brand faces

2 Guys, 1 Campaign: Sonic Puts 2 Guys Back in the Front Seat

Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2012 02:25 PM

Raising hopes that fans might hear a reprise of classic lines such as "Go long!" for tater tots, Sonic is bringing back "those two guys" who sat in a car outside Sonic restaurants in TV commercials for eight years, letting their friendship humorously unfold over bites of Sonic burgers and whatever special the chain was running.

With a new, character-driven viral campaign seeded on a mock websiteYouTube, Twitter, Facebook and, er, LinkedIn, America's fourth-largest fast-food chain is bidding to have the two guys join Old Spice's Isaiah Mustafa and Ford's Focus Doug in the pantheon of heroes of recent marketing campaigns that have relied heavily on social media.Continue reading...

rebranding

Nitro Infuses Brand With Aussie Attitude

Posted by Michael Waltzer on February 21, 2012 04:28 PM

Friendly technology. It may sound like an oxymoron to some, but through thoughtful branding and visual design, it can be portrayed as exactly that. Nitro, which offers a PDF conversion product, has just rebranded for that very reason.

The brand, which started in Australia in 2005 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, felt its visual identity did not reflect its culture, products, or approach. In short, they wanted a brand "we could be proud of." Below, find out how they rebranded and why.Continue reading...

ad watch

M&M's Scores With YouTube Users as Most Popular Super Bowl Commercial

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 01:06 PM

M&M's "Just My Shell" reveal of Ms. Chocolate was the most popular Super Bowl 2012 commercial, as voted on by YouTube users in its thumbs up/thumbs down Ad Blitz contest. The new character reveal of the brand's "Chief Chocolate Officer" was no doubt helped by a post-game social campaign around the character.

Rounding out the top five, Chrysler's "Halftime in America" spot featuring Clint Eastwood was #2, Bud Light's "Rescue Dog" (aka "Here Weego") was #3, Chevy Silverado "2012" was #4 and the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl fan-created "Man's Best Friend" was #5.

chew on this

Why Wendy's is on a Roll

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 9, 2012 03:35 PM

Things haven’t been great at Wendy’s in recent years, but now it looks like the little pigtailed redhead has got plenty to smile about.

The chain hired a new CEO, Emil Brolick, last September. He called the chain’s recent financial troubles “self-inflicted wounds” at the company’s earnings call in late January, according to the Associated Press.

Wendy’s sold off Arby’s last summer, which was the start of its transition. Since Brolick’s arrival from Yum! Brands, Wendy’s has moved firmly into the growing fast-casual movement by “sprucing up the chain's locations and stressing the importance of good service,” MSN reports. "We've made great progress in getting rid of those F restaurants and getting more A's and B's, but we're still in that territory," Brolick stated in January.

Its improvement has also come from the introduction of new items on its menu, such as the W burger, which is “two patties of 100% pure beef, two slices of American cheese, thick-sliced tomato, and (the company’s) savory signature sauce — all on a buttered, toasted bun” for $2.99.

The restaurant also updated its trademark burger by introducing a revamped Dave's Hot 'N Juicy cheeseburger with a thicker patty and more cheese than its previous offering, and a back-to-its-roots marketing campaign that evoked the brand's legacy by featuring the original Wendy — Wendy Thomas, the daughter of founder Dave Thomas — in advertising and local appearances.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Super Bowl Ad Tracker: M&M’s Ms. Brown Makes a Post-Game Splash on Social

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 8, 2012 05:01 PM

M&M’s introduced its new spokescandy during the Super Bowl Sunday evening when the bespectacled Ms. Brown, the candy brand's 70-year-old (but still looking good) CCO or Chief Chocolate Officer who made her debut in a commercial called "Just My Shell." And it was a shelluva debut indeed.

It used to be that just running a Super Bowl commercial was enough excitement for a corporation’s agency and marketing/communications teams at this time of year, but given the pre- and post-Game buzz marketing on social media that's the norm, M&M's marketers at Mars, Inc., are pulling out the stops for Ms. Brown.Continue reading...

brand mascots

British Charity Mascots Rev Up Olympic Spirit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 7, 2012 11:14 AM

While the world’s best sprinters, hurdlers, and hammer throwers are fine-tuning themselves for this summer’s Olympic Games in London, there is a small army of big fluffy beasts that are doing the same.

But it’s for a totally different 100-meter race than the one that will find the world’s speediest man and woman wearing gold medals. This one is for charity mascots.Continue reading...

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Super Bowl Ad Tracker: Sneak Peeks From Coke, Audi, Cars.com, Suzuki

Posted by Dale Buss on January 26, 2012 05:50 PM

The huge pricetag for Super Bowl advertisements keeps all but the biggest and boldest brands away. But with inventiveness, other brands are finding ways to ride the Big Game zeitgeist without having to fork over Big Game prices.

Suzuki, for example, in the past has proven adept at skirting the expensive national spots in the Super Bowl in favor of a regional strategy, and the Japanese auto brand is doing the same thing this year — even bigger.

Instead of joining the cacophony of national car ads at $3.5 million a pop, Suzuki will focus its regional buy in 21 core cold-weather markets for ads to run in locally allocated slots during the game. Suzuki will highlight the all-wheel-drive version of its Kizashi sport sedan in a slush spot (titled "Sled") which you can watch below — along with Super Bowl 46 sneak peeks from Audi, Coca-Cola and Cars.com.Continue reading...

let the games begin

Chinese Olympic Mascot Toys Embroiled in Sweatshop Claims

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 25, 2012 11:01 AM

The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius ("Faster, Higher, Stronger"), but perhaps the word “cheaper” should be added. Toy versions of the Olympic mascots Mandeville and Wenlock are being made at a Chinese subcontractor to British firm Golden Bear Toys, with the mainland China factor now being investigated for “poor pay and conditions.”

Telford, UK-based Golden Bear was given the toy contract back in 2010 and it is now investigating the allegations along with the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, the BBC notes. "We are a family-run business that takes these issues very seriously indeed and has in place certificates of compliance at all factories used to produce our products," Golden Bear Chairman John Hales said in statement to the BBC. "We are therefore in the process of conducting an immediate investigation and will be able to comment on these findings as soon as they are known to us.”

A London 2012 spokesman said that results of the investigations would be made public as soon as they are concluded, the BBC reports.Continue reading...

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