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celebrity brandcasting

As TV and Magazine Empire Wobbles, is Martha Stewart’s Star Fading?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2012 11:57 AM

It was a bad week for Martha Stewart, and we don't mean the damaged-by-Sandy trees at her Bedford, NY farm.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia laid off 65 to 70 employees and announced it's restructuring its media portfolio. It's reducing the frequency by half of its Everyday Food magazine (from 10 to 5 editions, and moving from print to digital). MSLO also plans to sell its Whole Living title or fold the content into its flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine, moves that could save the company between $33 and $35 million a year. 

Reports of clashes between Martha Stewart, founder and non-executive chairman and Lisa Gersh, president and CEO, are escalating, as the latest restructuring shrinks the brand’s print footprint in hopes that digital deals with partners like Hulu and AOL as well as television deals like PBS show, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, will prove lucrative for the flailing company.Continue reading...

branding together

MetLife Promotes Snoopy-Branded Life Insurance in a Box at Walmart

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 19, 2012 12:01 PM

MetLife is taking its buddies in the Peanuts gang to Walmart, as it pitches a whole new way to buy insurance — in a box, with Snoopy on the cover, which can be picked up in the baby or pharmacy section:Continue reading...

retail watch

Macy's Wants to Get Lourdes, Georgia May and Friends in the Door

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 19, 2012 11:14 AM

There’s a huge difference between a 13-year-old and a 30-year-old, but there is one thing that brings them together: sharing the role of bookends to the demographic group known as the Millennials. 

Now two years into its run with Madonna's Material Girl collection, repped by her blogging daughter Lourdes and Mick Jagger's model daughter Georgia May, Macy’s knows that this big swath of humanity is where the money is, and it's working hard to get more of them in the store. That's why the retailer is launching 13 new brands and expanding 10 other existing labels that it believes will resonate with millennials, as AP reports.

Molly Langenstein, group merchandise manager for Millennials for Macy's, told WWD that "We're serious about this and we're aggressively going after this consumer. This is not a test."

This youthful focus has been going on since March when the retailer’s merchandise team was restructured to pay or more attention to that age group. Ch-ch-changes are expected to continue over the next three years that include integrating tablets and other user-friendly tech into the shopping experience as well putting different displays on the shopping floor more often.Continue reading...

personal brands

Genius Branding Move: GM Cleared in Einstein Trademark Suit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 18, 2012 04:08 PM

Albert Einstein has been dead since 1955 but that doesn’t mean the fuzzy-haired genius isn’t still causing controversies. 

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a beneficiary of Einstein’s will, was not happy back in 2009 when General Motors Photoshopped the well-known face onto the body of a buff bodybuilder in an ad that ran in People magazine for its GMC Terrain SUV. On “Einstein’s” arm was an “e=mc2” tattoo and the ad carried the tagline of “Ideas Are Sexy Too.”

Ideas may be sexy, but Hebrew University was not amused. It sued GM in 2010 and finally got its answer from a judge this week. Judge A. Howard Matz of U.S. District Court found that the use of Einstein’s image was “tasteless,” but not illegal, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. In addition, the judge noted that, even if the action had been illegal at some point, the University had no right to claim Einstein’s image as their own since it had been more than 50 years since Einstein’s death.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

H2O-Eau-Eau: Lady Gaga's Next Bottled Adventure Could be Water

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 18, 2012 01:50 PM

She just slapped her personal brand on a perfume bottle, but Lady Gaga clearly thinks she’s making enough money. The performer, on the hot seat  who has unleashed such tunes as “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” and “Bad Romance” onto the cultural landscape in the last four years is getting into the business of not just selling her art, but selling her name.

Last month, the 26-year-old launched her Fame perfume line with a memorable piece of performance art: sleeping in a giant perfume bottle and possibly peeing in a champagne bucket. Now, the word from New York's Daily News is that Gaga and her creative team are working on producing a “healthy drinking water brand” so she can rake in some more bucks while helping the world stay hydrated.Continue reading...


Disney Store Revamps E-Commerce Site with Social, Personalized Video Features

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 17, 2012 02:53 PM

The redesigned website for the Disney Store is an enhanced e-commerce channel for the brand’s toys, clothes, entertainment and packaged media. “The new DisneyStore.com delivers a magical shopping experience that guests can only receive from Disney,” stated Disney EVP Paul Gainer.

Part of that magic is the ability for shoppers to record and customize a “Disney Magical Message” video to send along with any DisneyStore.com gift purchase. Recipients receive email notification of a special delivery and when the gift arrives, a card provides a site URL and a personal ID where they can view their personal video. 

Enhanced tools for sharing on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, via desktop, tablet or mobile have amped up the social shopping experience while an animation feature lets users interact with favorite characters and classic Disney films.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Furby Land, Tonka By Sea: Hasbro Eyes European Expansion

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 17, 2012 02:11 PM

In an all-out assault on Europe for the 2012 holiday shopping season, American toy-maker Hasbro is re-launching a number of its classic toy lines and making a big licensing push at Brand Licensing Europe in London from October 16-18.

In the US, Hasbro recently re-launched its classic Furby brand, the quirky mechanical creature "with a mind of its own" that caused a sensation some fifteen years ago. The updated version uses a blend of robotic engineering and digital programming "that brings a whole new way to play to kids," said Samantha Lomow, Hasbro's SVP, New Brand Franchises and Global Brand Leader. "The personality of each Furby appears to evolve by the way children play with it, and every unpredictable action and reaction helps make each Furby seem unique." 

Now Hasbro bringing Furby to Europe with a wide-ranging licensing program. Get ready for all things Furby, including apparel and accessories, back-to-school supplies, food and beverages, home decor, paper and party goods, and sporting goods. Furby-licensed merchandise will begin arriving this fall in retail outlets in France, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the UK. Hasbro has aggressive re-launch and licensing plans for other toy lines, too.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Glenn Beck Fools All with 'New' 1791 Denim Brand

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 15, 2012 05:43 PM

"Death to tyranny" reads one of the t-shirts offered from right wing radio host Glenn Beck's new denim and clothing brand, 1791. The tyranny shirt is sold, online only, alongside jeans and other message shirts with shallow, jingoistic messages of Americana including cherry trees and Native Americans. All products are, of course, made in America.

The 1791 brand, which launched as a charity clothing line 11 months ago, is the latest extension of a dwindling Beck empire. It is also the latest brand line from a right wing radio host looking to leverage popularity to fill his own pockets. The problem for Beck's particular endeavor is that the market is currently filled with a glut of Tea Party-focused products.Continue reading...

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