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brand news

In the News: Amazon, Al Jazeera, Facebook and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 21, 2013 09:16 AM

In the News

Amazon and Conde Nast create new "all-access" magazine subscriptions across platforms.

Al Jazeera sues AT&T for dropping US channel and makes limited US debut.

Facebook leads project to connect whole world through the internet.

Apple loses iPad market share in China to Samsung and plans to launch iTunes Radio in September with big advertisers.

BMW is making customers wait for repairs due to global supply-chain hiccups.

Barnes & Noble abandons plans to split company.

Bob Evans opens Express prototype.

CBS turns to its stars in battle with Time Warner Cable.

Coca-Cola sees "very positive" prospects in Indonesia.

Cummins diesel deal with Nissan for Titan could vex Chrysler's Ram truck.

Diageo fights off latest legal challenge to its Parrot Bay cocktails.Continue reading...

brand launch

Al Jazeera Ready to Take On Reputation in US with Journalism-Heavy News Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2013 05:56 PM

Al Jazeera America, already dubbed AJAM, an offshoot of the Al Jazeera media conglomerate funded by the government of Qatar, is readying to make its debut in a market where it already has history—though it hopes US viewers will quickly forget that.

After buying its way in on the back of Al Gore's failed Current TV, the network, which has 70 offices around the world, has set up shop in dozens of markets across the US, where it is headquartered in New York but also has bureaus in underserved cities including Seattle, Nashville and Detroit. Aiming to corner the nonpartisan, investigative journalism market that has all but disappeared from US news networks, the brand faces a unique and trying flaw in its reputation. Al Jazeera seems to jar only one memory in the minds of Americans—9/11. 

Prior to its foray into mainstream US media, Americans had only heard Al Jazeera's name in relation to grainy al-Qaeda videos delivered from the hands of terrorism mastermind Osama Bin Laden and anti-American views on the wars in the Middle East. While years have passed since Bush-era Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accused the network of "promoting terrorism," the network is still very conscious of the sensitivities to the brand in the US market—so much so that the new branch's acronym, AJAM, was quickly adopted to create a decided mental break from its parent company and affiliates.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hudson's Bay, BMW, Omnicom and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 29, 2013 09:45 AM

In the News

Hudson's Bay to buy Saks for $2.4 billion. 

BMW debuts battery-powered i3 in charge to take on Tesla

Omnicom, Publicis Groupe to merge, creating the world's largest advertising agency. 

Amazon plans to hire 7,000 workers for its US operations. 

Boeing asks jet operators to inspect Honeywell beacons over malfunction concerns.

CBS, Time Warner Cable smear campaigns could damage brands as new deadline looms. 

Rebranded International New York Times will put a strong emphasis on digital. 

Land Rover, Adidas make positive impressions on African Americans, while L'Oreal loses ground. 

Liquid-Plumr tests dirty ads to sell drain cleaner. 

Mazda expected to post huge leap in Q1 operating profit.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Samsung, Asics, Roxy and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Samsung misses second quarter forecast as analysts fear smartphone brand has peaked (if not in Asia).

Asics tightens factory oversight in Cambodia after accident.

Roxy under fire for sexualizing female surfers in new campaign. 

Alcoa faces hard decisions on aluminum capacity.

America Movil invests $40 million in Shazam music app.

Apple plans to stream Time Warner Cable channels on TV.

Asiana Airlines plane likely experienced pilot error as Boeing jet crash parsed.

BMW maintains US sales lead over rivals in June.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Google, Square, Blackberry and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on June 28, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Google is reportedly developing an Android game console, as it sues IRS over missing tax refund. 

Square poaches Facebook advertising executive. 

Blackberry shares plunge 25 percent on disappointing earnings. 

Firefox debuts new logo and updates for Android beta.

Men's Wearhouse owes ousted founder George Zimmer $1 million for TV ads. 

QVC says it will "pause" its relationship with Paula Deen.Continue reading...

let's make a deal

Despite Low Bids, Hulu Could Prove to be Lucrative Digital Acquisition

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 29, 2013 01:08 PM

While anticipation continues to build around the possible buyout of video streaming service Hulu, the price, however, is a bit underwhelming. 

Despite its $2 billion valuation, the service is attracting bids from big players like Yahoo, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable somewhere in the $500 million to $800 million range—arguably a small amount of money compared to recent deals like Tumblr's $1.1 billion price tag and Instagram's $1 billion one. Yahoo’s bid (between $600 million and $800 million) is the largest so far while others, like Chernin Group, have issued a $500 million bid. Other companies interested in the service include private equity firms Guggenheim Digital, KKR & Co and Silverlake Partners. 

One reason for the low-ball bids could be the fact that Hulu has been hemorrhaging market share to Google's YouTube as well as ad-supported services including LiveRail, Adap.TV, and BrightRoll. It served up only 1.4 million ads in April 2013, down 13 percent from 1.6 million video ads in March, according to comScore.Continue reading...

ad watch

Comcast Shoots Down Gun Ads Across Networks

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2013 03:24 PM

Comcast Corp., the proud new owners of NBCUniversal for a whopping price tag of $16.7 billion, brings in more than $55 billion in revenue annually, but most of those dollars that came from gun advertising will now disappear. 

As American politicians and cultural warriors wrestle with what to do about the ubiquity of gun violence, Comcast—the largest cable provider in the country—has announced that it won’t be taking ads for guns on any of its television, cable, Internet, radio and voice services across the country anymore, OutdoorLife.com reports. The change is reflective of a similar policy that had been in place at NBCUniversal, which prohibited advertisements for weapons or fireworks. 

The change has led for some to predict the loss of billions of dollars in revenue for the weapons industry, according to Outdoor Life. 

Tom Wright, who owns the Williams Gun Sight Michigan, was aggravated by the news but told the local ABC affiliate that it wasn’t going to put a stop to his business. "We've been in this community for many years and we have enjoyed promoting our products in this community and will continue to do that with Comcast or without them."

Of course, that means finding other channels that will take his ads. Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable provider, won’t take ads for semiautomatic weapons but does still accept gun ads, according to MSN. Fox and ESPN also won’t accept advertisements for guns, AdWeek reports. Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: Got Milk? Pours It On While Bud Saddles Up Clydesdales

Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2013 04:31 PM

Scrambling to get their teams on the field as kickoff nears, the drum beat from brands getting ready for the upcoming Super Bowl continues:

MilkPEP is going long with its plans to run its first ever TV commercial—a 30-second spot for its "Got Milk?" campaign—during the Big Game on February 3. Consumption of fluid milk in the U.S. continues to drop even as Americans keep eating more cheese and yogurt, so MilkPEP, the Milk Processor Education Program funded by the nation's dairy companies, is producing a spot featuring Dwayne Johnson, known as the Rock. He goes a long way to get his kids to have milk for their breakfast cereal.

This group has some branding chops, including the long-running campaign that adds milk mustaches to the upper lips of celebrities in print ads and includes its iconic slogan. But as the New York Times notes, until now, its Super Bowl marketing participation has been confined to running newspaper ads before or after the game.

It's also partnering with the National Dairy Council and the NFL, including New York Giants star receiver Victor Cruz, to get kids to eat better and be more active, under the league's Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign.

In addition to joining forces with Pepsi for a bigger Super Bowl retail push, Budweiser has unveiled more of its plans for its six Super Bowl ads. In addition to debuting a new Budweiser Black Crown brand — a higher-alcohol, more upscale version of Bud aimed at evening consumption — AB InBev will be plugging new beer brand Beck's Sapphire. It also will bring back the venerable Clydesdales, the iconic giant horses that have been associated with Bud for decades.Continue reading...

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