brand news

In the News: Penguin Random House, Harley-Davidson, Toyota and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2013 09:21 AM

In the News

Penguin Random House diversifies to TV.

Harley-Davidson launches biggest new product initiative.

Toyota lets dealers drop sagging Scion brand.

AB InBev and MillerCoors bet on boozier brews.

Al Jazeera America vows sober look at news when it debuts Tuesday.

American Airlines and US Airways are left in lurch by US over merger.

Coca-Cola begins marketing herbal drink in Thailand.

Cosi admits its service stinks.

Eight O'Clock Coffee ups marketing to refresh brand.

Eli Lilly enters unusual patent dispute.

Five Star Feature Films finds a flop in Jobs.Continue reading...

Red Bull Continues Dare Devil Streak with Global Flugtag Contests

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 30, 2013 07:02 PM

Russian Yuri Gagarin made history when he became the first man launched into outer space back in 1961. It seems a number of other Russians—and Red Bull fans around the world—have high-flying ambitions as well. And Red Bull is happy to give them the opportunity to test their nerve.

The energy-boosting beverage company sponsors worldwide Flugtag (German for "flight day") contests, where fans and flying enthusiasts can launch themselves off high platforms in homemade flying machines. The company's recent Moscow event fulfilled all expectations. After all, Red Bull has a reputation for high-octane entertainment.Continue reading...


In India, Fledgling Domestic Brands Pose Growth Challenge for Global Competitors

Posted by Dale Buss on July 16, 2013 03:18 PM

The stakes for brands are ever-rising in India—both for multinational companies and the home-grown competitors that are attempting to rival them.

Nissan is the latest foreign brand to throw a spotlight on the crucial emerging market in India, today unveiling the Go five-door hatchback, its first model under the revived Datsun brand. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn revealed Go at an event in New Delhi as part of the company's push to target the growing middle classes in emerging markets, according to Bloomberg, saying the car will be sold for under $6,700 and will "contribute significantly" to the brand's plans for high-growth markets.

Datsun—the venerable marque that Nissan used decades ago and is reviving for this new effort in emerging markets—will have to overcome initial lack of brand recognition in India and elsewhere. And there's the prospect of competition from India's Tata Industrial Group, the company's most diverse and best-known industrial conglomerate, which happens to own the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Samsung, Tiffany & Co., Maserati and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 4, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Samsung could call its line of wearable tech Samsung Gear, according to trademark filings.

Tiffany & Co. is the preferred jewelry brand of wealthy women, according to a survey by The Luxury Institute.

Maserati plans to launch "entry-level" sedan.

Brother touts big things in small printers.

Deoleo stakes for sale as Spanish banks seek exit from olive-oil giant.

Deutsche Bank is warned about brokerage operations by South Korea.

New England Patriots reveal new, streamlined logo

Rupert Murdoch vows revenge against UK police in secret recording.

Pepsi is rapped by environmental group over health dangers of caramel coloring.Continue reading...

social media watch

Discovery Channel Scores Big Social Win as Nik Wallenda Soars on Wire

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 24, 2013 12:48 PM

Nik Wallenda and social media are a match made in heaven—and Discovery Channel was happy to be the beneficiary of Sunday night's record-breaking relationship. Wallenda’s 1,400 foot “Skywire” walk—strung 1,500 feet over a section of the Grand Canyon without a safety harness—was broadcast live in the US and 223 countries and generated quite a buzz on social media.

While it may not have reached the heights achieved by Red Bull's 2012 "skyjump" stunt featuring Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, the conclusion of Wallenda's successful trip across the wire, reporters touted the stats for the stunt: 40,000 tweets per minute; 700,000 tweets in total; 1.5 million streams on; and an estimated 13 million TV viewers watching the event on Discovery Channel.

“This was certainly history in the making,” stated Eileen O’Neill, Group President Discovery and TLC Networks.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Starbucks, Apple, P&G and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2013 09:32 AM

In the News

Starbucks prohibits smoking up to 25 feet from cafes.

Apple faces start of e-book antitrust trial as it's said to be pressing for internet-radio deals.

P&G cuts online display-advertising costs.

Arby's searches for new CMO.

Chrysler sales in May rose 11 percent on strong Dodge brand sales.

Dannon teams with IBM to use big data against yogurt out-of-stocks.

Infiniti shelves EV and scales back short-term expectations.

Intel looks to shed Atom brand as it moves on from netbooks.Continue reading...

brands under fire

GM's "Racist" Ad Just the Latest in Long Line of Asian Mockery

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 2, 2013 12:32 PM

For its ad stereotyping Asians, GM has offered the standard 'we're sorry you're so easily offended' apology, with a brand spokesperson saying, "Our intent was not to offend anyone and we’re deeply sorry if anyone was offended."

In fact, it really is not a surprise that GM wouldn't immediately recognize the ad as offensive. While brands now go out their way to avoid racism targeting many groups, Asians are still typically not on the vigilance radar. Heck, even Iron Man 3, a film that has been criticized for pandering to Chinese interests, couldn't resist throwing a little barb in about how poor the Chinese are at English. (see above; "Man Iron").

GM added that it would make sure "this never happened again." Maybe not at GM, but this will happen again. It was just in 2002 that popular youth clothing line Abercrombie & Fitch was slammed for a line of Asian-themed shirts including one reading, "Wong Brothers Laundry Service—Two Wongs Can Make It White." The brand's response? "It's never been our intention to offend anyone." Sound familiar?Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Axe Saves Face With Skincare Line as Brand Gets Ready to Head to Space

Posted by Dale Buss on April 3, 2013 01:02 PM

The idea of launching the Axe Face Line with a Facebook promotion obviously was too literal. So the Unilever brand is launching its new line of facial-care products instead with a "Facescore" campaign on Tumblr as a social face-off, supported by ads running on various media websites — and, of course, a presence on Facebook too.

In doing so, Axe is entering a segment of the men's care business of the first time — a more challenging territory than when it had a fairly singular focus on helping young guys simply smell great so they could attract hordes of women.

The launch of the Axe Face Line—including a face wash, shave gel, and post-shave hydrator in four variants—also gives the brand a chance to circle back to promoting Unilever's "Astronaut" marketing platform for the Axe brand (and Lynx brand, in certain territories) grand giveaway of 22 trips to space in 2015.

"Research has shown that a majority of guys don't use facial cleanser; they reach for bar soaps or shampoos or other things to wash their face," Mark Link, Axe US brand manager for Unilever, told brandchannel. "We're launching [the Face line] to address their skincare needs."Continue reading...

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