

JCPenney names former Kraft marketing exec Debra Berman as VP brand strategy.

Netflix sees subscriber growth fall short of expectations.

Al-Jazeera taps ABC veteran to run editorial operations in US.

Bentley invests heavily to boost UK car industry.

Chevrolet aims new Silverado ad at women, who buy 15 percent of pickups.

Cisco to buy cybersecurity firm Sourcefire for $2.7 billion.

Dell founder presses shareholders on his proposed buyout.Continue reading...

chew on this

Could a Mondelez Merger Be in PepsiCo's Future? Nelson Peltz Hopes So

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2013 12:49 PM

Oreos, Fritos, Doritos, Cadbury, Trident and Sunchips all on the same truck as they head to the supermarket? That's a vision of a highly symbiotic, cost-efficient brand and product portfolio and distribution scheme, if you ask Nelson Peltz. He'll be happy to see some other distributor getting the Pepsi into the beverage aisle and the Naked Juice into the refrigerators in the produce department.

That's part of the scenario being sketched by activist investor Nelson Peltz as he presses PepsiCo to spin off its uneven drinks business, then purchase Mondelez International so the two snack giants can combine their stables of diverse and powerful brands both in the US and international arenas. Such a global snack giant would have $70 billion in combined revenue and 17 snack brands that each has more than $1 billion in retail sales.

Peltz said at a recent conference that PepsiCo is at "a crossroads" with a beverage business that was losing market share in soft drinks to CocaCola and to which PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has only recently—and seemingly grudgingly—given more marketing support.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Kraft Proves Bigger Cheese in Courtroom as Judge Bars Cracker Barrel Line

Posted by Dale Buss on July 2, 2013 01:48 PM

A judge dealt a severe blow to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's bid to expand its brand presence outside the retail operations attached to its 600-plus restaurants. He sided with Kraft Foods in issuing a temporary injunction against the Tennessee-based restaurant chain's selling of branded packaged hams and other meats under its marque because it's too similar to Kraft's long-existent Cracker Barrel cheese brand.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman gave Kraft the victory saying that the restaurant chain's plans to sell Cracker Barrel Old Country Store branded, packaged meats through supermarkets, club stores and other retailers would infringe on Kraft's Cracker Barrel brand by confusing consumers. The Chicago-based hometown judge indicated that Kraft "is likely to prevail" in its long-term bid against the restaurant chain's brand-expansion effort as well.

"The court finds that Kraft is likely to prevail on the merits of its trademark infringement and unfair competition claims," the judge's order said. "Kraft need only show a 'better than negligible' chance of success on the merits, and has more than sufficiently carried this burden."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Zynga, Penguin, Random House, Bitcoin and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 2, 2013 09:13 AM

In the News

Zynga hires head of Microsoft Xbox as its new CEO.

Penguin and Random House merger complete.

Bitcoins see mainstreaming proposal by Winkelvoss twins of Facebook fame.

BF Goodrich introduces venture led by all-terrain tires.

Buffalo Wild Wings launches its own craft beer.

Chevrolet goes for heartstrings with advertising for new Silverado pickup.

Chipotle celebrates 20th anniversary with treasure hunt.

Chrysler reports best June sales in six years as Hyundai previews an all-time sales record.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Kraft Pours Resources into Revitalizing US Brands as Mondelez Travels the Globe

Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2013 06:33 PM

The year-old split between Kraft Foods and Mondelez International is working out about as financial and marketing engineers had promised, with the latter attacking emerging global snack markets with zest and Kraft trying to squeeze everything it can out of more mature North American markets.

The latest evidence that the split strategy is taking hold as planned: Kraft Foods is boosting US marketing spending significantly and has retained traction as one of the biggest advertisers in the American market, while Mondelez's spending on US advertising has dwindled—even though Mondelez retains domestic control of iconic brands such as Oreo.

Kraft Foods plans to pump more than $100 million into brand-building in the second half of this year as it aims to differentiate its classic brands in commodity categories such as cheese from private-label players, while also launching new US products such as Fresh Take, a meal kit that combines fresh cheeses, spices and breadcrumbs, according to Advertising Age.Continue reading...


Mondelez Hopes 'Wonderfilled' Will Be Wonderful Next Campaign for Oreo

Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2013 07:07 PM

Mondelez International is about to find out if it can keep the advertising momentum going around its Oreo brand, arguably the most important individual product line for the global snack giant that was spun off from Kraft last year.

Oreo campaigns have scored one hit after another over the last several months, culminating, of course, with brand stewards' savvy in turning the Super Bowl blackout in New Orleans into an impromptu social-media marketing occasion.

Now, Mondelez is counting on its recently demonstrated advertising chops to create a great reception for its new campaign for Oreo, dubbed "Wonderfilled." It employs new positioning as well as TV commercials with original songs, print advertisements, a strong social media presence and pop-up choral mini-concerts in major US cities next week.

"It starts with a very simple premise, about how something as small as an Oreo cookie can bring about a positive change in perspective," said Janda Lukin, director of Oreo, according to Advertising Age.Continue reading...

ad watch

Gevalia's Johan Courts US Coffee Drinkers in Ongoing Taste Test Battle

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 14, 2013 01:46 PM

Continuing its full-on assault to gain share in the US retail market, Kraft Foods’ Gevalia coffee is counting on spokesman “Johan” to open the java-gates as the brand tries its best to convince consumers to pick up its coffee over Starbucks.

The brand has launched a new web series, "Cup of Knowledge," as another outlet to help the brand market the results of an independent taste test commissioned by the brand, which reportedly showed that 59.7 percent of coffee drinkers preferred the taste of Gevalia's House Blend over Starbucks Breakfast Blend. This isn't the first time the brands have battled on the taste test front.

Back in February, the U.S. National Advertising Division ordered Kraft Foods to discontinue its marketing claims that Gevalia tastes like Starbucks, with marketing copy like, "New! If you like Starbucks Breakfast Blend, try this!"Continue reading...

chew on this

Regulators Get Wrigley to Pull Caffeine Gum, but They're Not Scaring Monster

Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 06:33 PM

Just several days after being called out by the Food & Drug Administration over concerns about caffeine in its Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, Wrigley folded the product and announced that it was going to take the gum off the market at least temporarily. However a caffeine purveyor that's already well established, Monster Beverage, is continuing its aggressive defense of its energy drinks over the issue of caffeine poisoning of American youth.

The Obama administration has grown increasingly restive over the extension of caffeine content to more and more functional foods beyond its traditional places in coffee (naturally), soft drinks (added) and energy drinks (fundamental). The proliferation of new types and food products introduced recently includes Cracker Jack'd, a line of new snacks by Frito-Lay based on the traditional brand but including two out of nine SKUs that contain ground coffee and caffeine; a variety of Kraft's MiO drink powder that contains caffeine; and Jelly Belly's Extreme Sports Beans.Continue reading...

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