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Wisconsin High School Loses Offensive Mascot

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 22, 2011 10:00 AM

It’s not really clear who or what the students of Wisconsin’s Osseo-Fairchild will be rooting for when the next sports season gets rolling, but one thing one is very much known: They won’t be rooting for the Chieftains.

Further to our story last month, WQOW reports that the school district “is completing the process of permanently removing the ‘chieftain’ logo and nickname from the district.”

In July of last year, the district was given 365 days to get rid of the logo and mascot by the Department of Public Instruction.

As of July 17th, “any reference to the ‘chieftain’ logo or nickname is no longer allowed by the district," WQOW notes.

It looks like the bill that Republican state representative Mary Lazich was proposing that would have allowed schools to take until July of next to make the transition (in order to deal with any financial stress involved, of course) didn’t go anywhere.

brand collaborators

Pepsi Takes Summer Campaign Global with Foursquare

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 13, 2011 03:00 PM

Pepsi has partnered with Foursquare to globalize the badge concept as part of its "Summer Time is Pepsi Time" campaign — you know, the one that has fun with "Coke's" Santa. Now, Foursquare check-ins are encouraging fans to unlock Pepsi's summer fun.

This isn’t Pepsi’s first partnership with Foursquare, as they first teamed for charity in December 2009, with a Christmas pledge drive to donate 4 cents to CampInteractive for New York-based check-ins.

This new campaign, which officially launched July 4th weekend, takes the action to designated locations including beaches, pools, parks, ballparks and stadia. Check-in at any three venues earns users badges and qualification for sweepstakes prizes.Continue reading...

brand mascots

Punxsatawney Phil Predicts No More Knock-Offs

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 1, 2011 12:30 PM

Punxsatawney Phil and his Groundhog’s Day celebration on Gobbler’s Knob in Western Pennsylvania have had a following of sorts for many years.

The 1993 romantic comedy, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, upped the town’s annual event and profile significantly.

Today, mobile-phone users can sign up and receive texts to find out if Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter or an early spring.

Phil and the top-hatted local officials who carry him around on Groundhog Day have become so recognizable that a cable network's use of him in a Super Bowl TV commercial — without asking permission — revealed just how much Phil means to the good people of of Punxsatawney, PA.Continue reading...

viral marketing

Zeus Tries to Conjure What Scion Lacks: Buyers

Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2011 06:30 PM

Launched more than a decade ago as Toyota’s answer to the question, “How do you appeal to new customers as your baby boomer fans age?,” Scion  has been a big disappointment. Sales of the youth-oriented marque with the limited vehicle lineup peaked in 2006 at 173,000 cars and then dropped off to just 45,000 last year.

Part of the problem has been the company’s lack of marketing conviction behind Scion. Toyota spent only $20 million in measured media last year on Scion compared with $888 million on Toyota and $211 on Lexus, AdAge said. Another problem is that the youth market hasn’t had a lot of pocket change over the last few years to spend on new vehicles; good thing their parents’ health policies can cover them until they’re 26 years old now.

Scion’s new Zeus-themed viral video campaign might not be much help in that department.Continue reading...

brand mascots

Happy Birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 23, 2011 12:30 PM

Twenty years ago, Sega launched a game with a blue hedgehog named Sonic taking out robots. You never know what’s going to stick.

As PC World notes, Sonic has since then “starred in four different cartoon shows, (its) own long-running comic book, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 separate Sonic games.”

For Sega, Sonic has become a steady company mascot that has stuck around as the video-game industry has changed dramatically. The hedgehog and archrival Nintendo’s Mario Bros. are some of the most recognizable figures in the gaming world.

Sonic identity is so strong that Sega Europe actually has a Sonic Brand Director, David Corless, who is always trying to figure out what the next step for Sonic should be.

"What we want to do in coming years is push Sonic further," said Corless, according to the Guardian. "How do we make Sonic even more relevant for 12-, 13-year-olds but still deliver the nostalgia to the older market? It's a challenge but quite a luxury.”Continue reading...

brand mascots

Using Zombie Pitchmen Doesn't Take Braiiiiiiiinssss

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 7, 2011 12:00 PM

A few weeks ago, the Web was abuzz with news of the Center for Disease Control's "zombie apocalypse preparedness" marketing stunt to promote hurricane preparation in an amusing fashion. The stunt went so viral that it crashed the servers, revealing just how unprepared the CDC itself was.

Now, a fast-on-the-uptake author is using the CDC's zombie viral marketing to do a bit of zombie guerrilla marketing of his own.Continue reading...

brand mascots

Offensive Mascots May Get to Stick Around in Wisconsin

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2011 03:30 PM

The NFL has its Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins. Major League Baseball has its Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. And the state of Wisconsin has the Osseo-Fairchild High School Chieftains.

Team names that have been deemed offensive have been finding protests against them  in many forms over the years, many have stuck by their brands. While those professional sports teams pack some powerful brandage, high school sports have their own special power on a local level, and Chieftains past and present are feeling it a little extra these days.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Burger King Rebrands: New Colors, More Quality, Less King

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2011 10:00 AM

Last week, McDonald’s basically told activists against childhood obesity to go jump in a burning hot Fryolater if they thought they were going to get rid of Ronald McDonald. This week, Burger King and its new ad agency are telling its mascot to take a vacation.

In fact, Burger King is getting a much bigger change than giving the guy with beard and crown a rest. The Miami Herald reports that the chain’s advertising, menu, and even stores are getting revamped.

Don’t worry, Whopper fans. The burger isn’t going anywhere, but the restaurant will try to go healthier with its menu choices and add such things as mango and mixed-berry smoothies with 100% all-natural fruit purees and Asian chicken salad with baby edamame, red cabbage and sesame lime vinaigrette, among a slew of others.

As for its visual branding, red and black will become the new dominant colors of the restaurants, the Herald notes.Continue reading...

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