Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand partners

At MWC '14, Zuckerberg Brings Internet to All with Help from Nokia, Ericsson

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 24, 2014 03:58 PM

Ahead of his keynote address at Mobile World Congress, Mark Zuckerberg called his $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp a "great fit" with Facebook, being that the two have a "shared goal to help connect everyone in the world." 

In line with that goal, Zuckerberg’s broader agenda in Barcelona includes stumping for, the consortium that Facebook launched in Aug. 2013 along with founding partners Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung, to overcome barriers to global Internet access.

Facebook announced that it is collaborating with Ericsson on an Innovation Lab, which will open in late 2014 and be based on Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif. campus. The lab will test multiple networking environments in one location, as the world today connects on a variety of mobile operating systems with varying Internet speeds from 2G to WiFi. is also teaming up with Unilever to assess the impact of Internet access in rural communities in India, where just 13 percent of the population is connected.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Sample Story: CPG Brands Ride Subscription Trend with Customized Samples

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 18, 2014 11:33 AM

With subscription services on the rise, it's no wonder that more traditional CPG brands are looking for ways to cash in on the sample trend. 

With the help of Exact Media, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Beyond the Rack and are all trying out a smart sampling network that targets their products to in-need consumers. 

Exact Media’s strategy differs from other sampling methods as it tracks a broad range of data including products being purchased, shopping basket size, gender and clothing size, and since consumers like retailer’s gifts, participating brands realize a 100 percent open rate on their samples.

"We're seeing marketers in every discipline move away from generic campaigns more toward targeted, measurable activities such as adwords," said founder Ray Cao, "and no one was doing that for sampling." 

Unilever is trialing the smart sampling service for its Tresemmé, Nexus, Dove Hair, Clear Dove's Men and Dove's Men hair care brands, placing samples in shipments going to customers of Beyond the Rack and, among others.Continue reading...

olympic effort

Sochi Olympics Brands: Tonga's First Luger Powered by Underwear and More

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 10, 2014 12:32 PM

Bruno Banani may be a no-name in America, but he’s a hero in the tiny island nation of Tonga and his name is well-known across Europe.

In Tonga, Banani is the nation’s first Winter Olympian, a luger who isn’t expected to bring home gold but is still celebrated by Tongans for breaking the Winter Games-barrier for the warm-weather country. In Europe, Banani is famed for another reason. It’s the name of an underwear manufacturer that is known for its wacky marketing campaigns, such as having Russian astronauts wear the underwear aboard a space station.

The Tongan with the same name is no coincidence. The nation’s royal family was keen on finding an athlete to send to the Winter Olympics, but not without some financial support. So international marketing company Makai hooked them up with Bruno Banani. The country and the company teamed up to find a Tongan who would fit the bill and auditioned 20 or so men, all of whom were told that they’d need to change their name if they were selected. The eventual winner was Fuahea Semi—or Bruno Banani.

“Look, this was quite a risky plan,” said Mathias Ihle, the head of Makai’s European division, according to the New York Times. “We were a very young agency. We had just started. We wanted to prove that we were creative. So in order to promote him, we came up with the idea of changing his name.”Continue reading...

The Big Game

Axe Touts Peace and Love at Super Bowl 2014 a Year After Offering Space Travel

Posted by Dale Buss on January 31, 2014 11:10 AM

Calling it "the Axe-is of evil" probably wouldn't have flown. But with its new Super Bowl ad that depicts North Korean and Middle Eastern dictators as surprising peaceniks, Axe is continuing in its strain of brand iconoclasm.

This year's Super Bowl TV commercial introduces a new line, Axe Peace, and strikes a somber note rather than the brand's characteristic light humor. "In a world filled with war," the voiceover begins, in earnest movie-trailer fashion, "sometimes the most powerful weapon is love." The 60s-feeling campaign even implores viewers to support a global pro-social effort called Peace One Day in September.

While sharing the Super Bowl platform, the loved-up approach represents a far cry from last year's Axe ad, which saw an astronaut show up on a beach and gain the adoration of a young woman—even at the expense of a lifeguard who'd just saved her life.Continue reading...


After 10 Years of Dove's 'Real Beauty', Others Are Starting to Catch On

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 23, 2014 01:07 PM

10 years ago, Dove launched its Campaign for Real Beauty—a global effort that set out to spread positivity among women, young and old, and alter the public perception of beauty.

Spun out of a photography exhibit in Toronto, the campaign, which officially launched in 2004, has grown from billboards and print ads to TV commercials and short films all in the pursuit of redefining how consumers view beauty. And while the core of any campaign—to grow sales—remains a significant motivator for the brand, in a decade it seems that Dove has in fact made an impact on women and men alike, both in the industry and outside of it. 

In a survey funded by Unilever, Harvard psychologist Nancy Etcoff found that in relation to the campaign, more women today define beauty by other standards than just physical appearance, according to Ad Age. "62 percent of women in the US feel they are responsible for influencing their own definition of beauty, nearly triple from the 23 percent ten years ago," Dove said in a press release

The campaign's various efforts have earned Dove and its agencies a handful of awards, including top honors at Cannes Lions in 2007 for its first "viral" video, "Evolution," and again in 2013 for "Sketches," which became the most-watched video ad of all time. Sales have gone from $2.5 billion in 2004 to $4 billion today as Dove hitched its product development to the campaign, transforming from a bar-soap brand to a comprehensive personal care line.

By casting average-sized women as models, challenging stereotypes through its "check-box" ads and consistently advocating for more positive body language and behavior, Dove has helped inspire a greater awareness of misogynistic advertising.Continue reading...

what girls want

In a World of Photoshopping, Aerie and Dove Aim to Spur Selfie-Esteem in Girls

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 22, 2014 05:17 PM

Aerie, the sister brand of American Eagle which markets bras, panties and sleepwear to girls in the 15 to 23-year-old set, is taking on an issue much bigger than itself in a new campaign, under the hashtag #aerieReal

Catching the consciousness wave of not marketing false, unattainable images to an impressionable audience, Aerie has pledged to stop using Photoshop and other retouching tools in its advertising. 

Their ads will no longer alter models “to inhuman proportions," The Daily Mail notes. “The shadow of a muscle or an extra bit of skin is not smoothed away; skin tone appears as is; and while some of the models are still skinnier than most, not all have perfectly flat stomachs or size AA busts.”

Dana Seguin, director of marketing for Aerie, told Adweek that the brand is not digitally removing freckles, tattoos, scars and other blemishes. "We're also not changing proportions. That's something a lot of people do," said Seguin, with their newest ads attesting: "The girl in this photo has not been retouched. The real you is sexy."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nestle, PepsiCo, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2014 09:08 AM

In the News

Nestle opens world's first Kit Kat boutique in Tokyo as Cadbury keeps fighting candy bar's trademark shape in UK.

PepsiCo axes stevia-sweetened Gatorade products as Mtn. Dew plans big spending boost behind Kickstart and Diet Dew.

Twitter makes racial diversity an ad-selling point.

AT&T plans to take orders this week for new flexible-screen smartphone from LG.

Build-a-Bear appoints new CMO and "brand bear."

Burger King wins free primetime Super Bowl radio ads in UK.

Facebook sees leveling off of decline in teens.

Ford embarks on quality push in time to improve before important '14 product launches.

Infiniti eyes bolder sub-brand.

Intel sells under-developed online-TV line to Verizon.

Jeep eyes 37 percent sales boost this year as feds end controversial recall investigation of Grand Cherokee and Liberty models.Continue reading...

The Big Game

Audi, Axe Set to Return to Super Bowl Advertising with Big Launches at Stake

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2013 06:42 PM

Two returning brands are rounding out the roster of Super Bowl advertisers that Fox said it had closed a couple of weeks ago. Audi will be back with an ad for the seventh year in a row, a period that has roughly coincided with its huge bound in the US market, while Axe will return after debuting with its beach-astronaut-themed spot last year.

Audi plans to use its third-quarter spot in the Big Game on February 2 as a launching point for its crucial new sedan version of the A3 that is due in the US market next year. At just under $30,000, the new car will be Audi's entry-level vehicle and its entrant in a rapidly expanding segment of the American premium-vehicle market.

If all of that sounds somewhat familiar, it's because Audi arch-rival Mercedes-Benz did much the same thing in the 2013 Super Bowl. It used a much-noted spot featuring cameos by Kate Upton and Usher, and a star turn by Willem Dafoe as the devil, to set up the subsequent launch of the $29,900 CLA sedan in the same segment. Fast forward to now: CLA is helping Mercedes-Benz cement the US luxury-market title for 2013.Continue reading...

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