Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand mascots

Air New Zealand Kills Off Sleazy Mascot Rico

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2011 05:02 PM

Air New Zealand isn’t above doing something a little scandalous to bring in customers and publicity. Two years ago, it painted uniforms onto the skin of supposed members of a ANZ flight crew for an ad campaign, raising more than a few eyebrows.

Then a year ago, the airline introduced a brand mascot: a raunchy puppet named Rico, who starred in an online-only ad campaign in which he used “sexual innuendo and chats with B-grade celebrities,” such as David Hasselhoff, Richard Simmons, Snoop Dogg and Lindsay Lohan, to help sell the airline, according to New Zealand’s Stuff.

Rico found some success, collecting 4.5 million YouTube viewers and more than 48,000 Facebook fans along the way. ANZ is likely the only major airline that had a series of online ads starring a puppet that all opened with the text, “The following video contains language and themes of a sensitive nature. Viewer discretion is advised.”Continue reading...

rising brands

Wendy's Dethroning Burger King as No. 2 Burger Chain

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 1, 2011 02:07 PM

While McDonald’s is still the overwhelming powerhouse in fast-food burger chain, it appears that Burger King will soon be dethroned and it will come at the hands of a young pigtailed redhead.

The Orange County Register reports that Wendy’s is expected to surpass BK in the U.S., perhaps as early as this year, according to a report by Janney Capital Markets that was released Tuesday.

"We expect Wendy's to overtake privately-held Burger King for the number-two market-share position within the limited-service hamburger sector, perhaps as soon as this year," wrote analyst Mark Kalinowski in the report, according to the Register.Continue reading...

sporting brands

London 2012 Olympic Organizers Step Up Marketing

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 27, 2011 10:40 PM

The International Olympic Committee has been using "The Best of Us" as a tagline in its ongoing marketing campaign to promote the Olympic Games.

Now, with less than 250 days to go before the London 2012 summer games, the New York Times notes that, in addition to TV commercials, the IOC and London Olympic organizers are using the tagline as the basis of a global campaign "to reach younger viewers through social media, user-generated content and other digital offerings." The goal is not only to engage the public, but particularly youths, in London 2012 via the web, mobile and social media.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Penn State Nittany Lions Fans Hide Their Pride

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 24, 2011 11:06 AM

With the winter holidays coming fast, Penn State fans can usually expect to get a random new piece of gear with a Nittany Lions logo on it (a 32-quarter inflatable beach cooler, maybe?) or at least a new PSU sweatshirt or T-shirt.

However, thanks to the heinous child-molestation charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, people are keeping their PSU merchandise in their bureaus these days and sales of PSU-related sports gear is down 40%, according to CNN.com. It's a sad Penn State of affairs, indeed, for the once-proud Lions and Penn supporters.Continue reading...

ad watch

Forget Old Spice Guy - Meet Old Spice Schlub

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2011 11:25 AM

In branding's equivalent of the post-Johnny Carson era on TV, P&G's Old Spice brand (and its agency, W+K) keeps grappling with the post-Old Spice Guy/Isaiah Mustafa era. Following its sea captain character in September, here's its latest 'dude' for its U.S. marketing — a schlub who channels his inner hunk with the help of Old Spice body wash.

brand mascots

The Original Lady in Red, Betty Crocker, Goes Digital on her 90th Birthday

Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2011 11:01 AM

Yes, she's had a few cosmetic makeovers through the decades, to make sure she doesn't look school-marmish or like June Cleaver on the cake-mix boxes. But now that she's just turned 90 years old, Betty Crocker is undergoing one of the biggest changes ever: She's going digital. And that may be the best way for General Mills' baking-brand spokeswoman (a persona created in 1921 to answer home bakers' questions) to make it comfortably into the next century.

Betty's birthday celebration has been at the center of a new campaign by the brand that has included new cupcake recipes (Red Velvet Triple Stack and Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Caramel varieties sound particularly enticing), a promotional trip to the birthday "bash" at Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minneapolis attended by a 24-year-old Arizonan who won a contest, and a new version of the iconic Betty Crocker "Big Red" cookbook. Betty was already on Twitter and Facebook, but now she's got a new online destination that includes 1,500 recipes, 1,100 all-new photographs, an expanded store, and access to 85 videos and 400 additional recipes.Continue reading...

brand mascots

Kellogg Backs Off in Toucan Trademark Tussle with Nonprofit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 16, 2011 11:31 AM

Feathers ruffled, Kellogg had contacted the tiny nonprofit Maya Archaeology Initiative back in August to tell it to stop using its toucan logo because it supposedly too closely resembled Toucan Sam of Froot Loops cereal fame. As the president of the nonprofit, Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli, commented, “This is a bit like the Washington Redskins claiming trademark infringement against the National Congress of American Indians."

Kellogg has apparently unruffled its feathers as the two sides resolved the trademark flap “amicably,” according to the Detroit Free Press. In fact, the little bit of stress for the people involved in MAI may have paid off big-time for the organization.

"After conversations with MAI to better understand how they intend to use this design, we worked with them to identify an approach to revise their trademark application that will enable them to continue using their logo for their not-for-profit fundraising efforts," stated Kris Charles, Kellogg's vice president for global communications and philanthropy, in an email to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

What's more, Kellogg “is contributing $100,000 to help launch one of the MAI's priority projects to improve the lives of the Maya people in Central America,” the Free Press reports, and the company “will also be featuring major Mayan accomplishments and a link to MAI's website on Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal boxes next year.”Continue reading...

brand mascots

Angry Birds Flips the Bird to Hockey Fans

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2011 04:06 PM

The Angry Birds game may have hit half a billion downloads recently, but the characters have yet to have their own animated show or appear in advertisements or actually represent anything other than the nice slingshotted birds they are.

But that’s all about to change. In the last month came the news of an Angry Birds TV channel and an Angry Birds movie in the works. And now a real, live, skating Angry Bird – with a stick. More precisely, a Hockey Bird. 

Toni Kysenius at Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish-based developer of the game, has created the new bird to be the mascot of next year’s Hockey World Championships in Finland and Sweden, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s website.Continue reading...

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