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...
no kidding around
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 2, 2011 04:00 PM
Chex Quest, from General Mills, was the first video game to ever be included in cereal boxes as a prize back in 1996. Fast forward 15 years to Create a Comic, General Mills' latest digital advergame designed to engage kids with the Honey Nut Cheerios cereal brand.
In that brief span of 15 years, the playbook on marketing to children has been rewritten by all things digital, and marketers are increasingly using games, quizzes and mobile apps to woo kids into a social web where they essentially act as marketers themselves.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 31, 2011 04:00 PM
Over the last year, PepsiCo appears to have turned around the biggest part of its acquisition of Quaker Oats from a decade ago. Gatorade, on the back of its new three-part product line, has revived its domination of the sports-drink market.
But PepsiCo can’t be nearly as happy with the rump end of its deal for Gatorade: the Quaker brand itself.
Despite a flurry of new products, repositionings and marketing campaigns, the oatmeal-heavy brand remains an apparent afterthought for PepsiCo, with first-quarter sales having dropped. Some in and around the CPG industry are even talking about Quaker as a possible sale property, as Ad Age notes.
A number of obstacles stand in the way of Quaker’s really taking off after years of efforts to ignite growth.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2011 03:00 PM
In the end, it’s probably not as much about defending Ronald McDonald as it is about not allowing activists to tell the company what to do when executives believe they’re being entirely responsible in their actions.
McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner flatly told both activists and shareholders on Thursday that, rumors to the contrary, the chain has no intention of retiring the red-nosed clown mascot who has helped the company market its food and brand to kids for nearly a half-century.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 19, 2011 06:15 PM
"Ronald McDonald is an ambassador to McDonald's and he is an ambassador for good. Ronald McDonald is going nowhere."
— McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner defends the chain's brand mascot at today's annual general meeting and confirms Ronald isn't being retired. The news prompted cheers and the majority of shareholders rejected a proposal (following an ad campaign by an obesity watchdog group including Dr. Andrew Weil, among other physicians and health advocates) pressuring the chain to revamp its kids marketing tactics in light of America's rising childhood obesity numbers.
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 19, 2011 02:00 PM
You don't go into battle with the mascot you want, you go with the mascot you have. That's what the Captain Morgan brand of rum is doing with a tuned up version of its pirate character, Captain Morgan.
As with Batman and James Bond, Captain Morgan is getting a "gritty and real" makeover, transforming him from a red-coated cartoon buffoon to a scruffy, brooding rum-swilling badass more in keeping with his "privateer" roots.
The Diageo-owned brand's new campaign, "To Life, Love & Loot," boasts an Academy Award-winning director in Tom Hooper (The King's Speech). In the new campaign, starting with the "Dive" spot above, Hooper is again directing a period piece — only this time based on the fictional character of Captain Henry Morgan.Continue reading...
no kidding around
Posted by Dale Buss on May 18, 2011 05:30 PM
It’s becoming apparent that childhood-obesity watchdogs aren’t going to be happy until Ronald McDonald is in a different set of vertical stripes — more like the black and white ones found on the Hamburglar.
A group of activist physicians (including Patch Adams and Andrew Weil) and health advocates have stepped up a pressure campaign against McDonald's to bench the 43-year-old iconic mascot – and oh yes, by the way, to stop marketing its nutritionally suspect fare to children.
A group calling itself Corporate Accountability International took out full-page advertisements in several major US newspapers today including the text of an open letter to McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner under the headline, “Doctors’ Orders: Stop Marketing Junk Food to Kids."
The group also planned to send representatives to McDonalds’ annual shareholder meeting tomorrow (where a group of Philadelphia nuns will also be lobbying to oust Ronald) to make an in-person plea for his retirement.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 26, 2011 03:00 PM
You might say Vlasic is in a pickle.
The pickle brand is familiar to Americans thanks to a cartoon stork mascot that was introduced in 1974 with attitude and voice inspired by Groucho Marx. It's still got the stork, but trying to avoid a classic case of being overlooked by consumers.
Pickles, after all, are made to be on the side, an accompaniment to the main event; like a condiment, they are meant to complement other foods. As a result, pickles may become relegated to the bottom of a consumer's shopping list, or worse, left off altogether. Shopping lists (or nowadays, shopping apps) have become increasingly essential to consumers as rising prices force them to manage their food purchases.
That's why Vlasic is fishing where the fish are — or shopping where the shoppers are. The brand is paying for signage in grocery stores, using in-store shelf ads near related products such as ground beef and burger buns in a new effort to beef up market share. In choosing which items it wants to flank, Vlasic cites researching showing that around 80% of pickles consumed by Americans accompany a hamburger or sandwich.Continue reading...