let the games begin

Transforming Into a Lawsuit: Hasbro Ready to Battle for Its Toys

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 6, 2012 10:01 AM

Since 1984, Hasbro’s Transformers toys have transitioned from robots into cars or weapons or those sorts of things. Then they became comic books and movies and now they have become a lawsuit.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Hasbro and a computer manufacturer that has created a “high-end tablet/laptop hybrid computer dubbed the ‘Transformer Prime,’” Asus Computer International, are ready to do legal battle.

Hasbro filed suit claiming that its trademark had been infringed upon, THR adds, pointing out that one of its characters is named Optimus Prime as well as the existence of its licensed Transformers Prime TV series.Continue reading...


Why Liz Claiborne Inc. is Rebranding to Fifth & Pacific

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2012 05:07 PM

The Liz Claiborne brand name was sold in November to J.C. Penney so it was inevitable that its parent company, Liz Claiborne Inc., would shed the brand from its name. The inevitable is now official. The 34-year-old fashion company is changing its name to Fifth & Pacific Companies, and will start trading under the ticker symbol FNP in mid-May, in addition to replacing its zippy liz.com corporate domain with fifthandpacific.com.

Claiborne unloaded its Mexx brand in September and then sold its namesake brand to J.C. Penney, along with its Monet brand, two months later for $267.5 million. It also got rid of its Kensie and Dana Buchman brands this fall as it attempted to right its own financial ship. Now FNP is left with three core brands in Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, Kate Spade, and a sibling in the mens fashion/accessory brand of Jack Spade line, to focus on.

The new corporate identity may recall Gap's Forth & Towne, Gilt's Park & Bond, and Nordstrom's Treasure & Bond, but CEO William McComb argues that the name is a perfect synthesis of the east coast/west coast stable of brands, as it's "where California cool meets New York chic."Continue reading...


Landmark Vegas Hotel No Longer Bears Hilton Name

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 4, 2012 11:01 AM

In the branding world, Las Vegas stands out as a city so well known that it is in a class by itself. The hotel brands that occupy the Vegas strip are just as famously iconic, so it's a rare event when one of them changes its name.

But on Tuesday, some Sin City visitors may have thought an extended New Year's hangover had them seeing things. That's when the long-standing Hilton name was removed from the Las Vegas Hilton and a new marquee appeared: The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Opened as the International Hotel in 1969, the property soon became the Las Vegas Hilton when the hotel chain bought it in 1971. But last year, financial troubles led to the hotel-casino seeking to end its agreement with Hilton, and new ownership took effect this year.

The new owners, an investor group that includes Colony Capital LLC, were determined the hotel will remain open for business without any big changes beyond a new name and website (indeed, Flavor Flav used the hotel to launch his vodka before the holiday, LeFlav Straight Up). However, guests staying at the hotel can no longer take advantage of Hilton's hotel loyalty program.Continue reading...

tech talk

HP Teases Spectre Notebook

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 3, 2012 09:32 AM

While HP won't be bringing a new logo to CES next week in Las Vegas, it appears to be getting ready to unveil a new ultrabook. As the glimpses in the teaser video for the mysteriously named Spectre shows, it's certainly a thin and sleek laptop — and a chance for HP to redeem itself from the TouchPad fiasco, which was pulled after seven weeks and called the biggest tech flop of 2011 by the New York Times.

trend report

"Occupy" and "Man_____" Top Buzzwords to Banish in 2012

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2012 01:31 PM

Tired of "planking" and "occupying"? TIME's top buzzwords of 2011 also include "leading from behind," "haboob," "99 percent," "manscape," "mantyhose," "mankini," "cone of uncertainty," and "Arab Spring."

The latest vocabulary blacklist by Michigan's Lake Superior State University, meanwhile, singles out coined words and phrases to banish from our collective vocabulary including "occupy," "ginormous," "shared sacrifice," "win the future," "blowback," "man cave" and "the new normal."

Lexicographer Grant Barrett commented in Sunday's New York Times that at least one of the words that defined 2011 ("occupy") won't disappear any time soon:

"In 10 years, some of last year’s words will be relics. We’ll think of them the way we now think of the decades-old phrase “gag me with a spoon.” Others have already proved their staying power. Who could argue that the new sense of “occupy” isn’t already a keeper, even starting as it did late in the third quarter of 2011? A movement so well labeled, if not cohesive in thought and action, that its name instantly lent itself to variation and satire."

what's in a name

California Town Considers Renaming as Irish Town Can’t Get Its Effin Name on Facebook

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2011 10:02 AM

Things are rough all over. Some towns have got it so bad, they want to start from scratch while others are just fighting to be recognized for what they are.

Stockton, California, has more than 290,000 residents, making it the 13th largest city in the state. Recent times there have been, like many other places, pretty rough. The Redding Record Searchlight reports that a group of residents are so fed up with the whole thing that they are on a mission to simply rename the town.

While it isn’t clear how serious they are about it, the group has at least created a "Rename Stockton” Facebook page that writes the following as its description: “The city has a bad image. Instead of tackling the problems, lets just come up with a new name! Crime is up! Foreclosures continue! The city is broke! Stockton, California can't get a break these days. But fixing the problems...that would take lots of hard work. Instead let's just "rebrand" and come up with a new name for Stockton!

Some names that have been offered by one visitor include Green Valley, North Modesto, Prosperity, and Hugtown, “in recognition of the troubles.”Continue reading...

brand targets

Dow Won't Wrap Brand on London 2012 Olympics Stadium Following Flap

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2011 02:02 PM

When it was announced in August that Dow Chemical planned to spend $10.8 million to have its name emblazoned in a fabric wrap around London’s Olympic stadium for the Games next summer, there was an angry outcry, particularly by athletes and Olympic organizers in India.

After all, it was there that the Dow subsidiary Union Carbide leaked enough gas and chemicals to kill approximately 15,000 and leave many others sick back in 1984. There was even talk that the Indian Olympic team would boycott the Games, but that was rejected on Saturday.

Dow didn’t own Union then, but Indian residents are feeling the fallout and Dow’s name doesn’t exactly inspire the Olympic spirit in many Indian residents. Now TheHindu.com reports that Dow has “agreed to remove all its branding from the London Olympic stadium.”Continue reading...

ad watch

Both Sides Now: Watch Pepsi's Latest Spanish TV Commercial

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 19, 2011 01:33 PM

What's in a name? For Pepsi's latest spot in Spain, it all depends how you look at it.

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