branded entertainment

Coca-Cola Gives Iconic Polar Bears a Starring Role With Ridley Scott Film

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 3, 2013 04:43 PM

Coca-Cola apparently doesn’t hold a grudge against famed director Ridley Scott. The perennial Best Global Brand's logo appeared in his 1982 film, Blade Runner, and then the brand suffered the so-called "Blade Runner curse" with the disastrous introduction of New Coke in 1985. That "curse" saw other brands that popped up in the film (Atari, Bell, Pan-Am) suffer serious financial difficulties soon after the movie debuted.

Since those days, Coke and Scott, who got his directing start in London's advertising world in the early ’70s before decamping to Hollywood, have paired up a few times. In 1986, he directed the brand's famed Max Headroom commercials. Now, the beverage giant has released a short film about its iconic Polar Bears that was directed by Scott and produced by him and his recently deceased brother, Tony Scott.

"The Polar Bears," as the short is called (watch it below), tells the story of the bear family that has appeared in Coke commercials since the company’s “Always Coca-Cola” campaign kicked off in 1993. While polar bears have been part of the print-advertising mix for Coke since 1922, the campaign put the polar bears front and center in consumers’ eyes. Now those who have been curious about just who these bears are will finally have their questions answered.Continue reading...

game change

P&G Awash in Success of Tide Pods, Despite Wrinkles Along the Way

Posted by Dale Buss on December 18, 2012 05:05 PM

Tide Pods are providing a robust helping of good news for Procter & Gamble in a year when its brands, products, strategy and even CEO have been taking a beating.

The company is projecting $500 million in first-year retail sales for pods, according to Ad Age. That's a major feat, given that of the 1,500 new consumer-packaged-goods launches tracked by SymphonyIRI in 2011, only 21 percent reached one-year sales of even $50 million.

Hungry for a big win at a time when nearly everything about its long-running formula for victory has been questioned, P&G has seen Tide Pods become a relatively rapid success since launching in February with a colorful campaign — with a few speed bumps along the way.Continue reading...

sustainability

Eat Your Wrapper: Edible Food Packaging Coming to Fast Food and CPG Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2012 03:08 PM

Check out the trash collection area of any restaurant. The containers overflow with the remnants of packaging that once contained the food now found on the eatery’s tables and its customers' stomachs. More than 75 million tons of packaging waste found its way to landfills in the U.S. alone in 2010, Slate reports. A waste, but what's a person to do?

Help is on the way. Researchers are moving quickly toward creating edible packaging that consumers won’t have to throw away. A fast-food chain in Brazil, called Bob’s after founder (and tennis champ) Robert Falkenburg, wrapped its burgers in edible wrappers and encouraged its customers to just not bother unwrapping before eating during a one-day promotion earlier this month, AFP reports.

Bob’s — the country’s first fast-food chain, established in 1952 — was so successful at testing its edible packaging, at right, that not a single customer threw away the wrappings, according to PSFK. The Guardian, meanwhile, notes “two US companies (that) are currently vying to be the first to commercially exploit” this marketplace.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Big Tobacco Hit By FDA Slowdown, Wins Graphic Package Battle

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 14, 2012 03:01 PM

It has been more than a year and a half since pretty much any new cigarettes or tobacco products have hit store shelves in the United States. So Big Tobacco must be finally caving to the growing drumbeat against them from lawmakers and health advocates, right? Well, no.

The lack of new product is actually due to those dang lawmakers. America's tobacco watchdogs at the Food and Drug Administration are “taking extra care in reviewing new product applications for public health risks,” according to WWLP Massachusetts.

And it isn’t just new product that’s been affected, either. The slowdown has also affected such things as brand-name changes as well as shifts in packaging or filters. But don’t feel too bad for Big Tobacco. They are still making a boatload of cash annually and they also just won a big case before the federal appeals court on Wednesday. In that case, the tobacco companies won the right to not sell their products in packaging that would feature graphic warning images, such as diseased lungs, a man with a tracheotomy smoking, and the cadaver of a (former) smoker.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Australia Now Selling Shocking Cigarette Unpackaging in World First Roll-Out

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 01:27 PM

America's FDA keeps working toward forcing cigarette makers to encase their product in packaging with some incredibly nasty images in order to help consumers understand what could happen to them if they continue smoking. Australian health officials don’t have to wait anymore. 

Thanks to a world-first law that went into effect on Dec. 1st, nicotine lovers (and haters) in the land Down Under are now faced with images a gangrene-mangled limb and a skeletal cancer victim when they buy their cigarettes. The images, which caused an uproar when revealed last year, take up most of the pack’s packaging with the cigarette’s brand name (no logo) printed on the bottom quarter of the packaging, in plain text on an olive-toned blah background.

“They’re so horrifingly ugly that they are magnificent,” Fiona Sharkie, executive director of anti-smoking campaigner Quit Victoria, told Bloomberg. How horrifyingly ugly? Check out the grotesque warning images below.Continue reading...

chew on this

Burger King 55-Cent Whoppers for Burger's 55th Anniversary

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 3, 2012 11:01 AM

Burger King is celebrating the 55th anniversary of its Whopper hamburger with a whopper of a deal:

"Hurry in to any participating BURGER KING® restaurant nationwide from December 6th through December 9th, to enjoy an Original WHOPPER® Sandwich for just 55 cents, when you purchase any WHOPPER® Sandwich, including the new Wisconsin White Cheddar WHOPPER® or the spicy ANGRY WHOPPER®, available for a limited-time-only."

Also new to the menu for the iconic sandwich's 55th, which is being sold with retro packaging? Seasoned sweet potato cury fries. The fast food brand, which is testing home delivery, is inviting fans to submit their own Whopper moments on Facebook, as you can see in its new TV campaign below:Continue reading...

brands under fire

5-Hour Energy Takes a Shot From the FDA in Energy Drinks Deaths Probe

Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2012 05:22 PM

Competition from huge and established beverage brands hasn't been able to dent 5-Hour Energy's dominance in the energy-shot segment it created. And criticism of its elixirs by nutritionists and dietitians hasn't been able to slow its sales past the $1-billion-a-year mark.

But here's something that might take a bit of fizz out of 5-Hour Energy: The drinks have been cited in the deaths of 13 people in the last four years, according to reports received by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The New York Times reported, "Since 2009, 5-Hour Energy has been mentioned in some 90 filings with the FDA, including more than 30 that involved serious or life-threatening injuries like heart attacks, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion."

The energy shot made by a suburban-Detroit-based company, Living Essentials, has been associated with 92 "adverse-event reports" over that period, including 32 hospitalizations, an FDA spokeswoman told a number of publications. The death reports comprise open cases being investigated by the agency. The FDA stressed that there is no evidence linking the 5-Hour Energy brand to the deaths or hospitalizations, but that the agency continues to investigate the reports.

5-Hour Energy spokeswoman Elaine Lutz said in a statement that 5-Hour Energy takes "reports of any potential adverse event tied to our products very seriously" and that the company complied "with all of our reporting requirements" to the FDA. She also noted that the shots are intended for "busy adults" and that 5-Hour Energy is an effective dietary supplement and not a beverage or energy drink.Continue reading...

sip on this

Trio of New Red Bull Flavors Launching Exclusively at 7-Eleven

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 13, 2012 12:01 PM

More than 8 million YouTube viewers watched daredevil Felix Baumgartner plummet at the speed of sound from 24 miles above Earth to a lonely spot in New Mexico. And you can bet that every one of them – along with the zillions of others who watched or read about it after the fact – noticed the Red Bull logo plastered on his spacesuit thanks to the company’s major financial investment in making the space drop occur. 

It was a giant step (literally) for sports sponsorships, one that likely inspired more than a few of those watching at home to sample the brand. And now Red Bull is offering up a few more flavors to help folks feel a rush of their own (though not as likely as powerful as the one Baumgartner felt). However, if consumers want to have a taste of the new flavor and can’t wait till next spring when they are released on a wider scale, they’ll have to go to a 7-Eleven.

The convenience store chain has signed a deal to become the sole distributor of Red Bull’s first three flavor extensions, through the end of the year. The drinks, in red, silver and blue cans, will “provide the same energy and functional benefits of the original, but with the taste of sweet cranberry, fresh lime and fruity blueberry.”Continue reading...

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