local branding

InterContinental's Hualuxe Hotel Brand Woos Chinese VIPs

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 23, 2012 01:02 PM

It's nothing unusual for a hotel chain to concentrate on China as a growth market; InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was the first international hotelier in the country and has operated there for thirty years. What is novel, however, is IHG's newest Chinese play: Hualuxe, which the company describes in a press release as "the first international brand designed specially for the Chinese traveller."

"Hua" translates into 'majestic China' and "Luxe," of course, stands for 'luxury.' IHG says it already tailors the hotels it operates in China to local tastes, but Hualuxe will take the concept one well-shod step further to attract the high-end traveler.Continue reading...

auto motive

New VW Beetle Wins Over Men, Tries Not to Lose Women

Posted by Dale Buss on March 22, 2012 11:19 AM

Volkswagen has come a long way toward men with the Beetle from the days of installing a vase holder near the steering column. But has it gone too far?

The brand wanted to make the new, new Beetle, introduced late last year, more appealing to men (while not losing women). Only 29 percent of purchasers of the old New Beetle, a year ago, were men, and the flower-vase holder as well as the fully rounded styling and VW's own positioning of the model had a lot to do with that.

Fast-forward to today. VW signaled early its intention to tap more into the male market with the new, new Beetle that came out last fall. It has a more raked, not so round profile, for one thing. It had a broader, more aggressive — OK, more "masculine" — stance. It's no accident that the dog featured in the brand's 2012 Super Bowl commercial for the new Beetle was a big golden retriever.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

Lionsgate Aces the Selling of “The Hunger Games”

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2012 07:03 PM

The Hunger Games movie opening is expected to break all Hollywood records, even eclipsing the now benign-seeming franchises of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Twilight. The first of four planned movies is projected to rake in more than $100 million at the box office this upcoming weekend, with more than $1 million worth of tickets already pre-sold.

The trilogy, written by bestselling author Suzanne Collins, has 24 million copies in print in the U.S. and a built-in fan base that Lionsgate Entertainment has leveraged with unprecedented acumen.

They started traditionally with print ads in newspapers, 50+ magazine cover stories, 3,000 billboard and bus shelter displays, and 80,000 distributed posters. And then came the digital build, creating a series of “little online brushfires to create a box office inferno,” as New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes comments in the video that accompanies his must-read story.

Starting a year ago, the Lionsgate marketing team, led by CMO Tim Palen, leveraged social media to the hilt, building anticipation and participation via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, iPhone games and the promise of live Yahoo streaming at the premiere.Continue reading...

chew on this

Doritos Gets Jacked Up at SXSW

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2012 12:05 PM

The new Doritos have a larger-than-life flavor, so what better way for PepsiCo's snack brand to introduce them to the world than with a larger-than-life "vending machine"?

At the cauldron of brand and music and digital fervor that is the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Doritos is unveiling its latest innovation: Doritos Jacked tortilla chips, which are 40 percent larger than conventional Doritos and come in two flavors, Enchilada Supreme and Smokey Chipotle BBQ. As it's been promoting on Twitter and Facebook, Doritos promises that Jacked Tortilla chips (hitting stores on March 26th) will deliver a "one-two punch of intense flavors up front, followed by a twist of spice or tanginess that packs the ultimate crunch."

To drive home the point, Doritos is promoting the Jacked chip line with a 56-foot-high vending machine at SXSW. Consumers at the festival, while sampling the new chips, can get "larger-than-life Doritos-branded quarters" via Foursquare and Twitter.Continue reading...

sip on this

PepsiCo's Pepsi Next Steps: Creating Mid-Calorie Believers

Posted by Dale Buss on March 13, 2012 04:28 PM

CPG brands and supermarket retailers understand there's nothing that gets consumer trial and acceptance of new products like good, old-fashioned sampling. So as Pepsi is attempting once again to grow the U.S. market for mid-calorie sodas with a new sub-brand, Pepsi Next, it's time to put the reliable sampling technique to massive use.

In fact, sampling will be a centerpiece of the campaign, "Drink it to believe it," that Pepsi has launched behind Next, the product it tested last year and will begin rolling out nationally to retailers on March 26. Walmart stores will be a key partner for the launch as Pepsi samples Next at 800 Walmart Supercenters across the country. Pepsi also plans to continue a national sampling program for Next in more than 40 cities nationwide through August.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

Comcast Kicks Off Celeb-Backed Minority-Owned Networks, But Will Anyone Watch?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 9, 2012 05:46 PM

As part of its deal to acquire NBCUniversal, Comcast agreed to launch more minority-owned networks by 2014 — and it's doing just that. From a music and pop culture hub called Revolt from Sean "Diddy" Combs, to a startup backed by Magic Johnson, it's a mixed bag that helps America's biggest cable operator appease the feds — but will it really do much for diversity — or TV viewers?Continue reading...


Rainbow Connection: Apple's Tie-Dye Logo Peek Sparks Speculation

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2012 05:28 PM

Back in 1977, when Apple Computers was just getting started, Steve Jobs commissioned a graphic designer to come up with a logo better than the one they started with — his only instruction was "Don't make it cute." The rainbow version that was unveiled stuck around until 1998 when the current monochromatic version came into being.

At the introduction of the new iPad Wednesday, VentureBeat noted that when Apple CEO Tim Cook “strolled offstage … a colorful version of the company logo appeared on the screen.” This led more than a few observers to speculate that Apple is returning to its old rainbow-logoed ways, especially since, as VB added, Microsoft recently scrapped its colorful Windows logo “in favor of a new super bland version, which leaves companies like Apple free to resume using the rainbow without fear of having it confused with the competition.”Continue reading...

chew on this

Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos Arrive with TV Spots, Augmented Reality Twitter

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2012 04:45 PM

Are you ready to go Doritos Locos? Taco Bell introduces the highly anticipated Doritos Locos Tacos in three test markets today, and fans are willing to drive as far as 965 miles to get their hands on one as seen above in launch spot, "Road Trip," which will run during the NBA on TNT and The Jersey Shore on MTV this evening.

Doritos fans, a.k.a. "Doritos-heads" are infamous for their passion and antics such as "Crash the Super Bowl" amateur commercials on Game Day. Doritos Locos Tacos have "Taco Bell on the inside and Doritos on the outside," and the product launch is part of the brand’s 50th anniversary this year.

The co-branded product launch with Doritos includes an augmented reality execution on the side of Taco Bell cups so users can see tweets on their smartphones in real-time, contribute their own tweet, and see the broadcasts on live digital billboards in New York’s Times Square and Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Continue reading...

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