olympic effort

BMW Anchors Its Future in Headlining Olympics Campaign for Team USA

Posted by Dale Buss on February 10, 2014 09:47 AM

To kick off its huge Olympics sponsorship of Team USA and launch its new "i" EV sub-brand in grand style, BMW called on Arthur C. Clarke to talk about the far future in order to make an important statement about the automaker's near future.

While Volkswagen is the official automotive brand partner of the Sochi Olympics, BMW officially introduced its new, Tesla-fighting i3 EV and i8 plug-in hybrid with a TV ad, "Hello Future," that ran during the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics on NBC on Friday.

The spot uses a 1964 recording of the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey talking about the future. Clarke spins it as inevitably more fantastic than humans could imagine, and soon the ad is showing the gull-winged BMW i8 as proof of the futurist’s prediction.

"We thought it was a perfect match, because 'i' in our sub-brand stands for 'innovation,' and Clarke's speech even from 50 years ago speaks perfectly to today's challenges, that require innovation," Michael Jobst, national marketing manager for BMW of North America, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: McDonald's, Nike, Deutsche Telekom and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 10, 2014 09:12 AM

In the News

McDonald's US sales feel January chill.

Nike's Kanye West surprise sale sees red hot shoe sell out in 10 minutes.

Deutsche Telekom buys rest of T-Mobile Czech arm as Vodafone bids for Spain’s Ono.

Tesla bumps Mercedes-Benz in Consumer Reports survey.

AMC misfires with Walking Dead zombie stunt.

AOL CEO takes back "distressed babies" comment after mother speaks out.

Apple sees Carl Icahn drop buyback demand.

Asiana Airlines seeks "cockpit culture changer" after US crash.Continue reading...

auto motive

MINI Launches Biggest US Ad Campaign Amid Small Car Safety Concerns

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2014 11:22 AM

Amid heightened concern about the safety of very small cars, MINI USA is launching its biggest-ever marketing campaign in support of the latest iteration of its Cooper model, the 2014-model Hardtop.

The BMW-owned marque has done a great job of establishing itself in the minds of US consumers who want a small, sporty and chic vehicle. MINI also has gotten great reviews by American consumers on quality and dealer relations. By contrast, the Mercedes-Benz-owned Smart car brand has suffered.

In its new campaign, MINI attempts to leverage that brand equity with a fresh creative approach based on an old theme, and unprecedented media spend.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: CVS, AT&T, MINI and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2014 09:02 AM

In the News

CVS quits selling tobacco products, standing to lose $2 billion in sales, and draws plaudits from President Obama and the Twitterverse.

AT&T becomes first Olympics brand to condemn Russia anti-gay policy.

MINI rolls out biggest US campaign.

Google reaches antitrust deal with EU.

McDonald's shows how McNuggets are made.

RadioShack plans to close 500 stores under restructuring.

3M launches $12 billion stock buyback.

Adidas sues Under Armour over patents.

Chrysler says Ram diesel gets 28mpg rating.

Jaguar Land Rover pushes back China production to 2015.

Mazda targets record profits.

Mercedes-Benz global sales rise sharply.

Michael Kors expands in menswear.Continue reading...

auto motive

After Torching the Brand, Mercedes May Resurrect Maybach for Luxury Limo Market

Posted by Dale Buss on January 27, 2014 06:43 PM

It seems that Mercedes-Benz can't give up on the ghost of Maybach—or give up on the idea of attempting to compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost in the executive-limousine market.

Autoweek reported that Mercedes-Benz seems to be dusting off once again the venerable Maybach brand that it most recently consigned to the dustbin less than three years ago. The publication cited brand sources saying that it would adopt the mothballed Maybach name for an extra-long-wheelbase, personal-limousine version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class that is expected to go on sale by the end of the year.

The new Maybach is supposed to be priced between $250,000 and $300,000 and to feature, among other things, an optional electrically powered partition window separating the front seats from the rear, reclining rear seats, foding tables stowed in the center armrest and other business-oriented touches.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Apple's 'Muted' iPhone Sales, Spending Cuts Hit Travel, Booze Brands and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 24, 2014 02:47 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Luxury hotels shed stars to avoid spending crackdown… are Apple China Mobile sales "weak" or good… the move away from flashy logos… Tesla's China price tag… Nu Skin… Caterpillar's fraud revisited... Lady Gaga ban lifted... top 2013 search topics… retail sales increase… Boeing's record sales… Mercedes "panda bonds"… Carrefour food safety… Air China to Hawaii… a baijiu aircraft carrier... and more.Continue reading...

auto motive

Will Audi's New A3 and Mercedes' CLA Dilute the Luxury Brands?

Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2014 02:53 PM

Audi is planning to shake up the entry-level luxury sedan market in the United States with the new A3 sedan it is launching this spring as a direct competitor to Mercedes-Benz's popular CLA-Class that it introduced last fall. And Audi's strategy could prove challenging, in different ways, for each German rival.

The premium brand owned by Volkswagen Group has been signaling the importance of the coming A3 for a while and plans to make it the centerpiece of the Audi ad during the Super Bowl on February 2. Mercedes, of course, introduced the CLA with a memorable Super Bowl ad last year and then managed to build anticipation for the new car so that it raced off to sales success when it actually hit the US market in September. Strong CLA sales, in fact, helped Mercedes-Benz grab the US premium-segment sales crown for all of 2013 from BMW.

"We're seeing buyers we've never seen before in our stores," Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told CNBC.com about the impact of CLA. Which, of course, was exactly the point of the brand's best-ever entry-level sedan.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Best Buy, Target, Google and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 17, 2014 09:25 AM

In the News

Best Buy saw cheaper-price strategy fizzle for Christmas.

Target tests small store for urban shoppers.

Google tests "smart" contact lens.

Bitcoin breaks into NBA.

Black + Decker redesigns brand.

Cadbury takes "wearable tech" to whole new level.

Campbell marks 80th anniversary of condensed chicken-noodle soup with social campaign.

Chevrolet boosts presence in Russia.

Coldwell Banker creats pre-launch buzz for Grammys spot.

Domino's plans to remodel all restaurants by 2017.Continue reading...

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