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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...

getting by with a little help

Sesame Forgets the Fees, Lends Elmo, Big Bird to FLOTUS for Veggie Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 31, 2013 04:43 PM

First Lady Michelle Obama is bringing in the big guns to get kids to eat more fresh produce through her “Let’s Move” campaign. Sesame Street’s Elmo, Rosita, Big Bird and Abby Cadabby are officially on board as Sesame Workshop has waived its licensing fees to the characters for two years making the initiative possible.

“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” Obama said at a press event. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips.” Elmo and Rosita joined the first lady in the State Dining Room yesterday for the announcement.

A consortium of Sesame Workshop, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) have joined forces to put the Muppets characters—which provide a major source of income for the educational nonprofit—in-store and on sticker labels for fruits and vegetables. "It would be a shame not to use [the characters] to that end," said Sesame Workshop EVP, CEO Sherrie Westin.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Duck Dynasty Reigns: How the Most Popular Reality Show Ever is Reeling in the Dough

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 25, 2013 06:42 PM

A&E has reason to be "happy, happy, happy." The four bearded backwoods men that star in the network's smash hit Duck Dynasty have helped it net the largest reality-show audience ever, with 11.8 million viewers tuning in to the show's season four premiere. While the multi-millionaire hunting enthusiasts may not seem like the hardest working bunch, the Robertson clan has thrown some serious marketing muscle behind a slew of licensing ventures that are poised to net them millions more. 

While the reality show has only been on the air since March 2012, it is already the biggest unscripted show in cable history, and is poised to overtake AMC's The Walking Dead as the most popular show on TV, period. 

The members of the Robertson family, including patriarch Phil, nutty Uncle Si, and brothers Willie and Jase, among other colorful characters, made their millions hand-making duck calls used for duck hunting. But while their expertise may lie in blowing up beaver dams, catching frogs and cooking crawfish, they've done quite well selling dozens of other wares.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Coca-Cola Launches DRx Collection as Licensed Apparel Boosts Brand Equity

Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 01:33 PM

Coca-Cola is having trouble peddling soft drinks, but its licensed-apparel business is booming. And its new high-end "Coca-Cola by DRx" collection of vintage clothing designed by "Dr." Darren Romanelli will add to the momentum of that aspect of the Coke brand.

Coke's worldwide sales of licensed goods rose by 16 percent last year and is projected to grow by another 10 percent this year, a boom that began with a 56-percent hike in 2011, Kate Dwyer, Coca-Cola's group director of worldwide licensing, told brandchannel. Apparel now represents more than half of that business compared with just 20 percent a few years ago.

"It's huge momentum driven by the power of our brand," Dwyer said. "It fuels new opportunities. And we've got the right partnerships in place to continue that growth."Continue reading...

brand revival

JCPenney Shreds Most of Martha Stewart Deal that Prompted Macy's to Sue

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 07:16 PM

Ever since JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman said a few weeks ago that he didn't think the chain's Martha Stewart housewares were all that great, it's been obvious that he wanted to end tensions with Macy's over the rivals' litigation involving home goods designed by Stewart's company.

On Monday, JCPenney and Martha Stewart Living announced a revised agreement that eliminates Stewart's products in home-goods categories to which Macy's claims exclusive rights. In other words, JCPenney has completely backed down over Macy's central complaint in the litigation. And now the only big thing to be determined is whether Macy's will receive a damage award when the judge's final ruling in the case comes, probably later this week.

JCPenney and Stewart also are walking back other aspects of their two-year-old agreement, by swapping the 11 million shares in Stewart's company that JCPenney purchased; JCPenney also will give up its two seats on the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The only remnant of the deal is that the retailer still will sell a small batch of Stewart products, including window treatments and party supplies.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

AMC Licenses 'Walking Dead' Content for Online College Course

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 4, 2013 11:58 AM

In a move that surely has early educators 'turning in their graves,' AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead is being used as the “primary text” for an eight-week online course from UC Irvine. The MOOC (massive open online course) is titled, “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.’” 

The collaboration is facilitated by Instructure, a MOOC platform that AMC has licensed rights to for content, access to cast members for interviews and advice on weekly themes for the upcoming season.

Four UC Irvine professors will teach the course, which will cover topics including population dynamics, the spread of disease, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and post-apocalyptic nutrition. The course begins Oct. 14, the day after the show's season four premier. 

“I’ve never taught a class on math related to zombies before, but this is the same mathematical content I’d teach to undergraduates at UCI, and a way to reach new students,” UC Irvine mathematics lecturer Sarah Eichhorn told AllThingsD.Continue reading...

brand revival

Newsweek Finds New Life Abroad

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 2, 2013 03:25 PM

Newsweek has been dying a slow, painful death now for years, but a pair of thirty-something media magnates think they have what it takes to salvage the venerable brand.

Etienne Uzac, CEO of IBT Media, and his business partner, Jonathan Davis, “aspire to leadership of the digital media revolution,” according to CNN. The pair is already well on their way as the owners and co-founders of the International Business Times, among the top .02 percent of global URLs with an audience of over 7 million in the US and 13 million worldwide. IBT Media’s portfolio includes 10 international online news properties such as Medical Daily, Latin Times and iDigitalTimes and publishes in seven languages.

After being sold multiple times, the latest owners acquired Newsweek from Barry Diller's IAC in early August, after a failed merger between The Daily Beast and the once-venerable weekly news magazine saw just about every last supporter abandon the brand.

Even though Diller called his acquisition of Newsweek a "mistake" in a recent interview with Bloomberg, Uzac sees potential beyond the US to grow the Newsweek brand internationally. "We plan on deepening the current relationships and potentially adding more global partners," he told Ad Age.Continue reading...

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