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Flying High on Film and TV Success, Marvel Gives Its Logo an Equally Uplifting Refresh

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2013 06:25 PM

Disney spent $9 billion back in 2009 to buy Marvel Studios, the home of the Avengers, the Silver Surfer, and Spider-Man. While the pair have worked together in the past, the release of Thor: The Dark World this month presented an opportunity for the studio to build up its own brand as it was the first independently produced film from Marvel.

So Marvel did what many brands have been doing lately: redesigned its logo. While the changes are slight, Marvel execs feel the added elements and bold text speak to both the heritage and future of the comic brand. 

"We didn't want to re-invent the wheel, but we wanted it to feel bigger, to feel more substantial, which is why it starts with the flip, but suddenly it's more dimensional as we go through the lettering and it reveals itself with the metallic sheen before settling into the white-on-red, well known Marvel logo, with the added flourish of the arrival and the announcement of the Studios at the bottom of the word Marvel," studio head Kevin Feige explained.Continue reading...

the revolution will be televised

Amazon Readies to Debut Original Content as Netflix Drops Marvel Bomb

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2013 06:37 PM

It’s getting easier and easier for the American public to unplug from the tyranny of cable television: Hulu, Aereo, Netflix, Amazon, and a slew of others are offering up digital-video content to the public that doesn’t require the restrictive packages that pay-TV touts.

Streaming movies and re-runs is one thing, but creating original content that rivals some of the best cable TV shows is one sure way to ensure customer converts. Netflix has led the way with its Emmy-winning House of Cards and critically-adored Orange is the New Black. But Amazon is now making its move, launching Alpha House on Nov. 15 and Betas one week later.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, the two services have some significant differences. Netflix releases entire seasons of its shows at one time so consumers can binge-watch, while Amazon will release the first three episodes of each show together and then release one episode per week after that. Also, Netflix gets its new shows the old-school way while Amazon has given the go-ahead to two pilots from scripts it received via an online portal it has set up.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, BlackBerry, Costco and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 9, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Walmart greatly expands beer sales.

BlackBerry open to going private, Reuters says.

Costco hailed as "cheapest, happiest company in the world."

Apple and Samsung battle into the next round on patents.

Audi expects to top US sales goal this year.

Best Buy works to get its website up to snuff.

Cadbury uses creative defense in India tax case.

Coca-Cola plots returning Mello Yello citrus soda to national status.

Danone buys fun yogurt brand to add to US expansion.

Elizabeth Arden says orders have evaporated for celebrity perfumes.

Facebook is cautious about video advertising.Continue reading...

brand revival

DC Comics Re-Invests in Mature Vertigo Brand with New Series

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 1, 2013 10:37 AM

The comics industry is getting stronger, bringing in an estimated $700 million to $730 million last year, up from $660 million to $690 million in 2011, according to John Jackson Miller, the editor of Comics Chronicle. But the 20-year-old Vertigo, a DC Comics imprint that doesn’t follow the same, cookie-cutter superhero storylines, isn’t contributing much to that profit.

After 20 years of publishing without anything close to a big hit, there were lots of rumors that DC would pull the plug on Vertigo. Instead, DC is re-investing in the brand and launching six new series this fall, the New York Times reports. The hope is that mature readers, hip to the world of graphic novels, will pick up the new series and latch on in a different way than those following Batman’s latest squabble.

“Right now, we’re in the middle of Vertigo’s transformation from a relatively sheltered idea and talent farm to a much more competitive place,” wrote Marc-Oliver Frisch on his comic-culture news blog The Beat, according to the New York Times. “Whether or not this is going to help DC in re-establishing the Vertigo brand as a selling point, we’re going to find out in the next several months.”Continue reading...

product placement

Gillette, Audi Embrace Meta-Marketing for 2013 Tentpole Tie-Ins

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 10, 2013 10:52 AM

Superman doesn't shave, to answer Gillette's question. At least, that's according to 1959's Superman issue No. 132, which explains that only in the presence of a "red sun" does Superman's hair grow and lose indestructibility. If necessary, the Man of Steel can use his heat vision to laser away the follicles.

But what fun is that explanation?

As one of the many, many partners for the upcoming Man of Steel film, Gillette has quite ingenuously found an angle to differentiate its tie-in and engage consumers by resurrecting a classic question about how Superman shaves.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Iron Man 3: China Product Placement, Luxury Crackdown and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 3, 2013 12:44 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Iron Man 3 inaccuracies... BMW... Casino frugality... Wanglaoji trademarks... Heinz baby food... Hugo Boss mini-movies... Sunning manga... China's first lady for Pehchaolin... Ashley Furniture... L’Oreal... Ad spends... Iron Man 3 product placement... and more.Continue reading...

brand partners

Audi Keeps Pace with Iron Man 3 with Comic Book Contest, New TV Ad

Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2013 05:53 PM

The box-office launch for Iron Man 3 is about as promising as Tony Stark's next invention. The three-quel in Disney and Marvel's series about the tech-happy superhero and his industrialist alter ego blitzed competitors with its overseas opening last weekend, taking a $195-million bow while soaring past last year's $185-million overseas debut of The Avengers.

As the movie starring Robert Downey Jr. in the returning title role prepares for its US opening this weekend, the hearty franchise is getting an assist from another returning member of the "cast": the Audi R8 sports car. The German luxury brand placed a version of its R8 in the first and second Iron Man films; this time around Stark's main drive is the all-electric R8 e-tron which has gone into only limited actual production.

"Stark and his passion for innovative technology, his sophisticated wit and his character overall are great representatives for our brand," Drew Elliott, social-media specialist for Audi of America, told brandchannel.Continue reading...


Canon Phones Batman to Help Boost China Sales

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 9, 2013 10:37 AM

The Dark Knight Rises was a blockbuster, but as the final installent of a trilogy, the future of the Batman series was unclear—until now. The next installment for the genre-redefining Dark Knight is as a spokesperson for Canon cameras in China.

In a series of new ads, the Dark Knight promotes Cannon's line of point and shoot digital cameras, with the superhero personally using—from his utility belt no less—the IXUS model. "Out of the darkness comes color" reads the tagline, meant to draw attention to the brand's superior image capture in low light. Canon has even built a special Dark Knight microsite to promote the partnership.Continue reading...

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