2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand and bottle

Wigle Whiskey Warms Up Pittsburgh

Posted by Matthew Moore on September 24, 2012 05:32 PM

Back in 1794, Philip Wigle was sentenced to hang for committing high treason during the Whiskey Rebellion. His crime? Wigle beat up a tax collector to prevent him from collecting taxes on farmers in Western Pennsylvania who made their living by turning grain into whiskey. Over 200 years later, Wigle's memory is honored by a young distillery in Pittsburgh called Wigle Whiskey.

On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, brandchannel dispatched a grateful scribe to catch up with Mark Meyer, a lawyer with a dream (inspired by a trip north of the border, as the Wall Street Journal found out) who founded Wigle Whiskey, to chat about launching an artisanal brand and sample his craft.

brandchannel: How important is branding in the whiskey business?

Mark Meyer: Branding is extremely important. Unlike wine, people seem to develop a loyalty to certain brands of whiskey. One of the reasons we decided to start our distillery is because Western Pennsylvania was once the home of American Whiskey. Whiskey is very much a part of the history and culture of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.Continue reading...

chew on this

Domino's Wants Upper Hand in Pan Pizza

Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2012 04:49 PM

Domino's CEO Patrick Doyle certainly can't be accused of just watching the grass grow — or the cheese melt — on his watch. Already, he's led the brand through a marketing makeover focusing on transparency and self-effacement, formulation of new basic recipes for Domino's crust, greater reliance on digital sales, ushered in a new logo, and many other changes as Doyle has relentlessly shaken things up in what actually was a pretty sleepy industry.

Now, Doyle is unveiling Domino's latest big gambit: The debut of Domino's Handmade Pan Pizza, its biggest product launch since improving its core hand-tossed recipe a couple of years ago. After three years of development, Domino's notes that its new pizza is fresh dough that is hand-stretched into the pan — not frozen, "like many pan products out there," as the company's press release puts it.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Where There’s Pepsi, There’s Michael Jackson

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 18, 2012 06:11 PM

Pepsi’s marketing gurus have been appealing to consumers through music seemingly for eons. Much of that perception is due to the success the soda maker has had in tying its name to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Even after the guy’s been laid to rest for more than three years, and earning more than ever, Pepsi is still celebrating its legendary association with the performer.

Back in May, Pepsi announced its deal with the Michael Jackson estate and Sony Music to an exclusive global marketing partnership that included featuring the Gloved One on a billion limited edition Pepsi cans released around the world, starting in China.

As part of its music-based global "Live for Now" platform, the Pepsi brand is reminding consumers that it's been 25 years since Jackson's iconic Bad album was released — an anniversary that director Spike Lee is marking with a documentary, and which Pepsi celebrated in late August in a concert with Billboard and singer Ne-Yo, who performed such hits as Closer from the album, which was released on Aug. 31, 1987.Continue reading...

chew on this

Organic Brands Caught In Fight Over California's Prop 37 GMO Debate

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM

The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.

But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.

Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.

In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Rolls Out Calorie Counts on US Menus

Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2012 05:17 PM

McDonald's continues to look less and less like a food-police "Most Wanted" corporation with a rap sheet to match its notoriety. Instead, the global fast-food leader keeps adding to its shift toward better-for-you fare and toward making healthier food not only accessible to its customers but palatable as well — even including the health of its own employees.

Today, McDonald's USA announced a number of nutrition initiatives, including the news it's adding calorie counts on restaurant and drive-through menus nationwide starting Monday and introducing menu items next year in line with the latest obesity-targeting federal dietary guidelines.

"We recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order," McDonald's USA president Jan Fields stated in a press release. As the Associated Press notes, "The move comes ahead of a regulation that could require major chains to post the information as early as next year. 'We want to voluntarily do this,' Fields told AP. 'We believe it will help educate customers.'"Continue reading...

license to thrill

Coca-Cola Woos James Bond Fans With Coke Zero Skyfall Tie-In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 12, 2012 12:57 PM

Forget martinis and even Heineken if you want to Be Bond. Coca-Cola would like you to think, and drink, Coke Zero to get your 007 on.

When the twenty-third James Bond film, Skyfall, hits screens worldwide on October 26, Bond and brand watchers will paying close attention. The upcoming movie got an unprecedented plug from the monarch atop Her Majesty's Secret Service during the opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics. The film also created a bit of stir to fans of the series because beer giant Heineken struck a deal to get some product-placement within the film, even though Bond has long been known as a fan of mixed drinks, particularly the martini.

You might say fans were shaken, not stirred, by the news — but thanks to the marketers at Coke, they have a non-alcoholic way to imbibe Bond.Continue reading...

sustainability

Gap Inc. and Burt's Bees Go "Un-Plastic" With Sustainable Packaging

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 11, 2012 03:57 PM

Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks? Monadnock Paper Mills exemplifies the transformative mind-set of brands willing to change their process to ensure performance with conscience.

The oldest continuously operating paper mill in the U.S., founded in 1819 and based in Bennington, NH, Monadnock this week launched a suite of fiber-based solutions for eco-savvy brand owners made with high-quality alternatives to plastics, Envi Portfolio.

Its sustainability-seeking packaging clients include Gap Inc. and Burt's Bees, which commented:

“Gap Inc. is committed to making sustainable choices that work for our customers and for the environment. Monadnock’s Envi Portfolio of environmentally-friendly, recycled paper and gift card products allow us to bring this effort to our stores.” — Jorge Perez-Olmo, Senior Marketing Manager

“Monadnock helps brands like ours continue to make more sustainable packaging choices without sacrificing performance, beauty or budget.” — Julie Colón, Brand Design Manager, Burt's Bees

Monadnock uses renewable, responsibly sourced FSC Certified fiber and post-consumer waste in a manufacturing process that is chlorine free, 100% green electrical energy, carbon neutral, under an ISO 14001 independently verified, audited, and certified Environmental Management System.Continue reading...

brand launch

With Dasani Drops, Coca-Cola Looks to Flavor its Global Water Business

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 10, 2012 10:58 AM

What is a beverage powerhouse to do when another company produces something that is going to eat into its market share? Attempt to crush it, of course.

Kraft introduced beverage drops called MiO last year, putting its marketing muscle behind a new water flavoring brand that created a new category and made the global snacks behemoth more than $100 million in the first half of 2012 alone, according to the Associated Press. So what is Coca-Cola going to do in the coming weeks? Launch Dasani Drops, described as "a zero-calorie liquid beverage enhancer that allows people to add a veritable burst of flavor to their water."

The latest product from Coca-Cola's water brand and PlantBottle innovator is more than just a tastier way to drink water (it's described as "naturally flavored with other natural flavors"). The drops empower consumers to decide just how much flavoring they’d like, encouraging user interaction and customization — which is why Kraft called their product "MiO" (mine in Italian).

Four different flavors of Dasani Drops — Strawberry Kiwi, Pink Lemonade, Pineapple Coconut and Mixed Berry — will roll out in early October with more fruit flavorings expected next year (MiO offers nine flavors). And Coca-Cola has big plans for Dasani Drops — "I think there's an opportunity beyond just flavored waters," said John Roddey, VP of Coca-Cola's water, tea and coffee business in North America.Continue reading...

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