Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 6, 2013 05:39 PM
Beyoncé is beyond busy. Following her Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl halftime show, she presented an award at the Grammys with Ellen Degeneres, she's the cover girl for the March issue of Vogue, she did an interview with Oprah Winfrey and her documentary aired on HBO, not to mention that her "Mrs. Carter World Tour" is almost upon us, kicking off in Belgrade in April and reaching the U.S. in late June.
The star posted a Warhol-inspired ad to her Facebook page (which has over 43 million likes!) and can be seen striking three poses, highlighting her much-talked about new bleached blonde hair. The caption, in a nod to her soda sponsor's "Live for Now" tagline and the 60's inspiration: "Pop Art inspires me to Live for NOW."
In another made-for-social promo image, Pepsi's $50 million girl channels Monroe and Bardot, clad in a pair of teeny shorts and a tight-fitting white turtleneck. The ads, which promote her upcoming Pepsi-sponsored tour have come under some fire for portraying the vocal star with a visibly fairer complexion.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 5, 2013 12:02 PM
The biggest PR disaster so far this year in China is happening right now.
The far and away top trending topic on 600-million-strong microblog Weibo is "长春" ("Changchun"). It's about the a baby named Haobo who was abducted when the SUV she was sleeping in alone was stolen in Jilin Province on Monday. Tuesday night, as the obsessed nation posted about the baby, a man turned himself in to police and "confessed that he had strangled the baby and buried him in the snow."
As events were unfolding, one of Buick's dealers in China decided the Changchun tragedy would be the perfect subject to tout features on its new model cars.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 02:02 PM
LIVESTRONG is still very much alive as it strives to move out from under the enormous shadow cast by its founder, disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong.
A new brand refresh involving a new logo and addition of the word “Foundation” was revealed during the State of the Foundation address at the Livestrong Assembly last week in Chicago, expanding the “visual brand to show that the LIVESTRONG ethos—the belief in survivorship—is not abstract. Thousands of people and many critical programs are the “Foundation” beneath that ethos.”
“After its founder Lance Armstrong was publicly revealed to be a cheater, a liar, and a complete and utter d**khead,” comments Mediabistro, “it was hard to believe the LIVESTRONG foundation would survive the fall-out. After all the charity, which aims to provide free cancer support services for those battling the disease, had its brand so tied to Armstrong’s own story that when Armstrong lost all credibility, it seemed like he would take LIVESTRONG down with him.”
The disgraced cyclist had his seven Tour de France victories wiped from the record books, may be stripped of the Legion d'Honneur and faces being deposed in several pending cases which altogether leave him liable for more than $100 million.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2013 12:17 PM
Budweiser, the self-anointed King of Beers and nine of its AB InBev brethren found themselves with a bit of a PR problem last week when press seized on the story of class-action suits being filed in seven states that claimed the brewskis had been knowingly watered down before being sent out for consumption.
The world’s largest brewer denied the charges being made in the suits filed in California, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, but clearly wanted to set the record straight for some of its loyal drinkers for fear that they might believe the stories of those who had filed suit—people who had been buying Bud and other InBev products by the caseload every month for years on end.
To combat the claims, AB InBev has turned to both newspaper print ads and Twitter, the Associated Press reports. The Twitter push encompassed the Budweiser-back "Beer Loves You" local Twitter handles (see below), which sent out the a copy of the full-page newspaper ad that ran on Sunday.
That ad, carried in newspapers including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, showed an image of a can of drinking water, representing “one of the 71 million cans of drinking water it has sent to the American Red Cross and other relief organizations in disasters.” Along with that is the text, "They must have tested one of these," the ad says, along with "We take no shortcuts and make no exceptions. Ever."
Two independent tests by St. Louis TV station and NPR have both backed the brewer’s side of the story, a fact that was pushed out onto Twitter by InBev, Ad Age reports. That’s a big switch, the publication notes, for a company that had avoided being on Twitter at all until fairly recently.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 1, 2013 04:38 PM
The horse meat scandal is spreading across Europe, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Dominican Republic, seizing media attention and making retailers and consumers squeamish at the thought of what could be in their meat.
Four beef products sold by Bird's Eye, Taco Bell and catering supplier Brakes have been found to contain horse DNA as the Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) conducts a third wave of tests.
An aptly titled article, "Having a cow over chow," asks, “What is it about horses? Over in Europe, everyone is happily munching on frozen lasagnas and shop-bought meals from various supermarkets, knowing it has all kinds of dodgy cuts of beef in it. But when it emerges they contain horse meat, everybody gags…Consumers need to ask themselves: When you buy something cheap, why is it so cheap? The answer is often uncomfortable to swallow.”
The FSA is asking retailers to test beef products for the presence of more than 1 percent of horse meat. Specific products in the headlines include Birds Eye's Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese and Beef Lasagna (removed by the company from store shelves last week), Brakes' Spicy Beef Skewer and Taco Bell's ground beef.
"Once we learned of this issue, we immediately voluntarily tested our product for our three Taco Bell restaurants in the UK,” said a spokesperson for the company, which has posted a response to the horse meat crisis on its UK website. "Based on that testing, we learned ingredients supplied to us from one supplier in Europe tested positive for horse meat."Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 03:43 PM
Jeep today became the second major brand in as many days to have its Twitter feed hacked, with the perps joking that the brand had been sold to Cadillac. The message was similar to Monday's Twitter hack of the official Burger King account which said that McDonald's had taken over its rival.
"We're aware of it and working quickly to resolve" the situation, Chrysler Group spokesman Rick Deneau told brandchannel on Tuesday afternoon. The Twitter feed was restored and the erroneous postings and content removed.
Chrysler had managed to restore some elements of its official Twitter site by mid-afternoon but not all. In the hack, the background image of Jeep's official Twitter account was swapped out to show the Cadillac logo and an old sedan was painted with McDonald's logo and colors. That specific "creative" would imply that the same party hacked Jeep and Burger King.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 18, 2013 04:20 PM
It has to hurt when your chief competitor tweets, "We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking."
The LulzSec pranskster hacktivists are claiming credit for Monday's hacking of the official Burger King account, which entailed subbing in McDonalds' golden arches and changing the name of @BurgerKing to McDonalds at a little after noon ET on Monday. BK confirmed to the Associated Press that it asked Twitter to take its @burgerking account offline while it repaired the damage.
Update: @BurgerKing went back online around 10pm EST Monday night, leaving a few of of the hackers' retweets intact:
Other fake BK tweets during the hack included, “We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you," and the background picture changed to McDonald's new Fish McBites menu item. And subsequent tweets used the hashtag #OpMadCow and, "if I catch you at a wendys, we're fightin!"Continue reading...
brand and bottle
Posted by Dale Buss on February 18, 2013 03:01 PM
Maker's Mark hopes it has managed to avoid a New Coke-style disaster by reversing its widely-scorned decision (which was revealed in a Bloomberg Businessweek article) to dilute its iconic bourbon with water. Just days after his initial decision to cut the proof of Maker's Mark from 90 to 84, CEO Bill Samuels Jr. realized the error of his ways, turned tail and just hoped that the brand hadn't sustained any permanent damage.
On Sunday, Feb. 17th, the company announced on Facebook that it had surrendered to the collective will of thousands of bourbon drinkers expressed over the last several days after Maker's Mark tried to extend tightening supplies of its flagship spirit by adding extra water that, it said, didn't affect the taste. Fans, however, rose up on social media and argued that the move diluted the brand, too.
"They've told us that they would rather deal with the occasional supply shortage than have us change their whiskey," Samuels Jr., son of the founder of Maker's Mark, told USA Today.
Effective Monday, supported with a new cover image on its Facebook page (with the tagline "You spoke. We listened. Here's proof"), every bottle coming out of the Loretto, Ky.-based brand owned by Beam Inc. is reverting to its historic 45-percent-alcohol content.Continue reading...