auto motive

Chrysler Aims to Change Conversation With Eminem, Broadway, Fashion Editions

Posted by Dale Buss on October 12, 2012 03:31 PM

Chrysler was relying on smoke and mirrors for a while as it bid to come back in 2009 and 2010 from its bankruptcy and rescue by the U.S. taxpayer and Fiat.

But increasingly the company is turning out worthy brand-new or substantially overhauled models, such as the Dodge Dart and the new Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. And it's those new vehicles that are fueling the company's continuing ability to post year-over-year healthy monthly sales increases after many pundits thought the strong comparisons of 2011 would be too much for Chrysler to overcome.

To build on that momentum, Chrysler is developing what it's calling "buzz packages" — special versions of nameplates that connect in a pyschographic or marketing sense with subsets of the overall markets for its increasingly successful nameplates. In its buzziest buzz package, Chrysler will roll out an 8 Mile edition of the Chrysler 200 sedan in partnership with Eminem.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Is Taco Bell's Cantina Bell Menu Good Enough That Chipotle Will Say "No Mas"?

Posted by Dale Buss on October 5, 2012 03:33 PM

Yes, making gains at breakfast is nice. So is the fact that nobody talks about the hit job on Taco Bell's beef from a while back. But now the Yum! Brands stalwart is finally getting the kind of feedback that brand stewards really have been craving all along: Americans are mentioning "Taco Bell" in the same jalapeno-laced breath as "Chipotle." Thanks largely to the Cantina Bell menu that it introduced in July, Taco Bell perceptions are climbing among American consumers, according to new research by the YouGov BrandIndex.

Created by celebrity chef Lorena Garcia — featured on the recent season of Top Chef Masters on Bravo, which hyped her Taco Bell tie-in during commercial breaks —the chain's new Cantina Bell menu brings eight new ingredients to Taco Bell including whole black beans, cilantro rice and fire-roasted corn salsa — exactly the sorts of staples that have garnered Chipotle's fresh-Mex menu such high regard. Garcia even recently visited fields in California to show where and how Taco Bells gets its cilantro.Continue reading...

auto motive

MINI's Pitch: If You're Not Normal, We're Your Brand

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 4, 2012 10:52 AM

Also, apparently, it's OK to pick up hitchhikers ... if they're in a bear costume and you're driving a 2013 MINI. More below.Continue reading...

auto motive

Ford Escape Captures Growing Clientele With Innovative Marketing

Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2012 12:43 PM

Ford sales inched ahead in September largely due to two increasingly important sub-brands: the 2013 Ford Escape, and EcoBoost engines.

Both Escape and EcoBoost rose with a bullet during the month, with sales of the newly overhauled, iconic utility vehicle rising by nearly 15 percent over last year's sales of an earlier generation of the nameplate. It was the best-ever September for Escape.

And about 90 percent of Escapes sold came equipped with an EcoBoost engine, the Ford technology that allows a turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder engine to yield the same power — with improved mileage — of a six-cylinder of yore. In addition to traditional marketing, Ford is promoting the 2013 Escape with a branded entertainment project: "Escape My Life," a web series now rolling out on the models' YouTube channel.Continue reading...

chew on this

Arby's Slices New Positioning Between US and Canada

Posted by Dale Buss on October 1, 2012 06:10 PM

Whether Arby's new ad campaigns in the U.S. and Canada will boost the chain's sales won't be known for a while. But give Arby's this: Its new promotions credit North American consumers with a certain intellectual dexterity.

That's because both the U.S. campaign, "Slicing Up the Truth About Freshness," and the brand's new "Believe the Unbelievable" campaign in Canada rely on viewers of the advertisements to "get" creative conceits that, even if understood, they may not find all that relevant to the process of determining what sandwich to cram down their gullets that day.

But they are clever. In the U.S., for example, Arby's is rolling out out a brand refresh with a new logo "as well as an ad campaign based on the notion that the fast feeder is "slicing up" the truth about how Arby's has been freshly slicing meat in its restaurants for nearly 50 years.

It's certainly a differentiator that few if any competitors can claim. And to drive the point home, the campaign — tongue in cheek — puts former New York City police detective Bo Dietl on "the case" to "expose the truth" about fresh slicing.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

New York Life Wants You to Keep Good Going (And Make Your Dog Proud)

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 19, 2012 11:57 AM

"Keep Good Going" is the tagline and rallying cry for New York Life's new campaign. The Facebook announcement includes a Twitter hashtag and the call to action, "What inspires you? There is good all around us, and at New York Life, we believe in perpetuating that good. The people, words, videos and stories on this page have touched and inspired us. #KeepGoodGoing"

The Facebook and Twitter push promotes to a microsite featuring "found" video and photographs in "Snapshots" that highlight a cross-section of ages and customers. The digital hub for the campaign also invites visitors to ponder life lessons such as "#27 Be the man your dog thinks you are" and then share the life lessons that means the most to them.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Love Your Cereal: Kellogg's Touts Goodness of Grains

Posted by Dale Buss on September 14, 2012 02:04 PM

Kellogg has been working on a comprehensive brand overhaul during the last several months, and now one of the first significant fruits of its efforts is coming out: A new campaign promoting some of its classic cereals, focused on their simplicity and goodness.

Running under the tagline "Goodness of a Simple Grain," the new campaign extols Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Raisin Bran in a farm-to-table positioning that is so popular these days (see: McDonald's farmer spots and Chipotle's Willie Nelson video) and combines it with simplicity messaging, emphasizing that there are only four ingredients, for instance, in Corn Flakes. One spot says Kellogg takes these products "from the seed to the spoon."

"We have a number of brands like this that we've been making for a hundred years," Doug VanDeVelde, Kellogg's SVP of morning foods, marketing and innovation, told Adweek. "But consumers weren't really aware of that, and we need to, in a very simple way, remind them."Continue reading...

auto motive

John Varvatos x Chrysler Brings Designer's Motor City Chops to the 300

Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2012 11:58 AM

Sergio Marchionne got Chrysler dealers from across America fired up this week by pulling the wraps off dozens of potential new models and variations of vehicles that are in the pipeline for the next few years, including aerodynamic versions of current best-selling nameplates for Jeep, a vastly improved Chrysler 200 sedan, and an all-new Chrysler 100 subcompact that would fill a niche where the brand hasn't had a credible entry for decades.

But most of the hardware that the Fiat and Chrysler CEO showed off in Las Vegas is for the future. Right now, with double-digit sales increases each month, Chrysler has been doing a great job of selling just a very few all-new or substantially overhauled models along with others that are mainly reskinned. And one reason they've been so successful is some innovative marketing.

Chrysler launched a new initiative in that regard during Fashion Week in New York, introducing a new Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and a Chrysler 300C Luxury Edition featuring the stylings and touches of the menswear (and now kids) designer. A native of Detroit, Varvatos was featured in a TV campaign for his 300 collaboration with the automaker.Continue reading...

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