kiddie brands

Transformers Toys Go Back to Their Roots Ahead of Fourth Film

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2014 08:14 PM

In the three decades that Transformer toys have been on the market, they've inspired three big-budget Hollywood blockbusters and inspired hundreds of merchandising endeavors.

But the toys as they were orginally imagined—the ones that actually transformed from a vehicle to a robot with a few simple moves—aren’t around anymore. The transformation process, it seems, is now extremely complicated. Some may disagree, but the instruction booklets for today’s Transformers are much more involved than when it was first released. 

So Hasbro CEO Brian D. Goldner has decided to restore the toy back to its simpler days in honor of its 30th anniversary.Continue reading...

campaigns

Dumb Ways to Die Goes Plush for Public Safety Campaign Extension

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 21, 2014 03:46 PM

Last year, the marketing and advertising industry went nutty over Metro Trains Melbourne's "Dumb Ways to Die" cross-platform campaign by McCann Australia. The public safety campaign, which went viral thanks to a catchy song for its PSA ads, online game and addictive mobile app, took home top honors at Cannes Lions and continue to collect accolades, have now inspired a curious new line of products.  

Melbourne Metro has announced it's keeping the love going with a line of plush merchandise that is based on the characters in the campaign, and will be sure to appeal to kids of all ages in the same way that Uglydolls became a staple of dormitory rooms worldwide.

"We never set out for this to be a goal and it certainly didn't factor into anything around determining the creative," Metro General Manager-Corporate Relations Leah Waymark told Ad Age. "But countless people asked, 'Where can I get the t-shirt?' We had a lot of people who produce items approach us, from t-shirt makers to toy makers, to people who wanted to produce TV shows. But we narrowed it to what we thought would be most important, and that's the brand integrity."Continue reading...

trademark wars

University of Texas Goes On the Offensive to Protect 'Strong' Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2014 11:39 AM

When a high-power, renowned NCAA Division I football program hires a new coach, it's a pretty big deal. But the University of Texas probably didn't foresee the legal troubles it has run into since it hired new head coach Charlie Strong on Jan. 5. 

Since then, the Longhorns' legal department has been putting a lot of effort into going after manufacturers of clothing and gear that have already started to use Strong’s name on Texas promotional gear, the Associated Press reports.

The university has already put a stop to the sale of unsanctioned products with the words  “Stronghorns,” “Texas Strong,” and “UT Strong” on them. And while manufacturers may have been quick to jump on the 'Strong' bandwagon, the school wasn't too far behind: two days after it signed Strong to the coaching job, UT submitted an trademark application for "Stronghorns." After all, Strong signed a five-season contract for $25 million. According to the Austin Business Journal, six other applications for "Stronghorns" have been created as well.Continue reading...

digital moves

DreamWorks Teams Up with Fuhu for Kid-Friendly Tablet Debut at CES

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2014 06:51 PM

What do you get when you pair Fuhu’s Nabi with DreamWorks? DreamTab, a tablet for kids for under $300, available this spring chock-full of original content. The new tablet, which will feature animated characters from studio hits including Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung-fu Panda, will debut at next week's CES 2014 conference in Las Vegas.

Thanks to programming and content from DreamWorks, the 8-inch by 12-inch device will allow kids to stream movies, TV shows and play games with various innovative parental controls and educational tools, according to Fuhu's press release.

The Google Android-powered tablet computer (using the new 4.4 Kit Kat Android based operating system) will be programmed like a cable channel. “We could push out a new character moment every day of the year,” Jim Mainard, the studio's head of digital strategy and new business development, told the New York Times.

“The moments will include stuff like drawing lessons from DreamWorks animators and more, SlashGear notes. “The tablet is also tipped to get tech allowing it to work with DreamWorks toys... and will also have the ability to send instant messages and email.”Continue reading...

contrabrand

With the Holiday Shopping Season Comes Crackdowns on Counterfeit Goods

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 5, 2013 10:52 AM

Cyber Monday is an opportunity for legitimate online merchants to capitalize on the holiday shopping season—but it's also a time when a slew of websites look to sell consumers counterfeit goods. Online and offline scammers sell about $250 billion of fake brand name items annually in the US alone, with the design and fashion industries particularly hard hit. 

This past Cyber Monday, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worked together with European and Hong Kong authorities to seize some 700 websites, 297 of them based in the US, that were selling counterfeit goods. It is the fourth year that such sites have been targeted on Cyber Monday.

ICE Acting Director John Sandweg said, "Working with our international partners on operations like this shows the true global impact of IP [Intellectual Property] crime," in a press release. "Counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday season and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere. Consumers need to protect themselves, their families, and their personal financial information from the criminal networks operating these bogus sites."Continue reading...

license to thrill

Rogers Continues NHL Spending Spree with Deal for Arena Naming Rights

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 4, 2013 05:41 PM

Rogers Communications just agreed to spend $4.93 billion over the next 12 years to broadcast the NHL in Canada. Now the company has announced that it is going to pay up to put its name atop the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, according to the Associated Press. The deal will reportedly last for a decade.

With this deal, Rogers burnishes its spot as Canada’s biggest corporate name in sports. It already has naming-rights deals with the Toronto Blue Jays, which it also owns, and the Vancouver Canucks as well as with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. The Oilers arena bearing the Rogers name won’t open until 2016 and Rogers executive vice-president John Boynton promises that it will be on technology’s cutting edge, the Edmonton Journal reports. Fans might even to be able to order “food and drink from the seats.”Continue reading...

personal brands

Under New Owner, Elvis Brand Likely to Get a Modern Day Marketing Boost

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 27, 2013 08:19 PM

Three of the 20th century’s biggest icons all now share one manager. Authentic Brands Group, which already had Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali in its stable, has bought the intellectual property of Elvis Presley, giving it a pop-culture trifecta of sorts.

Whether it will reap a huge profit from the addition of The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll remains to be seen. ABG not only bought the properties from CORE Media Group, but also is now a partner with National Entertainment Collectibles Association founder Joel Weinshanker and the Presley family to run Graceland, Elvis’s famed home, the Associated Press reports. The home itself and its furnishings are solely possessed by Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

“We look forward to working with the ABG team to further promote the legacy of Elvis,” Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, said in a statement. “This is the opportunity the family has been envisioning to expand the Graceland experience and enhance Elvis’ image all over the world.”Continue reading...

brands that go bang

Guy Fawkes: The Anti-Establishment Brand Takes On a Whole New Face

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 6, 2013 02:02 PM

Election Day may have been an off-year for American voters, but in cities around the world, a different kind of public display was taking place on November 5.

Spurred on by the hacking collective, Anonymous, a "Million Mask March" occurred in some 450 cities to protest government corruption and economic inequality. It's believed to be the first time Anonymous went beyond what had been primarily online activism to encourage a public protest in the streets. The event's website indicated the Million Mask March was a "Call for Anonymous, WikiLeaks, The Pirate Party, Occupy and Oath Keepers to Unite Marchers, Occupiers, Whistleblowers and Hacktivists."

Most of the protesters at events in such cities as Amsterdam, London, Mumbai, and Washington, D.C. were wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, which depicts a somewhat unsettling chalky white face, adorned with a slim mustache/goatee and a devilish smile. While November 5, Guy Fawkes Day, is a British remembrance of a guy who many might consider a terrorist (in 1605, he tried to blow up the English Parliament in his support of Catholicism), he has become, quite literally, the face of modern-day anti-establishment protests. In the past few years, for example, it has shown up on the faces of Occupy Wall Street protesters, and earlier this year, it was worn by Bahraini protestors. Recently, the mask has appeared at protests against NSA surveillance.Continue reading...

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