Hi Neighbour: Target Readies for its Canadian Invasion

Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 05:12 PM

Could there be a better match than between the red and white of Target's logo and identity and the red and white of Canada's maple leaf flag — or between Canada's relatively sleepy retail environment and the jolt that Target will bring?

Canadians and the Minneapolis-based retailer are moving closer to finding out. Target is poised to open its first outlets in Canada in the next few weeks, the first of a total of 124 stores planned for the country this year. Its coming invasion of store openings in March and April is exciting many Canadian consumers, prompting wariness among its soon-to-be competitors and necessitating a country-specific strategy from Target despite its accomplishments in the much bigger market to the South.

The move north involves more than simply remembering the "u" in "neighbor," as noted on its Canadian website, or featuring hockey-playing polar bears (with its logo conveniently placed center ice) on its Canadian Facebook page. It also means respecting local preferences in food, clothing and doing business.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

BlackBerry Wants Alicia Keys and Neil Gaiman Fans to "Keep Moving"

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 19, 2013 02:43 PM

BlackBerry's new global creative director for the revamped company is featured in the first video for her part of the "Keep Moving Projects" cultural influencer project. The Grammy Award-winning musician is asking fans to use the video-editing feature on the new BlackBerry Z10 to contribute to local crowdsourced videos showcasing her current global tour.

Watch BlackBerry's video pitch to Keys fans, along with the first two episodes of author Neil Gaiman's BlackBerry project, below:Continue reading...

games people play

Rumor Mill Churns Ahead of Sony PlayStation 2013 Announcement

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 02:07 PM

Since the end of January, more than 6.5 million people have watched a video from Sony on YouTube that is mysteriously titled "#PlayStation2013." The number of people astounds, mostly because the 44-second video pretty much says absolutely nothing, except to hint at a pending announcement by including a Twitter hashtag in its title.

Now, Sony is apparently ready to talk. The company has invited 1,200 people to a press announcement Wednesday afternoon and the expectation is that it will be to introduce the PlayStation 4, Forbes reports

For the millions who won’t be able to fit into the room, don’t worry. Sony will be live-streaming the event, which is fitting since one of the rumors is that aside from the new PlayStation 4 console, Sony will also announce Wednesday that those who purchase the console will be able to stream all existing PS games, the Wall Street Journal reports. All new games will be stored on optical disks.Continue reading...

chew on this

Hipster Branding: Taco Bell Woos Cool Kids to Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 05:02 PM

Murmurs were afoot early on the street and on the tweet, thanks to Taco Bell's Facebook hint that fans should head to a pop-up store at New York City's Ariston Flowers in the Chelsea neighborhood, setting the Twitterverse aflutter.

The product: new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. The password: ask for the blue bouquet.

But just when things began to heat up at the flower shop, Taco Bell also was letting the whole country know about what likely will be its biggest new-product announcement of 2013. The Yum! Brands chain is hoping to tap into the same fervor for Cool Ranch as it did a year ago for the original Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos Locos Tacos, which kicked off a frenzy new Doritos-based-shell franchise.

And if the blue nail polish on today's Facebook announcement wasn't hint enough, Taco Bell is wooing the cool kids to Cool Ranch by appealing to hipsters — judging by its Super Bowl commercial, as a mindset and not necessarily just millennials.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Can Adidas Boost Market Share and Make a Serious Run at Nike?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2013 01:02 PM

After hyping its release for weeks, Adidas' new Boost running shoes finally made its debut Wednesday. The New York announcement was made in good company, with 100-meter world champ Yohan Blake of Jamaica and two-time 10,000-meter Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie of Nigeria standing close by. 

Since the release of Christopher McDougall’s excellent book "Born to Run" back in 2009, a book that made a well-researched case for running barefoot, the running world has had an ongoing debate of whether it is better to workout in “barefoot” shoes or to layer on the extra cushion.

With Boost, Adidas is going "all in" (as its global tagline goes) on the cushion, although the sportswear giant is happy to capitalize on that other market as well. The Boost shoes combine two new elements: the Boost cushioning, which is supposed to be so bouncy that it’ll keep runners going forward for extended periods and the ominous-sounding Spring Blade, which helps the shoe return to its proper shape while your foot flexes.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: A Closer Look at BlackBerry's Game Day Strategy

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 4, 2013 09:29 AM

BlackBerry chief marketing officer Frank Boulben taped an intro, above, to the mobile brand's first Super Bowl spot (and U.S. TV campaign), which promoted the new BlackBerry 10 during Sunday night's game. Below, more on the rebranded RIM's strategy in a behind-the-scenes video released Sunday:Continue reading...

mobile brands

Farewell, RIM: BlackBerry Unveils BB10, Tagline and Creative Director Alicia Keys

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 30, 2013 04:28 PM

Any doubt that the BlackBerry 10 is central to the survival of Research In Motion was likely erased on Wednesday as the company not only unveiled its new operating system and phones, but changed its corporate name to "BlackBerry," too. "We have a fantastic brand, BlackBerry, and we are known as such all over the world, except in North America," CMO Frank Boulben commented in a video interview at the launch. "We wanted to take full advantage of that global, iconic brand."

"We have redefined ourselves inside and out," said CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking from New York to launch events held across the globe, including one held at the world's tallest building, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, in its $650-a-night Armani Hotel. "RIM becomes BlackBerry. It is one brand, it is one promise." He declined to specify the company's marketing spend for the corporate rebrand and a global launch of BlackBerry 10 that includes Sunday's Super Bowl ad buy, but characterized it as in the "hundreds of million dollars."

That was partially evident at the New York launch with the introduction of Grammy Award winning singer Alicia Keys as the company's "global creative director." It's a trend that follows Lady Gaga's arrangement with Polaroid, with Intel, Victoria Beckham with Range Rover, and Keys' husband Swizz Beatz with Reebok — and no doubt annoys creative directors.Continue reading...

brand launch

RIM Finally Ready to Unveil BlackBerry 10 to the World

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 29, 2013 07:33 PM

The New York Times calls the new BlackBerry 10, which Research in Motion is revealing in a New York as part of a global event on Wednesday and during the Super Bowl on Sunday, "worth the wait."

It's a critical launch for RIM, which states on its blog, "We’ve re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented our products with BlackBerry 10 – and we can’t wait to share it all with you." Are you as excited as BlackBerry's brand stewards? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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