2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

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Burger King Ready to Ditch Celebs

Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2012 11:32 AM

The King is dead. Scratch that: he's back. Long live the King! Regardless of whether Burger King re-gains a long-term lead over Wendy's as the No. 2 U.S. burger chain — both of them trail McDonald's by a mile — the short-term renaissance of the brand has made things interesting in a QSR business that has lacked excitement lately.

Burger King correctly called that involving celebrities in its marketing would create buzz, visibility and interest. So in new ads running over the last few weeks, BK fans and non-fans alike have been intrigued to see familiar faces including Mary J. Blige and David Beckham, Sofia Vergara and Salma Hayek, even Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, shilling for the King.

The fast food chain says it will discontinue the celebrity-studded campaign promoting its new menu this summer. But in the meantime, it has helped create enough interest that Burger King's same-store sales have posted solid gains, while Wendy's have dropped off again, on a relative basis. Burger King once again, at least for a while, has usurped the "Avis" position that it gave up to Wendy's last year.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Asia Pulp & Paper Swipes Back at Greenpeace Rainforest Protests

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 30, 2012 10:02 AM

Greenpeace and Asia Pulp & Paper have been battling for years over the issue of brands using APP for packaging, as the eco-activists believe the company is one of many brands contributing to the deforestation of “critical habitats and last remaining biodiversity hotspots” by using what it sees as unsustainable packaging materials sourced by APP. 

Greenpeace's latest campaign against APP, via its global KFC protests, prompted the paper supplier to send us a rebuttal from Ian Lifshitz, Sustainability Manager for APP in the Americas.

“APP has been taking into account the critical issues raised by our international stakeholders, and we’ve announced important milestones in our business policies. Namely, on May 15, we announced the suspension of natural forest clearance in Indonesia, and that we will begin holding ourselves and our suppliers to the internationally-recognized high standards of HCVF (high conservation value forest)."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Greenpeace Accuses KFC of Supporting Deforestation in Global Protest

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 25, 2012 01:09 PM

Greenpeace activists recently scaled the headquarters of the KFC headquarters building in Louisville, Kentucky to hang a giant banner with a Sumatran tiger saying: “KFC Stop Trashing My Home.” A second banner was deployed on the lake the KFC building, dubbed “the White House” due to its resemblance to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, overlooks, bearing a similar message.

“We're here today to expose KFC's secret recipe. KFC customers worldwide will be horrified to learn that the fast food giant is using rainforests to make its packaging,” said Greenpeace Forest Campaign Director, Rolf Skar, about the protest action, which has gone global including a protest stunt in China and London this week. “The decisions being made here at KFC HQ are fuelling the destruction of some of the world’s last remaining rainforests, driving climate change and pushing the Sumatran tiger closer to extinction.”Continue reading...

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Serendipity 3 Lands Guinness World Record for Priciest Burger (for a Cause)

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 25, 2012 10:55 AM

Ask any New Yorker or any savvy visitor where to find the best frozen hot chocolate in Manhattan and they’ll tell you Serendipity 3 on the tony Upper East Side.

Also famous for serving hamburgers since 1954 to Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Andy Warhol, as well as more contemporary celebs including everyone from President Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin to Madonna and Justin Bieber, Serendipity 3 today announced a new Guinness World Record: its $295.00 hamburger (limited edition with 48-hour notice) is now the world's priciest. What, pray tell, merits a $300 burger, besides the solid gold toothpick that accompanies it?

Honoring National Hamburger Month, and dubbed Le Burger Extravagant, it’s a culinary extravaganza — check it out below — combining Japanese Waygu beef infused with 10-herb white truffle butter. But wait, there's more!Continue reading...

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Taco Bell Swings for the Fences with Beefy Nacho Burrito

Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2012 10:57 AM

Just when you thought there was not another possible way for Taco Bell to combine cheese, ground beef, beans and corn chips, the renascent chain has introduced the Beefy Nacho Burrito. Not only that, but they're doing it for 99 cents — and with a marketing tie-in with Major League Baseball.

Taco Bell is now rolling out its latest menu item nationwide, featuring "seasoned beef, warm nacho cheese, cool sour cream and [new] queso strips, all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla." For those of you who have lost count over the years of the many different ways in which Taco Bell can combine such basic ingredients, the innovation here, the company said in a release, is that the company "has found a way to put nachos into a burrito."Continue reading...

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From Waiters to iPads, McDonald’s UK is Breaking Its Own Mold

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 16, 2012 03:06 PM

As the fast-casual sector continues to rise and wallet-watching consumers keep seeking out culinary alternatives that don’t break the bank, the fast-food nation is trying to find ways to keep drawing in customers.

McDonald’s, in the midst of a $3 billion global image upgrade, is trying to impress Chinese consumers with specialized promotions. And now it's completely turning the fast-food experience on its head in the UK, where it's in the spotlight as the official restaurant sponsor of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Its British franchisees have been offering limited "Great Tastes of America" menu items evoking regional favorites, from Texas BBQ and Chicago to this week's Arizona Nacho Grande.

Now the word from the Daily Mail's ThisIsMoney website is that Mickey D’s is testing out waiter service at a handful of its 1,200 UK outlets. “If you have lots of bags, kids or are a large group, table service can be easier and less stressful,” commented McDonald's top UK exec Jill McDonald.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Watch It, Wendy's: Burger King Wants Its Crown Back

Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2012 11:37 AM

Earlier this year, Wendy's dethroned Burger King to become America's second-largest burger chain, based on the chains' 2011 U.S. sales figures, for the first time. But the pinnacle (well, sub-pinnacle, as both are way beneath McDonald's) must be slippery, because Wendy's foothold at the top already appears to be weakening.

For Wendy's, the first quarter was a big disappointment and produced only a 2-percent revenue increase compared with a year ago, to $593 million, forcing the chain to lower its 2012 outlook. But for the ever-hungry Burger King, first-quarter sales rose by more than 3 percent, to $570 million.

Both burger icons tried some tweaks that were new and different during the period. Burger King's innovations seem to be working out better for now.Continue reading...

china

Did 'American French Fry Brother' Soften McDonald's China Price Increases?

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 16, 2012 10:03 AM

McDonald's is basking in the glow in the halo effect glow of some tremendously good PR in China. A young American working in Nanjing recently purchased some french fries for a homeless elderly woman — and proceeded to sit and share them with her. Faster than you could say "I'd like to buy the world some friends," the incident became the talk of the Chinese social web.

While the brand itself was not a proactive participant in the act of charity, thousands of mentions of "American French Fry Brother" came along with a mention of McDonald's. It was a bit of good fortune for the chain in China just before the new China Daily headline: "McDonald's raises prices again."Continue reading...

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