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Brand News You Can Use: AstraZeneca, Coca-Cola, News Corp. and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 2, 2014 09:14 AM


Brands to Watch

Apple, Facebook lead Big Tech brands fighting data requests as White House panel calls for big data reforms to protect privacy.

AstraZeneca rejects raised bid by Pfizer as "inadequate."

Avon reaches settlement of bribery probe.

Bayer eyes Merck’s OTC consumer business.

Burberry officially has a new CEO in Christopher Bailey as Angela Ahrendts takes retail reins at Apple.

Coca-Cola pressured by Warren Buffett on executive pay.

Exxon sticks with Russia drilling despite geopolitical tensions.

Fiat faces tough turnaround in Europe.

GM recalls 50,000 Cadillac SUVs, returns to bankruptcy court to fend off suits.

News Corp. acquires Harlequin Books for HarperCollins.

Below, news on brand innovation, culture, and more:Continue reading...

sporting brands

LeBron James Teams With Old Pals Nike and Samsung for NBA Season Opener

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2013 06:33 PM

The NBA season kicks off Tuesday night with the defending champion Miami Heat versing the Chicago Bulls, and if LeBron James' latest Nike ad has anything to say about it, it seems that James is feeling pretty carefree heading into another season.

The new TV commercial, titled "Training Day," follows James riding his bike through the streets of Miami, all along collecting a troupe of neighborhood kids like a scene out of Rocky II.

James, wearing his new LeBron XI shoes, is seen heading to the arena to practice some shots, the beach for a swim, and ending at the playground to play some pickup with the kids.Continue reading...

sip on this

Sprite Stays Thirsty in Journey to Find Brand Balance

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2013 11:47 AM

Sprite has spent the last few years experimenting with the way it presents itself to the world and, after much soul searching, has decided it may be best to go back to its roots that helped make it a billion-dollar brand.

Sprite’s new ad campaign featuring brand ambassador LeBron James features new, but slightly familiar tagling "For The Thirsty," which is reminiscent of the “Obey Your Thirst” tagline that the brand ran with for a number of years through 2010. Since then, Sprite has trialed “The Spark,” “Uncontainable Game,” and “There’s Nothing Soft About It.” 

"We were successful [with 'Obey Your Thirst'], and we said what's next?" Kimberly Paige, associate VP-Sprite brands, told Ad Age. "In the past few years, we've had taglines that have leaned heavily into the product or leaned on the emotional side. Where we are now is the best of both worlds, [the new tagline] speaks to this duality of thirst—the emotional thirst we know teens crave to express themselves and leave a unique mark on the world, and the physical thirst that can be satisfied with Sprite.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Macy's, New York Times and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Apple taps Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as retail head.

Macy's plans to open most stores on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m., breaking a 155-year tradition of being closed on the holiday. 

New York Times officially rebrands International Herald Tribune as the International New York Times

Alcatel-Lucent chief warns company may collapse. 

Allstate gives Mayhem the silent treatment on Twitter.

Amazon begins shipping goods from inside suppliers such as P&G.

Argos, a high-street brand, launches its own budget tablet. 

BlackBerry moves to reassure customers with open letter.

Chevy models get support for Siri's eyes-free mode. 

Coca-Cola profits rise on higher sales in North America.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: SAP, Coca-Cola, Disney and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 8, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

SAP moves into cloud computing as brand projects $10B boost from banking software.

Coca-Cola plans to invest $2 billion in Florida orange groves.

Disney second quarter soars 32% on theme parks, ESPN ad sales as company withdraws trademark application for Dia de los Muertos.

Alibaba IPO anticipation grows on revenue surge.

American Airlines launches Klout-based promo.

AOL profits boosted by advertising.

AT&T presses case in lower bandwidth spectrum case.

Bitcoin startups begin to attract real cash.

Burger King makes bold move with delivery expansion.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

NBA Players Put Brands on Display in Playoff Fashion Wars

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2013 07:07 PM

While NBA fans who are lucky enough to get playoff tickets will file out of each game wearing pretty much anything that has their team’s branding on it, the players they worship will be making completely different choices—and every apparel brand out there would love for that choice to involve them.

In last year’s Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat, the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook let the world know that he thought he was responsible for the hipster trend to wear funky lensless glasses, USA Today recalls.

The playoffs just started this past weekend but it’s already gotten off to a good jump on the fashion front as the Heat’s LeBron James dropped some jaws (and not in a good way) with his Tommy Bahama-esque shirt and James Harden of the Houston Rockets showed up for post-game interviews wearing a shirt that involved a whole lot of pleather. Los Angeles Clippers stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul also got into the act. Russell Westbrook wore a sleeveless leather top and gold bedazzled high tops after his team’s game Sunday.Continue reading...


Li-Ning Has High Hopes for "Way of Wade" Campaign

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 4, 2013 01:13 PM

"It never hurts when people are talking about you relative to a guy whose every statement is picked up by a microphone."

That was the assessment of Brian Cupps, Brand Initiatives Director at Li-Ning, of the recent news that Dwayne Wade's new Li-Ning-inspired nickname "Way of Wade" (WoW) was called "corny" by MVP teammate LeBron James. "It's more tongue in cheek than anything," said Cupps. "It doesn't hurt."

Li-Ning's fledgling partnership with Wade has certainly not hurt either brand. Though hard numbers are yet to come, Cupps said anecdotally that "all of our indicators, be it social media or future sales, are up based on Wade." Cupps added, "Particularly in the US, where we had little to no real consumer following, we have a very strong pull right now and demand for our products because of Wade. Now we have to feed that demand."

Feeding the demand is going to be a huge challenge for Li-Ning for a number of reasons. For starters, it's a Chinese brand facing a mountain of existing consumer prejudice against China. Worse, negative China news outside of Li-Ning's control impacts this effort. Continue reading...

sporting brands

Return to Space: Nike Launches a New Line Tied to Houston's NBA All-Star Game

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2013 01:45 PM

It's less than a month before the NBA All-Star Game tips off in Houston — which means it's time for Nike’s marketing department to begin leveraging as many sales as possible from basketball fans.

Today, the sportswear giant announced a series of shoes and sportswear tied to the event that use space as a theme since Houston is the home of NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. 

Nike made a similar space tie-in during last year's All-Star Game in Orlando, Fla.Continue reading...

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