that's entertainment

Summer's Here and the Time is Right for Branding of Your Beats

Posted by Claire Falloon on July 21, 2014 01:03 PM

As concert and festival-goers don their denim cut-offs and band t-shirts this summer, they should also get ready for the usual barrage from brands clamoring for their money and attention.

This year fans will encounter everything from advertising and promotions to carefully integrated digital and live experiences from brands including Jim Beam, HondaBudweiser, Vans and even Staples, which is sponsoring Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour (seriously, office supplies? What happened to sex, drugs and rock & roll?)

Old school purists may not like it, but concert sponsorship is nothing new and the presence of big corporate brands in music is a reality we may all have to get used to. 

As Lady Gaga noted at SXSW back in March, “without sponsorships we won’t have any more artists in Austin, because record companies don’t have any f*cking money.” And as music labels recede, the big brands are marching in.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Of Mazda, Music and Miata: 5 Questions with Russell Wager

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2014 03:03 PM

Music has long been a great currency of marketing. But automotive brands are taking their involvement with music to new levels these days as they seek ways to make connections digitally and with their toughest demographic, Millennials.

Honda, for example, just launched an ambitious effort called Honda Stage that involves concert sponsorships and other music touch points. Nissan this week announced a two-year partnership with the Americana Music Association, give the brand closer ties to country music and Nashville.

And Mazda, though a small brand by automotive standards, now also is trying to mount an outsized presence in the music arena. The automaker just announced an expanded partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, making Mazda the official automotive partner and doubling the brand’s participation this year to eight or nine events.

The series involves combining entertainment and running, featuring live bands performing at every mile along the course and a post-event headliner concert. Mazda will also have lots of on-site activations such as the Mazda Fueling Station with free food and beverages. It kicked off in Chicago this week and continues through December.

Mazda’s North American vice president of marketing, Russell Wager, talked to brandchannel about the new partnership and the brand's bigger strategy and goals:Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

At the World Cup, adidas Wins Big for Germany—and Soccer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 14, 2014 02:01 PM

Germany won in more ways than one following the results of Sunday's World Cup final, where the country's national team claimed victory over Argentina in a 1-0 overtime thriller and one of its biggest brands, adidas, solidified its superiority in the sport over rival Nike.  

adidas, an official sponsor of the Cup, outfitted both Germany's and Argentina's teams, helping the brand declare victory over Nike since the two brands launched an epic marketshare battle centered around the tournament. Ultimately, adidas prevailed as the most talked about brand during the Cup thanks to a broad marketing strategy that included ads, social media and a major presence at the event. 

For one thing, as Bloomberg notes, many of the players Nike had signed as brand ambassadors were either injured or sent packing early in the Cup, while many of those under contract with adidas, particularly Argentina’s Lionel Messi, stayed in the tournament for much longer, ultimately giving adidas a lot more air-time.Continue reading...

diversity watch

Brand Pride: Apple's Tim Cook Stands Side by Side With LGBT Employees

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 8, 2014 04:43 PM

As noted here, TD Bank was a proud sponsor of the first WorldPride event held in North America. Also showing its colors in Toronto late last month: the smart auto brand, which sponsored the event's opening ceremonies in Toronto. And south of the border, on June 29, thousands of Apple employees and their families marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, where employees were welcome by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was lauded in today's Wall Street Journal as a "more collaborative" and compassionate leader than Steve Jobs. Check out both brands' 2014 Pride videos below.Continue reading...

sporting brands

New Kit on the Block: Nike Cuts Manchester United Ties [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 8, 2014 02:08 PM

Soccer is the one category where Adidas has a significant market-share lead over archrival Nike and the latter would love to change that. For evidence, take a gander at how much Nike has invested in World Cup-related marketing.

As much as Nike would like to conquer the one last silo Adidas has, it apparently isn’t ready to open its wallets completely in order to continue being associated with the biggest-name football club in the world: Manchester United.

Nike’s 13-year deal to supply uniforms for the team ends next year and the pair have been in talks about an extension. Nike currently pays out around $40 million annually along with a percentage of merchandise sales to ManU, Bloomberg reports. Now the team is said to want $102.8 million each year—an amount that Adidas may be willing to pay—as Nike confirmed today that it will no longer sponsor the storied team.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Forever Proud: TD Bank Walks Its Talk With WorldPride 2014 Sponsorship

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 7, 2014 06:05 PM

The recent WorldPride event in Toronto marked the first time the event had been held in North America—and served as a testament to platinum sponsor TD Bank Group's acceptance of diversity.

The most valuable brand on Interbrand's Best Canadian Brands report, TD Bank not only sponsored WorldPride 2014, which ran from June 20 to 29 and attracted an estimated two million people across the Greater Toronto Area, but helped the host committee land the event by sponsoring their bid and accompanying them to make their case to InterPride, the event's organizer, in a first for a corporate sponsor.

It also wasn't a one-off commitment. TD is supporting 42 Pride events across North America this year, including signing a multi-year partnership with Boston Pride, all part of its bigger committment to equality and creating an inclusive workplace. "This is our tenth year of supporting Pride events," notes Scott Mullin, the bank's Vice President of Community Relations. "Ten years ago it was seen as pretty edgy for a financial institution."Continue reading...

branding together

Manchester United and Chevrolet Tease New Uniforms

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2014 04:03 PM

While the World Cup continues on through its dramatic knockout stages in Brazil, the rest of the football world goes about its offseason business, such as deciding what players to sign and trade.

For Manchester United, the third most valuable soccer team worldwide according to Forbes, it also includes the introduction of a new Chevrolet-sponsored uniform.

While team and its GM-owned sponsor aren't ready quite yet to show off what the new jerseys will look like beyond a peek at the Nike logo and club crest, they're building up expectations with a teaser video to remind fans that no matter what brand name is on the front of the shirt.

As star striker Wayne Rooney tells the camera, "This shirt belongs to you. Always has. Always will."Continue reading...

brandcameo

Jerry Seinfeld Aces Product Placement (Not That There's Anything Wrong With That)

Posted by Sarah McLaughlin on July 1, 2014 11:38 AM

A few years ago, I was a writer on a very girly TV show for a very girly network when I was presented with an interesting challenge. The girly network had struck an ad sales deal with a tire company for a product placement of said tire company during a scene in the show.

Tire company. Girly show. These two things traditionally did not go together, at least not organically, which is what we quickly found out when we attempted to come up with a scene that would accomplish both goals: Jam in the tire brand and stay true to the voice of the series and characters. Sounds simple, like “hey just write a scene about changing a flat tire,” but that wasn’t going to work because the tire company didn't want to show that their tires had failed. We didn’t want to lose the integrity of the show or make it feel forced. And that is where we—and the tire placement—fell flat.  

Product placement, or what is now called brand integration or “native advertising,” seems to be everywhere. According to PQ Media, advertisers spent $8.25 billion on product placement in 2012, and the market is expected to nearly double in the next five years. Clearly, it must work.

These days it’s hard to tell the difference between where a TV show ends and brand integration begins. Broadcast network TV shows like American Idol, Modern Family and America’s Got Talent shoehorn in inorganic advertisements into scenes and performances. In 2011, American Idol alone had over 500 product placements in one season. You couldn’t miss the giant red Coca-Cola bell-shaped cups the size of an Olympic swimming pool sitting in front of the judges. Makes one long for the days when Russell Brand appeared on the FOX-owned Idol to promote his FOX film Arthur with an awkward interchange with contestants.

So who does it well? Not surprising, it’s a familiar face who loves brands, thinking about brands, observing brands: Jerry Seinfeld.Continue reading...

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