brand ambassadors

'Blade Runner' Sponsors Nike, BT Shocked, but Sticking with Oscar Pistorius, For Now

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 01:53 PM

Oscar Pistorius was a man once known for being the fastest double-leg amputee on the planet. Now that the so-called Blade Runner has been charged with murder for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early Valentine’s Day morning, his sponsors, who pay out about $2 million to Pistorius annually, are moving just as quickly as Pistorius to figure out how to deal with the sudden PR nightmare.

Nike’s attachment to Pistorius was compounded by the fact that an ad featuring the Olympian used the tagline, “I’m the bullet in the chamber.” It was pulled from Pistorius’s website on Thursday, Ad Age reports. The victim's tweets before her murder also created a social media nightmare for anyone or any company attached to the paralympic athlete.

"Nike extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families concerned following this tragic incident," his sponsor said in a statement. "As it is a police matter, Nike will not comment further at this time." Two other sponsors, Oakley and BP Global, both used the word “shocked” in their statements on the issue. Thierry Mugler fragrances had nothing to say other than it was waiting to see what happens with the investigation.

British Telecom, better known as BT, also went the “appalled” route with its statement: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."Continue reading...

sporting brands

Can Adidas Boost Market Share and Make a Serious Run at Nike?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2013 01:02 PM

After hyping its release for weeks, Adidas' new Boost running shoes finally made its debut Wednesday. The New York announcement was made in good company, with 100-meter world champ Yohan Blake of Jamaica and two-time 10,000-meter Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie of Nigeria standing close by. 

Since the release of Christopher McDougall’s excellent book "Born to Run" back in 2009, a book that made a well-researched case for running barefoot, the running world has had an ongoing debate of whether it is better to workout in “barefoot” shoes or to layer on the extra cushion.

With Boost, Adidas is going "all in" (as its global tagline goes) on the cushion, although the sportswear giant is happy to capitalize on that other market as well. The Boost shoes combine two new elements: the Boost cushioning, which is supposed to be so bouncy that it’ll keep runners going forward for extended periods and the ominous-sounding Spring Blade, which helps the shoe return to its proper shape while your foot flexes.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Adidas Looks to Boost Sales With High-Tech Running Shoe, Britney and Selena

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2013 02:39 PM

Running is about to change forever. Well, that’s what the marketing minds at Adidas want you to think about their new running shoes, the Adidas Boost trainers, which will make their debut Wednesday.

To prove the point, Adidas has released a teaser video (below) that shows off three metal balls being dropped from the top of the frame onto the base material for Boost, EVA (or ethylene vinyl acetate, which is often used in running shoes), and concrete. Guess which ball bounces the highest by far? Spoiler alert: Boost it is.

The Adidas Running website and Facebook page are also teasing the big reveal at a global press event in New York, while promoting the #boost hashtag to stir Twitter conversations.Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

BlackBerry Launches Post-Super Bowl Ad Campaign as Z10 Hits Canada, UK

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2013 04:14 PM

BlackBerry 10 phones are available in Canada as of today. It's the company's home market, and the first place in North America where consumers can put the devices into action.

"Today is a day that many Canadians, especially members of Team BlackBerry, will never forget," the company blogged.

The debut is a significant moment for BlackBerry as it attempts to rebound in the mobile phone market it once pioneered. Its Super Bowl ad did not create much buzz, and the arrival of the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Q10 in the crucial U.S. market is not expected until May or June, its CEO, Thorsten Heins, said today. (The Z10 is expected in the U.S. by mid-March.)

Without disclosing sales figures, the company released a statement by Heins that the Z10, which also launched last week in the UK, is off to a better sales start than all of its predecessors:

"In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada. In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone."Continue reading...

campaigns

Old Spice Man Turns Wolf Man (and Hawkish) in Latest W+K Campaign

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 31, 2013 07:55 PM

The Old Spice Man is no longer on a horse, but he's got a few other creatures at his back.

The latest W+K effort by director Tom Kuntz for the P&G-owned brand promises unbridled (yet elegant) animal magnetism with The Wild Collection, a trio of manly new scents: Wolfthorn, Hawkridge and Foxcrest. The tagline, naturally, is "Answer the smell of the wild."

Watch the first two spots, featuring tuxedo-clad gents and their wolf and hawk companions, along with their social messaging, below. Update: According to Ad Age, the Wolfthorn spot will run during the Super Bowl — but only in Alaska, home to America's biggest wolf population.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Chevrolet Appears Ready to Find New Roads Without Tim Allen

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 06:02 PM

If you're Tim Allen, you might be hoping that your return to television comedy in ABC's Last Man Standing continues to be well-received. Because there are more hints that your long-standing and respected gig as the mellifluous voiceover for Chevrolet's "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign has reached its end.

Chevy plans to break the first TV spots under its new "Find New Roads" tagline as early as Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, or even before. And while GM has stuck with its pledge made last spring not to place commercials during the actual Big Game itself, Chevrolet executives clearly are eager to begin to execute against the new brand positioning that is replacing the less-than-effective "Chevy Runs Deep."

"That hasn't been determined yet," Chris Perry, Chevy's CMO, told brandchannel at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company said upon unveiling the new slogan recently that creative executions would begin occurring during the first quarter, and "Find New Roads" already is appearing in Chevrolet's exhibit at the Detroit show as well as on the web site for its new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray that was unveiled several days ago.Continue reading...

place branding

Sandy Recovery: A 'Come Back!' Campaign, and a Special Beer Pitches In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 18, 2013 06:10 PM

Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the New Jersey shoreline and crippled parts of New York City. Many are still recovering, and will be for some time. On Staten Island, many storm victims remain living in a shelter.

Part of the region's recovery will inevitably depend on branding efforts that must override images of utter destruction from the public's mind, just as the need for donations remains as the rebuilding continues.

On the larger scale, New Jersey is deploying its first post-Sandy branding effort to woo tourists back in summer.Continue reading...

brand loyalty

Ford Tops Industry in Brand Loyalty as Drivers Stick With Them No Matter What

Posted by Dale Buss on January 18, 2013 03:30 PM

Throughout a series of recent mishaps, Ford executives have seemed confident that their brand and products would come through in fine shape with American consumers.

Now, a couple of new assessments of automotive brand loyalty indicate  their confidence was well-considered.

Ford has placed No. 1 in loyalty rate of any brand among consumers in 2012, according to a tracking of car-registration data by Polk Automotive. Ford sported a 61 percent loyalty rate while the industry average hovered at 48 percent.

The automaker also finished No. 1 in brand loyalty in an annual survey by Experian Automotive, which found 44 percent brand loyalty overall for Ford, seven of its models in the top 10 of the survey overall.Continue reading...

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