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...

holidaze

Like Halloween Candy, Are Brands Scaring Up Too Much of a Good Thing?

Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2011 02:02 PM

Brand mascots are perennial Halloween costume favorites (count the number of Angry Birds you spot trick or treating this year!). But just when you thought there coudn't possibly be another way for commercial culture to tap into Halloween, major brands are haunting the occasion with spooktacular tie-ins, including the annual Halloween Google Doodle on the Google homepage today.

OnStar, Kraft, Progressive Insurance, Mike's Hard Lemonade, and Honda are among the legions of brands with Halloween promotions this year. It adds up to a phantasmagoric overload that makes it really difficult for any single brand, promotion or Halloween-themed marketing campaign to stand out from the rest, especially with so many Halloween messages in commercials and TV programming. But it's all in good fun, and hasn't stopped an array of brand marketers from joining the fun.Continue reading...

brand mascots

Progressive Launches "Dress Like Flo" Halloween How-To Tips

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 25, 2011 07:03 PM

Sure, there'll be plenty of Nicki Minaj, Angry Birds and Black Swan costumes floating around this Halloween. Brands with strong, identifiable and popular spokespeople also will find themselves, as ever, the subject for costumes. Last year we ran not one, but two lists of branded Halloween costumes.

One of the more popular is sure to be Progressive Insurance spokesgal Flo, so to jump out ahead of those looking for DIY costume ideas based on Progressive insurance's Flo spokeswoman, the brand has put together a comprehensive guide on how to "Dress Like Fo."Continue reading...

logo no-no

Forget Texas - Don’t Mess With the Fighting Irish

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 20, 2011 12:31 PM

That little leprechaun mascot of the University of Notre Dame may seem cute, but he means business when it comes to his trademark. 

Chapman High School, located in a small town in northeastern Kansas, was destroyed in a 2008 tornado and re-opened earlier this year. Now it has to give up its Fighting Irish mascot because the Catholic University in Notre Dame, Indiana, thought the logo and mascot too closely resembled its own, according to the Kansas City Star

“Chapman school superintendent Lacee Sell said Notre Dame told school officials that the leprechaun is a federally registered trademark the district is not allowed to use,” the paper reports, and a school district attorney “suggested” that the high school not try to make a stand. So if you’ve got any ideas for a mascot and logo for Chapman, the school is having a contest now to find a new one.

The high school doesn’t need to give up the name “Fighting Irish,” the Star notes, which is good because the Irish theme has been part of Chapman for some time, with a four-leaf clover prominently displayed on its website, which coincidentally is chapmanirish.net. Still, "Fighting Irish" has an even longer history at UND.

“I think we’ll get something bigger and better, and it’ll be all ours,” said Betty Ryan, a teacher at Chapman, to the Star. “We’ll always be the Fighting Irish, whether we can say it or not.”

sustainability

Planters' Mr. Peanut Has a New Nutmobile, and it Runs on Peanut Oil

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 20, 2011 10:32 AM

Planters isn't just seeking sustainable sources of nuts — its iconic Nutmobile that brings its Mr. Peanut mascot to the masses runs on peanut oil. As explained in the New York Times earlier this year, the Nutmobile’s diesel engine now runs on "up to 20 percent biodiesel fuel and return 10 to 15 miles per gallon."

brand inspiration

Wendy's Returns to Roots with Tagline, Dave Burger and the Real Wendy

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 3, 2011 05:50 PM

In January it will have been ten years since the passing of Wendy's founder Dave Thomas. Without him, Wendy's has gone back and forth in its campaigns, looking for the grounding and homey heritage that Thomas brought the brand.

Now Wendy's is reaching into its history to push a burger named after its well-liked pitch man. This campaign is a meal deal, served with a side of even more of its past. But going on its 12th quarter of flat or lower revenue at its restaurants, will the new sell of an old brand be enough to make the burger a hit?Continue reading...

automotive

Ford Ad Knocking Bailouts Takes on a Life of Its Own; and a Final Goodbye to Doug

Posted by Dale Buss on September 29, 2011 07:01 PM

Ford has created a mini-tempest by pulling a TV ad (above) from its Drive One series in which a buyer of its F-150 truck credits the company for not accepting a federal bailout in 2009 when General Motors and Chrysler did. Or, looked at another way, the customer in the ad himself, Chris McDaniel, is creating the mini-tempest.

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howe began the row by suggesting that the ad, which was launched in early September, was pulled by Ford "after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating" the Obama administration's bailouts of Ford's chief rivals.

Ford spokeswoman Meghan Keck told brandchannel that there was "no pressure involved" in Ford's decision and that the spot featuring McDaniel was rotated on and off the air just like other ads in the series, which features real Ford customers answering "questions" at a staged press conference.

In the ad, McDaniel said that he "wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own: win, lose or draw. That's what America is about."Continue reading...

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