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car talk

Ferrari, Lamborghini Rev Exclusive Engines at Geneva

Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2013 10:54 AM

At the Geneva Auto Show last week, global auto executives tacked warily between handwringing about the awful car market in Europe and cajoling praise for their latest upscale models.

At least Lamborghini and Ferrari don't have to worry about displaying any pretense of concern about the mainstream auto business in Europe. Instead, as the Geneva show opened to the public, the two brands were battling in their very rarefied niche for the attention only of the very, very rich.

To that end, Lamborghini has rolled out an "extremely exclusive" Veneno two-seater automobile whose speeds exceed 350 km/h and whose pre-tax price of 3 million Euros ($3.9 million) exceeds the pocketbook of just about everyone on the planet. That's why the Volkswagen Group-owned brand plans to build only three Venenos—and all are pre-sold. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Facebook, HSBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

Apple value dips as Google soars.

Facebook sued over bungled IPO.

HSBC, now Europe's biggest bank, sheds personal loan assets.

Carmakers at Geneva Auto Show express fears on European recovery.

AARP ramps up YouTube marketing.

Ally Financial says U.S. is probing its retail-financing practices.

Amazon launches first TV effort, for fashion unit; leads mobile retail sales.

American Suzuki gets OK of bankruptcy plan by U.S. court.

Baileys slims down its bottle.

BBC Worldwide reportedly in talks to sell Lonely Planet stake.

Best Buy and Facebook focus on next-generation mobile marketing.

Boeing expects to move fast to get Dreamliner back into the air after FAA approval of fixes.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Lindsey Vonn Supports Sponsor Red Bull While in Rehab

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 20, 2013 10:29 AM

When Gold Medal skier Lindsey Vonn's uplifting Facebook post from rehab carried the Instagram/Twitter hashtag #givesyouwings, it was just the latest example of how injury has become another opportunity for athlete spokespeople to service their brands.

Vonn posted the positive message alongside a picture of herself working out her abs as she is recovering from knee surgery after a brutal injury. The picture included her Red Bull water bottle. (She later tweeted a graphic picture of her post-op knee).

Yes, Red Bull is a Lindsey Vonn sponsor, but the fact that the four-time World Cup champion might not strap on skis for another six to eight months isn't stopping her endorsement duties. In fact, as many brands are learning, there may be as much to gain from a sponsor's thrill of victory as there is from his or her agony of defeat.Continue reading...

Axe, Lynx Address Gender Confusion in Unilever's Global Space Academy Contest

Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 03:07 PM

The early days of the Axe and Lynx Space Academy contest (which we broke on January 9th) to fly winners into space has encountered a not-unforseeable snag: Some of the leaders in the social media-based competition for spots on the space flight are women, despite the original wording of the male-skewing sibling brands' contest: "Leave a man. Come back a hero."

This presents an interesting identity challenge to the Unilever-owned brands that have built their identification on the testosterone-fueled young male in search of—and equally targeted by—eager females. Now, eager females include those that are just as eager as their male counterparts to get into space. For example, Justine Ezarik, better known as internet celebrity iJustine, recently was at number four on the leader board, according to Ad Age. Social media support is the most crucial component of bids to get the brands' consideration for slots on flights by Space X Corp. beginning in 2014.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: With Space Trips, Axe Strives for 'Something That's Epic'

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 02:03 PM

The Axe Apollo Big Game Sweepstakes is "the most ambitious thing we've ever done with the brand" in Axe's 30-year existence, Matthew McCarthy, senior brand development director for Axe North America, told brandchannel. 

And it's no wonder: the plan is to launch 22 people into space — or at least up to 64 miles, achieving weightlessness for up to six minutes — next year.

But don't pin this envelope-pushing campaign on any desire by the Unilever-owned brand to try to one-up Red Bull's recent Stratos stunt, in which Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner fell more than 128,000 feet to Earth.Continue reading...

health matters

Report Finds Explosion in Youth E/R Visits Tied to Energy Drinks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2013 06:07 PM

Makers of energy drinks may face mounting scrutiny after federal data revealed more American youths are landing in the emergency room due to complications doctors tie to overuse of the beverages.

From 2007 to 2011, the number of emergency hospital visits involving the highly caffeinated energy drinks doubled — from 10,068 to 20,783, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  

Marketers have succeeded wildly in recent years at selling the drinks to teenagers as physical and mental boosters. Red Bull claims to "give you wings," while Monster Energy boasts of a "killer energy brew." All told, the drinks — which comprise the fastest-growing sector in the beverage industry — brought $10 billion in sales in 2012.

While the number of young patients increased the most, the highest percentage of increase in emergency room visits attributed to the beverages was found in patients age 40 and over.  The older patients went from 1,382 related visits in 2007 to 5,233 visits in 2011 — a 279 percent increase, the study said.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Unilever Taps Buzz Aldrin to Help Find 22 Men for Axe and Lynx Space Program

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 10, 2013 05:31 PM

As we reported on Wednesday, Unilever's AXE brand is launching a Red Bull-challenging space program related to its new line of Apollo men's personal care products — taking 22 fans (men only, sorry ladies) from around the world to the edge of space as part of its Apollo Space Academy program in December 2013.

The last day to apply is February 3rd (aka Super Bowl Sunday) at AxeApollo.com (terms and conditions are here) or LynxApollo.com in the UK, Ireland and Australia, where Axe is sold as Lynx.

Below, watch Buzz Aldrin announce the AXE Apollo Space Academy (Lynx Apollo Space Academy to some), along with related videos and commercials related to Axe's new Apollo product line and contest:Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: Axe Challenges Red Bull With Space Mission

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2013 06:26 PM

Axe has made its reputation with edgy advertising that makes no bones about why it believes young men should use it — to attract women to them as if they're sexually magnetized.

Now, the Unilever brand is pushing the envelope just a bit more in two ways: entering the Super Bowl advertising derby, and launching a Red Bull-esque promotion in which it promises to send 22 people just to the edge of space, with the tagline: "Leave a man, come back a hero."

The Super Bowl ad doesn't seem like such a big deal in comparison, but it will be for Axe. The brand will be airing a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl titled "Lifeguard" which, according to a press release, "includes a twist at the end" that aligns with a larger creative campaign scheduled for launch this month.

That other creative campaign — which Gaston Vaneri, Axe brand director, promised would take the brand "to new heights" — involves what it's calling the Axe Apollo Space Academy. The brand's new online contest promises to send winners to the edge of space and back aboard a private craft: a Lynx space plane built by the U.S. company XCOR Aerospace and operated by the tourism firm Space Expedition Curacao.Continue reading...

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