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brand news

In the News: Facebook, Apple, General Mills and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 5, 2013 09:25 AM

In the News

Facebook hires first CMO from Google.

Apple, Samsung and tech world are thrown by Obama administration intervention into trade ruling.

General Mills creates character to pitch Toaster Strudel as cold-cereal sales lag.

AB InBev defends Budweiser Black Crown performance.

AMC is at a crossroads.

Bass updates penny loafer for the next generation.

Cadillac hits pricing ceiling with ATS.

Citigroup expands "Thank You" loyalty events.

Cox Communications introduces Netflix-like personalized TV experience. 

Denny's looks beyond breakfast with new marketing strategy.

Ford taps Mustang history in videos.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Google, Volkswagen and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 3, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

Apple dodges $9 billion in US taxes with bond deal.

Google named Advertiser of the Year

Volkswagen makes $10 million donation to the National Mall.

Adidas sales drop on weakening Reebok brand.

Barnes & Noble begins support of Google apps on Nook.

Beam sales rise because of "formula run" on Maker's Mark.

Diet Coke slims down its vending machines.

Ford adds jobs and raises capacity to make pick-up trucks.

Geritol seeks new life with younger consumers.

Huffington Post brings rapid-response "native" ads to its home page.Continue reading...

brands under fire

GM's "Racist" Ad Just the Latest in Long Line of Asian Mockery

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 2, 2013 12:32 PM

For its ad stereotyping Asians, GM has offered the standard 'we're sorry you're so easily offended' apology, with a brand spokesperson saying, "Our intent was not to offend anyone and we’re deeply sorry if anyone was offended."

In fact, it really is not a surprise that GM wouldn't immediately recognize the ad as offensive. While brands now go out their way to avoid racism targeting many groups, Asians are still typically not on the vigilance radar. Heck, even Iron Man 3, a film that has been criticized for pandering to Chinese interests, couldn't resist throwing a little barb in about how poor the Chinese are at English. (see above; "Man Iron").

GM added that it would make sure "this never happened again." Maybe not at GM, but this will happen again. It was just in 2002 that popular youth clothing line Abercrombie & Fitch was slammed for a line of Asian-themed shirts including one reading, "Wong Brothers Laundry Service—Two Wongs Can Make It White." The brand's response? "It's never been our intention to offend anyone." Sound familiar?Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Jaguar's 'Desire' is Off the Mark as Need for Branded Content Stretches Some Too Thin

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 30, 2013 11:26 AM

How appropriate is it that Jaguar has finally released its much anticipated branded short film Desire at the very same time that a fictional Jag representative on the hit show Mad Men is arguing for foregoing a "national ad campaign in favor of hard driving sales ads at the local dealer level?"

The Desire film is absolutely a national brand-making campaign and by no means a "hard driving" sales push of any kind. It is not meant, in the Mad Men dealer's words, "to move metal." It's too bad then that Jaguar's real-life branded film is so poorly targeted since Mad Men set the brand up with such a meatball opportunity.

For months, the auto-watching world has wondered about the Jaguar mini-film. When the music video tie-in from Jaguar music partner Lana Del Rey was released on Valentine's Day, it sucked up attention. The video has since logged over 300,000 views.

The full, quarter-hour mini movie is now here and it's hard to argue that Jaguar's Desire isn't a rather naked attempt to recreate the themes of BMW's decade-old iconic branded film series The Hire.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Starbucks, Boeing, Altria Group and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2013 09:12 AM

In the News

Starbucks raises outlook after strong second quarter.

Boeing gets clearance for re-launching Dreamliner in Japan and United's planes in May.

Altria Group plans to enter e-cigarette market.

3M cuts outlook as demand sputters.

Amazon outstrips growing profits with growing spending.

Best Buy tries to reduce "pain points" for customers, staff.

Cap'n Crunch launches new YouTube channel for adults.

Exxon Mobil oil output falls again.Continue reading...

sip on this

Dunkin’ Donuts Prepares for New York Big Soda Ban as Starbucks Shrugs

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 03:35 PM

New York politicians are making life difficult for anybody who sells sugared beverages, but it doesn't stop there. Recently, Dunkin’ Donuts came under fire from state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who doesn't usually deal with what restaurants serve to their customers.

The state’s pension fund owns 51,400 shares of Dunkin’ Brands Group (worth around $2 million) and DiNapoli has been working toward getting any companies the fund invests in to be more involved in sustainable practices, the New York Times reports. As a result of DiNapoli's work, Dunkin’ said Thursday that it would announce in the second quarter a timetable for obtaining the palm oil it uses in its products from sustainable sources.

“Consumers may not realize that many of the foods and cosmetics they eat and use contain palm oil that has been harvested in ways that are severely detrimental to the environment,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Shareholder value is enhanced when companies take steps to address the risks associated with environmental practices that promote climate change.”

Meanwhile, Dunkin’ and other coffee vendors in New York City are preparing for the difficult task ahead of informing its customers about which of its drinks have more sugar than the new Mayor Bloomberg-pushed, American Beverage Association-opposed, NYC sugary drinks ban allows. According to the Times, Dunkin’ Donuts is handing out fliers to inform its customers while Starbucks is waiting until the rule goes into effect Tuesday before taking any action.Continue reading...

response mechanism

Aptly Titled: Time and Again, Change.org Proves a Potent Force in Nudging Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 31, 2013 03:36 PM

Nicer bras for masectomy survivors. Healthier ingredients in soft drinks. Halting gender stereotypes in toys.

All are among the causes and quests that have gained momentum — and in many cases, acquired success — through Change.org, which has quickly become a major force to be reckoned with among brands. While activist organizations such as Greenpeace lobby companies and others around a particular set of issues, Change.org is an open platform to agitate for action.

PepsiCo, for instance, recently announced the removal of brominated vegetable oil, which is used as a flame retardant, from its Gatorade drink after 16-year old Sarah Kavanagh’s Change.org petition garnered more than 200,000 digital signatures. (The company is continuing to use it in Mountain Dew.)

"When I went to Change.org to start my petition, I thought it might get a lot of support because no one wants to gulp down flame retardant, especially from a drink they associate with being healthy," Kavanagh said on The Dr. Oz Show. "With Gatorade being as big as they are, sometimes it was hard to know if we'd ever win.”Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Pepsi Expands Beyonce Super Bowl Deal Into Full-Blown Partnership

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2012 11:36 AM

Want to have your face on a Pepsi can? Well, first you need to sell more than a 100 million albums around the globe and win 16 Grammy awards. At least, that’s what it took for Beyonce to get her face etched into aluminum.

As already announced, Bey is starring in the Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl XLVII halftime show in February as part of the brand's multimillion-dollar return to the Big Game after pulling out in 2010 to reallocate its funds for the social Pepsi Refresh crowdsourced philanthropy platform. Now

Now PepsiCo is expanding its Super Bowl deal with the performer beyond the half-time show into a full-blown partnership in a $50 million deal that will burnish the Pepsi brand and Brand Beyonce, including marketing support for her new album that's dropping next year.Continue reading...

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