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philanthropy brands

Batkid a Boon for San Francisco, Make-A-Wish—and Now to Pay It Forward

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 22, 2013 06:42 PM

A heartwarming event triggered a win-win situation for five year-old Miles Scott and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which earlier this week orchestrated a super hero-sized 'wish' that turned San Francisco into Gotham City and Scott into "Batkid."

Cruising the city in his Batmobile (a Lamborghini), Scott captured the hearts of millions following along on social media—even prompting a Vine video from President Obama.  

Miles recently finished chemotherapy treatment for leukemia, and his wish to be a crime-fighting superhero for a day is one for the books in how to pull-off a successful social media event with a little planning, a little savvy and a little moxie.

And while Scott's wish was perhaps unique, his is just one of thousands that the foundation grants every year. So why did this particular stunt grow to such viral proportions?Continue reading...

viral buzz

Van Damme Stands Tall—and Wide—In Slick Stunt on Viral Volvo Video

Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2013 06:49 PM

The Muscles from Brussels has gotten plenty a movie workout with his martial-arts legerdemain. But seldom has Jean-Claude Van Damme had so many people see one of his physical feats of flexibility and strength so quickly as in the new ad for Volvo Truck's steering technology. At least 27 million people and rising have seen Volvo's new online-only ad in less than a week.

In the spot, Van Damme straddles the space between two Volvo trucks moving side by side and backward only by resting his feet on a side mirror of each truck. The stunt is meant to demonstrate the equilibrium and precision and reliability of the brand's new dynamic-steering system, as Van Damme "stands," all spread out, for what seems like interminable seconds in the video.

Yes, Van Damme ultimately was secured from a grisly accident by thin safety wires that aren't visible in the video. Van Damme’s feet aren’t lashed to the mirrors, video director Andreas Nilsson told the Wall Street Journal, "but we had him rigged so that if he would fall off he wouldn’t die obviously. We didn’t want to be responsible for killing the Muscles from Brussels.”Continue reading...

viral buzz

After Texas Filibuster, Mizuno Shoe Brand Unintentionally Takes Center Stage

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 27, 2013 02:46 PM

How prepared Texas State Senator Wendy Davis was when she began her now historic filibuster of an abortion bill on the floor of the Texas legislature is unclear. She was certainly unprepared enough to haven't secured a deal with Mizuno, the athletic brand of footwear she made iconic.

"Mizuno was surprised by the sudden spotlight focused on our flagship running shoe," the company told brandchannel in an email. And even though the brand said "there are no metrics that suggest a spike in sales" it was encouraged that its "Wave Rider fans seem to be excited to see such attention on their favorite running shoe."

On her way to making a name for herself politically, Democratic Texas Senator Davis appears to have unintentionally made quite a name for the Mizuno running shoe brand.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Sadly, Hyundai Not the First Auto Brand to Depict Suicide Attempt in an Ad (Updated)

Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2013 07:01 PM

The recent, cartoonish prospective print ads by Ford's agency in India—depicting Silvio Berlusconi and Paris Hilton as heartless kidnappers—turned out to be mere child's play in the modern universe of tin-eared automotive marketing. Hyundai has just set the bar at a new low with an online ad in Europe for its iX35 fuel-cell car, which depicts a suicide attempt in the car—which eventually fails because of the vehicles clean emissions.

The spot by Innocean, Hyundai's agency of record because it is owned by Hyundai, shows a man sitting in the driver's seat of a Hyundai in his garage, having made all the necessary preparations for offing himself by breathing in carbon monoxide. But, despite the foreboding music, it doesn't work. The commercial shows a tube—run into the passenger compartment from the exhaust pipe—emitting what looks like smoke but turns out to be vapor, as the car runs on "100-percent water emissions," a tagline informs the viewer. The guy is out of luck.

Hyundai today pulled the ad (which was posted last week) from YouTube, but it has gone wildly viral and enraged the brand's fans and non-fans the world over. "Hyundai understands the video has caused offense," Hyundai Europe said in a statement (update: scroll down for additional statements). "We apologize unreservedly. The video has been taken down and will not be used in any of our advertising or marketing."Continue reading...

truth in advertising

Dove Puts Real Beauty to a Forensic Test in Powerful Viral Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2013 04:53 PM

Only four percent of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful according to Dove, whose latest installment of its famed Real Beauty campaign presents a social experiment to dispell negative personal perceptions. 

The tagline of the campaign, "You are more beautiful than you think," demonstrates the disparity between a woman’s self-image and a stranger’s perception, playing on the common saying , "You are your own worst critic."

Created by Ogilvy Brazil, FBI-trained artist Gil Zamora, an forensic expert who has sketched more than 3,000 eye witness reports, first drew portraits of seven women of different ages and backgrounds according to their own description, followed by sketches of those same women according to strangers who had just met them on the same day. 

In the "Dove Real Beauty Sketches" video (watch below) produced for the campaign, the participants say things like, "My mom told me I had a big jaw," "I kind of have a fat, rounder face," and "I'd say I have a pretty big forehead."Continue reading...

viral buzz

April Fools' Day 2013: Google Leads Brand Pranks Sweeping the Web

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 1, 2013 05:54 PM

Every April 1st, Google tries to outdo itself with a new array of April Fools' Day pranks, and this year was no different.

Users of Google quickly spotted a “Google Nose” link that appeared on April 1st that invited consumers to smell what they are seeing on the site, whether it is a campfire or a flower. Or, at least, it would let them “leverage new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available.”Continue reading...

viral buzz

April Fools' Day: Brands Show Off Their Funny Side on Social Media

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2013 11:23 AM

Happy April Fool's Day! If you thought your favorite brands were too serious and focused on great products and innovation to have a laugh or two, think again. Here's a roundup of some social media jokes from YouTube, Honda, Twitter and even the little town of Ely, Minn. 

Be honest: did you fall for any of them?Continue reading...

branded entertainment

The Secret Behind Pepsi's Branded Content Success

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 26, 2013 11:24 AM

At 30 million views, does it matter if it's real? Pepsi MAX's branded viral hit "Test Drive" is set to pass the 30 million mark on YouTube and the brand is beginning to roll out edited versions of the video for TV that will drive back to the longer original online. But at 30 million views, how many who would want to see a disguised Jeff Gordon take a used car salesman for a spin haven't yet seen it?

"Test Drive"—created by the TBWA\Chiat\Day LA agency—is Pepsi MAX's second branded viral to surpass 20 million views on YouTube. Two of the brands other videos are well over 10 million combined—an astonishing record of branded content success. branchannel spoke with the brand and the creator behind Pepsi's other viral hit, Uncle Drew, about branded content and their (secret) next project.Continue reading...

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