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brand bites

Brand Bites: Dodge, Sonic, Apple & more

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 27, 2011 12:00 PM

Dodge puts new spin on the "pro driver, closed course" blink-and-you'll-miss-it fine print of car commercials, above.

Black MacBook costs more than the white MacBook garners "Manhattan Apple Store Accused of Discriminating Against Black Men" headline.

Apple, meanwhile, sues teen who made white iPhone conversion kit.Continue reading...

brands under fire

POM Wonderful Marketing Isn’t, FTC Says

Posted by Dale Buss on May 25, 2011 05:00 PM

POM Wonderful executives may be enjoying all the attention spawned by buying the title sponsorship of Morgan Spurlock's product-placement documentary, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. But there’s another show going on, in Washington, D.C., that actually may have more to say about the long-term fate of the brand.

And this one could be called The Obama Administration Presents: Watch What You Say. After first clamping down on the brand's ad claims last year, the Federal Trade Commission is still squeezing the pomegranate juice giant as part of the agency’s campaign to get food and beverage companies to throttle health-benefit claims in their marketing and advertising.Continue reading...


Walmart Upgrades "Sustainability" to "Global Responsibility"

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 19, 2011 12:30 PM

If you've been following Walmart's recent Twitter posts, you'll see a marked emphasis on sustainability.

That's because the company recently released its "2011 Global Responsibility Report," renamed this year from the Sustainability Report to reflect "the new social and environmental dimensions we have added to our efforts, as well as new data and metrics to track and measure our progress," according to Michael Duke, president and CEO.

Five years ago, Walmart launched its sustainability efforts with three broad goals: 1) to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, 2) to create zero waste and 3) to sell products that sustain people and the environment. The latest report suggests that Walmart has done an admirable job working towards all three goals, but the company is selective in noting its specific accomplishments.Continue reading...

place branding

Wisconsin Town Launches 'Teach Me How To' Tourism Campaign

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 19, 2011 11:30 AM

From America's hallowed land of cheese comes a case study about what can happen when a popular viral movement gets adapted by a commerce-driven entity.

With an eye to the University of Wisconsin-promoting video Teach Me How to Bucky, above, the Wisconsin county of Sheboygan has launched a new tourism campaign, "How do you Sheboygan?" Local reaction is hostile, but that doesn't mean it won't work (though it probably won't).Continue reading...

brands under fire

Skechers Lobbied to Drop Shape Ups for Girls

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 11, 2011 03:00 PM

Abercrombie and Fitch got into hot water with its push-up bikini top aimed at girls. Walmart's tween makeup line raised a few parental eyebrows. Now it's Skechers turn in the hot seat.

The brand's Shape Ups for Girls commercial (above) has been out since September, but it's still raising hackles among parents and others who don't feel "slimming" shoes should be targeted at girls.Continue reading...

chew on this

Teenage Drama in White House's "Tough" New Food-Ad Guidelines

Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2011 02:00 PM

Michelle Obama is trying to woo kids to put down the cheeseburger and get moving in her Let's Move healthy kids campaign — even co-opting Beyonce in her anti-obesity campaign's latest effort: a May 3rd "dance-in" in America's public schools.

But the White House wants to put teeth in those efforts by regulating food advertising, yesterday announcing proposed federal guidelines for marketing food to kids. The biggest issue to come out of the "tough new rules," as the Wall Street Journal described them — when does a minor become impressionable by advertising?Continue reading...

event marketing

News Flash: Flash Mobs Are Not Going Away Any Time Soon

Posted by Michael Waltzer on April 27, 2011 06:00 PM

If you haven’t noticed the staying power of flash mobs, many organized by brands looking to generate some viral buzz — well, lucky you. They're everywhere.

Earlier today we noted some up and coming Disney stars promoting themselves with an Apple Store mini-flash mob. T-Mobile in the UK has been particularly fond of them — but can Glee also be blamed for this?

The FOX hit series' recent extended episode featured a flash mob breaking out in the middle of the mall, dancing to the song Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce. As is typical with flash mobs, it starts with just a few characters, and builds up until the floor of the mall is covered in dancers and the whole thing ends up on YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Michelle Obama Promotes the NBA (and Vice Versa)

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 22, 2011 02:30 PM

Tapping into the interest in the NBA Playoffs, the First Lady promotes basketball as a fun way for families to say in shape — all in support of her Let's Move! healthy kids initiative.

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