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brand vs. brand

Bratz Legal Spatz Keeping Lawyers Busy

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2011 01:05 PM

Brooklyn artist and photographer Bernard Belair has been creating images of “physically distorted women” since the 1990s, Boing Boing reports, and he registered his design late in that decade after his big-headed female characters were used in a Steven Madden ad in Seventeen magazine. 

That particular ad went on to inspire sculptor Margaret Leahy to create what we all now know as the Bratz dolls, a line of dolls that has created much controversy for wearing such things as fishnet stockings, feather boas, and miniskirts while also sporting absolutely impossible body proportions while being marketed to girls between the ages of 4-8.

The success of the MGA Entertainment Inc.-owned Bratz brand through the sale of the dolls and all of the many extensions it has inspired (videos, clothing, makeup, babies) has left Belair steaming, so he filed suit in October 2009 because, after all, it was his original artistic vision that had inspired (and unleashed) the Bratz phenom to begin with.

However, a New York federal court has disagreed with Belair and chucked the case, Boing Boing reports.Continue reading...

games people play

WeTopia: Facebook Gaming for Good

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 30, 2011 03:01 PM

“If you’re going to waste your time playing games on Facebook, you might as well do it and help build a better world while you’re at it,” writes Techcrunch.com about Sojo Studios’ WeTopia, an online game launching today that’s designed to have fun while raising money for children’s charities.

It’s a free-to-play Facebook game where players build villages and help their neighbors – all for ‘joy’ currency, in-game coins for real charitable works. They're convertible to real-world non-profit donations to promote healthcare and education. WeTopia is advancing the collective notion of gaming rewards beyond points, discounts and coupon redemption.

“Each purchase results in a direct donation to a real world cause. Buying an in-game fountain, for instance, leads to the contribution of a donation of clean water,” notes Venturebeat.

WeTopia heralds the next iteration of combining social games with non-profit beneficiaries. It's backed by former Facebook employee, Path CEO Dave Morin, with digital doyenne Esther Dyson on the advisory board and an exclusive partnership with Ellen DeGeneres.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Nike ‘Back to the Future’ Shoes Raise $9.4 Million for Michael J. Fox Foundation

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2011 04:04 PM

When 1985’s Back to the Future blew the doors off of the box office (eventually pulling in $303.87 billion), two sequels were automatically set into motion and released in 1989 and 1990. And somewhere in there, someone got fully turned onto the joy of product placement. 

Back to the Future II was particularly chockfull of brand names, including Pepsi, Texaco, Mattel, Pizza Hut, Black and Decker, The Weather Channel, 7-Eleven, and AT&T, among others. But fans salivated most over the special shoe that Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created for the film, the Nike MAG shoe, with its glowing LED panel and an electroluminescent “Nike” for Michael J. Fox to wear as the film’s hero, Marty McFly.

Sneaker aficionados had been begging the company for years to release the same shoe to the mainstream. So in a highly-publicized eBay auction in September, Nike made only 1,500 to auction off on eBay to raise cash for Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The result was $4.7 million from consumers, which a matching initiative doubled to $9.4 million.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Mattel + HIT, Netflix Losses & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 24, 2011 06:04 PM

Brands to Watch

Bluetooth consortium creates consumer retail mark.

Bon Appetit sells branded culinary products on HSN.

Cigna is buying HealthSpring for $3.8 billion. 

Harley-Davidson recalls 308,000 motorcycles for brake issue.

Jeremy Scott unveils latest ObyO sneaker line for Adidas.

Jim Beam invites "biggest liquor takeover since 2005."

JPMorgan Chase and other financial firms test social marketing.

Mattel signs deal to acquire Thomas the Tank Engine parent HIT Entertainment for $680 million with backing from Apax Partners.

MTV plans Occupy Wall Street reality special, as American couple looks to cash in on Occupy Wall Street with trademark move.

Netflix subscriber losses are worse than expected.

NFL and American Idol duke it out for priciest US TV spot.

Oracle expands its cloud footprint with $1.43 billion RightNow acquisition.

Saab brand woes detailed in New York Times.

Yahoo attracts more potential suitors.

brand collaborators

Tattooed Tokidoki Barbie Doll Raises Parents' Ire

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2011 02:32 PM

She’s got pink hair, high heels, leopard-skin leggings, a heart-and-crossbones logo on her shirt, tattoos, and goes by the name of Barbie.

She's also the centerpiece of the Tokidoki x Mattel collaboration, which this month releasedlimited edition of the iconic doll that is probably the funkiest version yet in her 52-year history. Called Tokidoki Barbie, it sells for $50 and is an homage to Tokidoki, the Italian-based, Japanese-inspired brand, and also features a related collection of women's clothing and accessories. 

At $50 a pop, Barbie’s latest makeover is aimed at Barbie and Tokidoki collectors more than kids, but it's already got some parents' knickers in a twist, according to the UK's Daily Mail.

One commenter on the Ms. Twixt website, which is designed for the parents of tween girls to share and virtually shake their heads, wrote, “Encouraging children that tattoos are cool is wrong, wrong, wrong. Mattel why not put a cigarette and a beer bottle in her hand while you're at it!”

Another said, “I think it is horrible and sends the wrong message to young people,” the Mail notes. “In no way should a tattoo be honored.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Dove, Mattel & more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 24, 2011 09:02 AM

In the News

Apple tries to leverage lower prices.

Cars.com sets up custom channels on Pandora.

Chipotle finds customers tolerate higher prices.

Dove asks women, "Who inspired you?" in new campaign.

Kia asks NBA star Blake Griffin to soar again.

Kraft keeps investors and advertisers hopping with its "leaping" strategy aimed at hitting home runs.

Mattel to buy preschool brands.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: CEO Shuffle, Apple's Core, Mattel Eyes HIT

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 18, 2011 08:45 AM

Air France replaces CEO, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO is ousted in Daimler exec shuffle, and Olympus shares plunge as its CEO is fired.

Apple sells 4 million iPhone 4S units in first weekend, as Samsung sues to block the device in Japan and Australia and HTC loses Apple patent case in US. Steve Jobs' Silicon Valley memorial service reportedly filled with humor and music, as company prepares to honor late co-founder and report earnings on Tuesday. Starbucks and Apple are also partnering in the UK on free music downloads.

Mattel eyes UK's HIT Entertainment, home to Thomas the Tank Engine and other kids' properties.

Bank of America posts $6.2 billion quarterly profit, while Goldman Sachs reports $428 million loss.

BlackBerry customers receive free apps and tech support to make amends for outages.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple Fights US Knock-Offs, NHL Bars Game Day Tweets & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 16, 2011 08:40 AM

In the News

Apple knock-off stores in Queens, NY, forced to surrender goods, while Apple's HTC patent victory gets US review.

NHL restricts players from social media on game days under new policy.

Borders starts shutting down in California.

Carrefour plans drive-in stores in France.

eBay targets hip mobile shoppers with new campaign.

Esprit pays the price for 'neglecting' its brand.Continue reading...

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