uphill battles

Detroit Hires Emergency Manager With Chrysler Turnaround Chops

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 11:08 AM

Just a couple of days after seeing its former mayor trundled off to jail in a conspiracy conviction, Detroit is considering whether to rally behind a new emergency manager appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

Kevyn Orr became Detroit's emergency financial manager this week, sharing a dais on Thursday not only with Snyder but, significantly, with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who has graciously partnered with Snyder and other state officials in the top-down takeover of a Motor City that Bing had hoped to turn around.

Orr is a 54-year-old, "high-powered Washington, D.C., lawyer," according to the Detroit Free Press, and University of Michigan graduate who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring in his role at the Jones Day legal firm—a background that helped him land the job, and will give him what he'll need to tackle the unparalleled woes of Detroit. His new role will also him a $275,000 fee for spending the next 18 months trying to solve the financial puzzle that is Detroit.

"This is the Olympics of restructuring," said Orr to the Detroit Free Press. "Bankruptcy's been my stock in trade for the past several decades."Continue reading...

license to thrill

Headed to Malibu? Don't Forget Your Branded Volleyball

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 11:01 AM

With its most famous resident putting a "For Sale" sign in her front yard, the city of Malibu, California, is looking for new ways to attract tourists and boost income. 

CNBC reports that Malibu has signed a deal with Excel Corp. in order to start “licensing apparel, active wear, and even things like sunglasses, watches, and volleyballs” with the extra money going to “fund special projects.”

The city is forking over $90,000 for Excel to design a logo and find licensees.Continue reading...

super bowl

Making Out Well: Ferrell's Old Milwaukee Ad Airs Regionally, But Spreads Virally

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 5, 2013 11:59 AM

While many brands paid as much as $4 million to air a Super Bowl ad, one figured out a way to get a lot of attention for much less.

Old Milwaukee aired an ad during the game featuring mustachioed comedian Will Ferrell in an extended kiss with a fellow bus passenger — but only in three tiny markets: Sherman, Tex.; Ardmore, Okla., and Glendive, Mont.

It wasn't immediately clear what the residents of those locales thought of "their" Super Bowl spot. But given its high-profile smoocher, it has resulted in the brewer getting a decent amount of attention compared to the brands that shelled out big bucks to have their ad seen by the huge Super Bowl viewing audience. USA Today, Yahoo!, and other highly watched media outlets had written about the Ferrell spot. 

Ferrell’s ad had received more than 1.5 million YouTube views by midday Tuesday, and seemed to be posted online only by fans of the ad itself. (Budweiser's popular Super Bowl ad featuring the adventures of a young Clydesdale had received more than 9 million by that point, but spent a comparative fortune.)Continue reading...


After a Rough 2012, Colorado Looks to Emulate Rebrands of Texas and Others

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 4, 2013 11:04 AM

When a state or a city becomes synonymous with a tragedy or urban decline, how does it move forward? 

Colorado is the latest state to face this question in the wake of last summer's mass shooting in Aurora. As the nation grapples with gun control, mental illness and public safety after a rash of gun violence, Colorado is left with an issue of perception beyond its borders. 

"When something hits the press and it may not be good, Colorado gets known for that," Jeff Donaldson, account director for the state’s new brandCO program, told the Denver Post. "Our goal as a state should be to have a brand that rises above all that."Continue reading...

super bowl

#SuperBranding: Beyonce Releases Final Pre-Super Bowl Video Tease

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 3, 2013 02:33 PM

In addition to posting photos on her Tumblr, Beyonce's final pre-Game YouTube sneak peek before her highly anticipated, Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl Halftime Show, highlights what New Orleans means to her personally and what today's performance means to her legacy. Check out her new video below and tell us: will Beyonce's halftime performance beat Madonna's halftime show last year?Continue reading...

doing good

Fendi to Pour Millions Into Rome's Treasured Fountain, Restoring Its Luster

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 29, 2013 12:22 PM

About $4,000 worth of coins are thrown into Rome’s massive, gorgeous Trevi Fountain each day. Making the gesture is said to guarantee your return to Rome.

Now Fendi is throwing a lot more than a few coins into the Trevi’s waters. The Italian fashion house has announced it will hand over $2.9 million to help keep the centuries-old fountain, featured memorably in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” in good shape.

Fendi, founded in Romein 1925, announced the 20-month project Monday along with two of its big-name designers, Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi.Continue reading...

place branding

Sandy Recovery: A 'Come Back!' Campaign, and a Special Beer Pitches In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 18, 2013 06:10 PM

Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the New Jersey shoreline and crippled parts of New York City. Many are still recovering, and will be for some time. On Staten Island, many storm victims remain living in a shelter.

Part of the region's recovery will inevitably depend on branding efforts that must override images of utter destruction from the public's mind, just as the need for donations remains as the rebuilding continues.

On the larger scale, New Jersey is deploying its first post-Sandy branding effort to woo tourists back in summer.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Appeals to Aussie Pride With Macca's Rebrand in Australia

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 8, 2013 11:55 AM

Mickey D’s, the Golden Arches, McD's, McDonaldos, Macca's. McDonald’s has plenty of nicknames worldwide, but you’ll never roll up to a franchise of the 72-year-old brand and find any of them on the restaurant’s official sign.

After all, the company has entered into plenty of trademark suits in attempts to protect its name. It lost a fight against Malaysia’s McCurry in 2009, but won its battle against the Philippines’ MacJoy. In the ’90s, thanks to the work of the McDonald’s legal team, San Francisco coffee shop owner Kathleen McCaughey had to change the name McCoffee even though it had existed with that name for 17 years. But McDonald’s is still thwarted in the Cayman Islands, thanks to a local entrepreneur's MacDonald's Family Restaurant there.

Even while its lawyers are busy protecting the brand name and trademarks, the corporation is letting its Australian team have a bit of fun with the name. The brand is affectionately called Macca’s Down Under, and the company has decided to adopt the nickname officially on signs at 13 outlets, on social media and in its advertising for a limited promotion that kicks off today and runs through Feb. 4th.Continue reading...

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