viral buzz

J.J. Abrams, Disney and Lucasfilm Sweeten Star Wars: Force for Change

Posted by Michael Waltzer on July 21, 2014 12:14 PM

Who wouldn't love to become part of the world of Star Wars? Fans of the hit movie franchise directed by George Lucas now have the chance to be cast in the next J.J. Abrams-helmed installment, while at the same time supporting a pro-social partnership that will help thousands of underprivileged children around the world.

The initiative is called Star Wars: Force for Change, which Lucasfilm owner Disney has already committed $1 million to, and fans can contribute directly through the Omaze platform.

These contributions will support UNICEF's Innovation Labs and other projects, such as portable, solar powered learning kits that will provide underprivileged children access to educational materials, mobile phone application development to help children reunite with their families during emergencies, and a text messaging solution that will provide infant medical test results from clinics in half the time.

With free entry or a donation (strongly encouraged), the chance to be a part of the Star Wars universe becomes real.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Sharknado 2 Unleashes a Storm of Licensed Merchandise

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 20, 2014 05:05 PM

"[It] isn't even worthy of sarcasm," wrote Variety in its review of the 1977 film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, a low-budget film about exactly what its title says. A financial non-starter when first released, the film became a cult hit. A decade later came a sequel—starring a young George Clooney—and two more sequels. Later, there came a cartoon series on Fox Kids and a comic book series. There is also an annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival in Atlanta.

The history of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is timely as the world prepares itself for the July 30 premiere of Sharknado 2, Syfy's sophomore installment in the shark-meets-tornado franchise that hopes lightning, indeed, strikes twice. But this time around, brands want in on the fun.Continue reading...

brandcameo

Chinese Brands Sour on Transformers Product Placement Pay-Off

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 8, 2014 05:05 PM

"We had a deal. You got what you wanted!" exclaims the bad guy halfway through the global blockbuster that is Transformers: Age of Extinction. In reply, the bad guy's former partner points to an even nastier alien and retorts, "No, I got what it wanted!"

That scene might feel a little close to home for some of the Chinese brands that giddily partnered with the film's producers for product placement deals only to be disappointed in what has become the highest-grossing movie in China's box office history. Now, those brands are speaking out about being let down. A couple are even threatening lawsuits.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Dear Kittens of the World Cup

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 13, 2014 01:07 PM

After clocking five million views in four days, Buzzfeed's low-budget commercial for Purina has passed more than 10 million views in the week since it was posted on June 5th. Credit the faux Morgan Freeman narration and wit of web wag Ze Frank, who happens to be EVP of video for Buzzfeed. (Purina, meanwhile, is about to ramp up the amount of branded content on its Petcentric YouTube channel.) Watch "Dear Kitten" (again... and again) below, along with this week's other noteworthy branded content efforts:Continue reading...

brandcameo

Brandcameo: Watch Godzilla Eat, Crush and Terrorize 16 Brands

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 13, 2014 02:39 PM

Every few years it seems, Godzilla pops up again to do what he's always done. No, not destroy metropolises. Pitch product.

While there is already speculation about whether or not this year's Godzilla reboot will flop badly enough to kill the movie franchise, one thing is for sure, Godzilla will always be back as the spokescreature for something. After all, the big guy has had a far more lurcrative career in advertising than in Hollywood.

Below, a look back at some of Godzilla's greatest hits, and a peek at the product placement in store for the new Godzilla movie.Continue reading...

red carpet

Coke Steals Pepsi's Thunder at Oscars Turned Ambush Marketing Awards

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 3, 2014 12:39 PM

Leonardo DiCaprio. Martin Scorsese. Meryl Streep. Julia Roberts. Oscar night 2014 was full of disappointment. But the biggest disappointment may have happened off-stage and off-camera, at the corporate headquarters of Pepsi and Samsung.

While both of the brands shelled out piles of money to be the official category advertisers for the Disney-owned ABC network telecast of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual ado—as the Oscars generate nearly $90 million in ad revenue—both also watched as their biggest rivals swooped in to ambush market their way into the spotlight.

When host Ellen DeGeneres ordered a few pies from local Los Angeles pizzeria Big Mama's & Papa's—whom she has previously ordered from on her own talk show—she likely had no idea she was about to insult the broadcast's official soda beverage sponsor, Pepsi. But when the pizzas showed up to feed the first few rows of celebs, so did a big Coca-Cola logo on the side of the pizza boxes.Continue reading...

red carpet

Big Ad Season for Brands Wraps Up This Weekend with Oscars Showdown

Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2014 05:51 PM

With barely a breather since Sochi, big brand marketers are now ready to strut the red carpet to the next tentpole-marketing event: Sunday's Academy Awards on ABC. Often called the "Super Bowl for Women," the Oscars promise to be a huge draw as they finish up a first-quarter season of extraordinary high-profile marketing opportunities for brands that are willing to invest.

The Oscars promise to draw ads from more than a dozen brands including Chevrolet, Coldwell Banker, Lipton, Mars, JCPenney, Pepsi and Unilever. And a growing number of these brands also are building experiential marketing efforts as well as social media engagements around their TV ads during the actual 86th Annual Academy Awards

However, at least two well-known brands with close past alliances to the Oscars decided not to return this year: Coca-Cola and Hyundai. It begs the question whether the Oscars have hit the same sort of advertising plateau as the Super Bowl, whose ads, studies show, don't have nearly as large of a consumer impact as one would think for such a hefty price tag. 

With or without Coke, other brands are taking advantage of the captive Oscars audience and treating the lead-up much the same as the Super Bowl; teasing and full-on releasing their campaigns beforehand—a newer tactic whose payoff isn't quite measurable yet as compared to the typical build-up and big reveal strategy of previous years. 

Here's a look at this year's brands hitting the red carpet:Continue reading...

brandcameo

The Envelope, Please: The 2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 27, 2014 02:04 PM

Welcome to brandchannel's annual Brandcameo Product Placement Awards.

For more than a decade, Brandcameo has tracked product placement and brand appearances in every No. 1 film in Hollywood. Since 2004, the Brandcameo Awards have been honoring the good, the bad, and the ugly (and the most) product placement in tandem with the annual Oscars buzz.

If one thing is evident in the product placement industry, it's that brand cameos in films are on a steady decline. 2013's average of 9.1 product placements per No. 1 film is the lowest since 2001, when we first started tracking this space. With directors looking to de-clutter their work, producers looking to wrangle more marketing tie-ins off-screen and new film technology proving challenging for brand placements, the big screen is becoming less and less of a billboard for brands. 

This year, Brandcameo hands out awards for the best and worst product placement, the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Forrest Gump Award for Achievement in Reverse Product Placement, as well as awards in 14 other categories.

But there's no spoilers here. Check out the big winners (and losers) of the 2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards, covering films released in 2013, after the jump.Continue reading...

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