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china

MINI Goes Big in China to Take On a Major Rival: VW's Beetle

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 8, 2012 05:32 PM

Last weekend, the latest leg of MINI's "The Chinese Job" contest was broadcast live on China's video sharing site Youku. The winner of the ongoing driving contest wins the use of a special-edition MINI for a year.

The third annual "Chinese Job" — a spoof of The Italian Job, the film that made the Mini famous, of course — comes as more and more of the distinctive cars are seen on China's roads. BMW, Mini's parent, hopes that the trend will continue, opening China's first ever Mini dealership in Beijing just weeks ago.

But with VW's Beetle going hard for the same China millennials market, and its own BMW parent pushing its 1 Series, will MINI be able to find a market beyond a small niche of quirk?Continue reading...

survey says

Ford Brand Dinged in Consumer Reports Reliability Ranking

Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2012 05:13 PM

Ford's fall from grace with Consumer Reports has been breathtaking. The brand finished in second-to-last place, 27th of 28, in the magazine's closely watched, newly released automotive-reliability ratings — just three years after the bible of product quality praised Ford as the only domestic automaker with "world-class reliabilty."

Stunningly, Ford still apparently hasn't corrected its huge problems — real and perceived — with its MyFord Touch system, which continues to confuse some customers even a year and a half after Ford publicly acknowledged the usability problems with what is essentially Sync 2.0.

"They've put out some updates to try to address some of those problems for both the transmissions and the infotainment controls, but it doesn't seem to be enough," Jake Fisher, director of testing for Consumer Reports, commented on the most and least reliable rankings to the Detroit Free Press.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: P&G, Kimberly-Clark, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2012 09:03 AM

In the News

P&G sees profit soar and revenue drop in latest earnings report.

Kimberly-Clark pulls back in Europe.

Twitter encourages brands to find and use their authentic voice.

Apple earnings report on Thursday will be closely watched.

AT&T sees slowing in wireless-subscriber growth.

Barbie CMO looks to Royal Caribbean cruise experience launch in new year.

Best Buy shakes up management.Continue reading...

auto motive

MINI's Pitch: If You're Not Normal, We're Your Brand

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 4, 2012 10:52 AM

Also, apparently, it's OK to pick up hitchhikers ... if they're in a bear costume and you're driving a 2013 MINI. More below.Continue reading...

London 2012

London 2012 Watch: Usain Bolt a Jolt for Brands, as Andy Murray Curries Favor

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 6, 2012 04:28 PM

Jamaica Celebrates as World's Fastest Man and Woman Retain Olympic Titles

Jamaica celebrates its 50th anniversary of freedom today and it couldn't be better timed. Coming on the heels of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's 100-meter gold medal on Saturday to retain her title as world's fastest woman, Jamaicans continued the celebration after Bolt won his fourth Olympic gold medal Sunday, this one for the 100-meter dash in London. Before Bolt defended his World’s Fastest Man status and showed off all his post-race antics and unbelievable smile, the Puma-sponsored sprinter had himself a chicken wrap from McDonald’s, according to USA Today. This admission bodes well for Bolt’s wallet as he will likely be a much-sought-after pitchman in the wake of the Games, even as he disagrees with LOCOG's controversial Rule 40 governing athletes' personal sponsors. Only 25 years old, he may have another gold in him four years from now in Brazil. He's certainly not shy; having just passed one million Twitter fans, his bio reads: "The most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen."Continue reading...

auto motive

London 2012: BMW Driving Performance With Olympians, Green Fleet and Art Cars

Posted by Dale Buss on July 30, 2012 07:07 PM

BMW may be a German car company, but it's also the best-selling luxury brand in America. And that's ample reason for the brand to have signed on as a major sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee and Team USA athletes participating in the London Olympics.

Certainly any American watching the pre-Olympics news leading up to Friday's opening of the games, and now watching telecasts on NBC and its sister networks, is by now well familiar with BMW ads that extrapolate the "performance" requirements of elite athletes and the supreme "performance" characteristics of BMW's "ultimate driving machine."Continue reading...

London 2012

London 2012 Watch: Pandemonium Reigns at the Opening Ceremonies

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 27, 2012 06:06 PM

"Pandemonium" was the theme at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. 

Depicting a living Facebook timeline of moments from British history, the XXX Olympiad kick-off included a mad mix of cultural references — a skydiving Queen with Daniel Craig as James Bond (nice promo for Skyfall), flying Mary Poppins, J.K. Rowling reading and a giant Voldemort from Harry Potter menacing a giant baby, Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean using an iPhone, a nod to the Mini, costumed villagers in a shire, chimney towers depicting the Industrial Revolution, a British musical medley featuring hits from Sir Paul McCartney (singing the Beatles' "Hey Jude"), the Sex Pistols, Queen, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie (cue a rocketman), plus a speed boat driven by David Beckham, bird bikes and a tribute to web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee in the digital portion of the show — all orchestrated by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, who tweeted "Thank you, everyone, for your kind words! Means the world to me."

"Pandemonium" indeed — a theme and word chosen, according to the BBC, because it "was coined by poet John Milton (and) the name of the capital of Hell in Paradise Lost."Continue reading...

auto motive

Chevy, Kia, VW, Mini: Small Brands With Big APEAL in New J.D. Power Study

Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2012 02:23 PM

American auto buyers appear to be falling right into the clutches of several auto brands as they switch to smaller new vehicles in response to higher gasoline prices and their need to replace that aging hulk in the garage. Along with better fuel economy, many buyers are gaining amenities, overall better quality and improved functional design than Americans used to get in downsizing their car purchases.

Chevrolet, Kia and Volkswagen are among the leading brand exemplars, as well as beneficiaries, of this trend, according to the conclusions of the annual J.D. Power & Associates APEAL study that was released Wednesday. Each of them has found ways to embody and cater to how Americans are increasingly downsizing with relish, according to the firm's Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study.Continue reading...

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