2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, KFC, H&M and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

JCPenney undoes more of Ron Johnson's handiwork with logo revamp.

KFC preps quality-assurance campaign in China.

H&M, Gap back in the spotlight after another Bangladesh factory fire kills several workers. 

A&E Networks pitches original programming.

Aereo Android app will debut Oct. 22.

Alcatel-Lucent must revise job-cut plans in France.

Apple reportedly slashes iPhone 5c production.

AT&T and GE partner for wireless global network.

BlackBerry warms to breakup exit strategy as brand expands office closures.

Chevrolet revs up major ad push for Malibu.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Walmart Ready to Re-Up Plans After D.C. Mayor Vetoes "Living Wage" Bill

Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2013 04:47 PM

Walmart has won a huge victory for its business model, brand and worldview with the vetoing of the "living wage" bill today by Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray.

The Large Retailer Accountability Act, nicknamed a living-wage measure, would have mandated that big-box stores like Walmart pay about 50 percent more to their workers inside the District than the city's minimum wage, or about $12.50 compared with $8.25.

Walmart, along with other big-box retailers and business allies argued that the measure would actually hurt economic development and income in the city by forcing Walmart's withdrawal from its existing store development plans there and eliminating thousands of existing and potential jobs in some economically depressed zones. 

The company argued that its absence would further harm low-income residents by depriving them of the low prices that the retailer and others specialize in. There's also the argument about fresh-produce "deserts" in central cities that, in part, are being filled in by new Walmarts.Continue reading...

retail watch

With Focus Back on its Home Turf, Tesco Looks to Build the Store of the Future

Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 11, 2013 02:49 PM

Times are changing for UK-based Tesco, but the brand is working to stay ahead of the curve.

The world's third-largest retailer has waved the white flag in the US, selling over 150 Fresh & Easy stores to a US investment company after a six-year failed experiment. The move is part of an international retreat by Tesco that includes last year's exit from Japan and last month's merger of its Chinese operations with a state-owned company, leaving Tesco with just 20 percent of the new venture.

Tesco's broad failure to successfully penetrate global markets leaves the company with one clear direction: concentrate resources on its home turf. The newly launched Tesco Extra, a state-of-the-art "hypermarket" in Hertfordshire, is a way for Tesco to prove it is still very much in the game. 

One of Tesco's largest UK stores, the Watford Tesco Extra is being positioned as a "leisure destination" in an effort to get consumers excited again about visiting a traditional retail store. Far more than a grocery, Tesco Extra is a kind of shopping extravaganza that broadens the food category to include a Harris + Hoole coffee shop, a Euphorium bakery, and Giraffe, a Tesco-owned restaurant chain.

Beyond food, shoppers will find wine and spirits, fashion (Tesco's own private-label F&F brand), cosmetics (including manicures), and such services as a pharmacy, an optician, and a nutritional center. Tesco will also offer a community room that could be used for anything from children's birthday parties to yoga classes.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Whole Foods, Nike, Saab and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Whole Foods Markets shaves price points.

Nike celebrates 25 years of "Just Do It."

Saab gets ready to re-start production.

Abercrombie & Fitch profit drops by one-third and outlook dims.

Bill Ackman explains himself.

American Greetings turns to One Direction.

Coca-Cola loses North America marketing exec. 

Eli Lilly now is subject of bribery investigation in China.

Farmers Insurance partnership with NASCAR pays off.

Fox News fires top communications executive.

GM keeps refreshing Opel models to boost brand.

HP can't stem slide in PC sales.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Chobani Targeted for GMO-Tainted Milk as NGOs Expand Criticism

Posted by Dale Buss on July 17, 2013 05:49 PM

Chobani yogurt, one of the country's fastest-growing CPG brands, is the latest to come under scrutiny from an activist group over its use of GMOs. 

GMO Inside, an organization led by environmental group Green America, is calling on the Greek-yogurt segment leader to stop marketing its products as "real" and "natural" until it stops using milk from cows that are fed genetically-modified feed. The move represents one of the first attempts by US GMO activists to target dairy brands in addition to the cereal, bakery and grocery brands that have previously come under fire.

"So much of the GMO crops are going to animal feeds, so if we could change the way this is happening it could help to convert a lot of cropland back to non-GMO production," Elizabeth O'Connell, campaign director for the GMO Inside NGO, told Advertising Age.Continue reading...

retail watch

Loblaw Escalates Retail War Between Canadian, US Brands with Shopper's Drug Mart Buy

Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 17, 2013 04:42 PM

While US big box retailers continue to do battle on their home turf, the fight north of the border is amounting to all-out war.

On July 15, Loblaw, the largest grocer in Canada, announced it would buy Shoppers Drug Mart, the country's largest pharmacy chain for $12.4 billion. While Shoppers will remain a separate unit, the acquisition, Canada's largest this year, is sure to send shock waves through the Canadian retail world. It followed another grocery consolidation last month, when Sobeys, Canada's second largest grocer, acquired over 200 Safeway stores, almost all of them with pharmacies.

Both the Sobeys and Loblaw acquisitions are strong signs that Canadian retailing is undergoing massive shifts in response to not just local competition, but because of US brands entering the market. In fact, observers see Loblaw's move as a two-pronged strategy: head off the American retail invasion from Target and Walmart, and at the same time, penetrate urban markets with smaller stores.

Target and Walmart are aggressively expanding in Canada, even as Best Buy and Sears have cut back their Canadian operations. Target only entered Canada this year, but gained a fast foothold by taking over the leases of more than 200 stores from the former Zellers chain. Its market emergence caused domestic retailers to drop prices and spiff up brand images, though the chain's eventual debut was met with some criticism. Walmart, Canada's largest large retailer, has been selling grocery items in Canada since as early as 2006, but countered Target's expansion with its own.Continue reading...

retail watch

Meijer Makes a Major Bet on Motor City

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2013 01:21 PM

Supermarket expansion in major cities is a major theme in the US food-distribution and grocery business lately, with Walmart setting up shop—or attempting to do so—in key urban markets, and even Detroit now getting a share of major new grocery stores.

And when it comes to the Motor City, Whole Foods Markets appears to have given Detroit neighborhoods near Wayne State University a shot in the arm with its recent opening. But the potentially far more significant opening will occur on July 25 when Meijer sets up shop at the intersection of the two most iconic thoroughfares in Detroit: Woodward Avenue and Eight Mile Road.

The Meijer brand is relatively unknown outside its base in Flyover Country, where it operates more than 200 supercenters in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and served as the "local Walmart" before Walmart did. But metro Detroit denizens all have known Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer as the place to go over the decades for good prices and selection of not only CPG fare but all sorts of consumer goods.Continue reading...


Sustain Condoms: How a Father-Daughter Duo Plan to Transform a Toxic Industry

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 5, 2013 05:02 PM

Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, and his daughter Meika are extending the ethos and ethics of the pioneering sustainable care products brand to the world’s first sustainable condom, carrying the slogan, "Do what's natural." 

Toxic-free, Fair Trade Sustain condoms are made in India and are set to be in stores by January 2014—the first product from the father-daughter team behind Hollender Sustainable Brands.  

Meika, a recent MBA graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business, will be in charge of marketing the brand primarily to women, ages 25 to 35, 40 percent of whom buy condoms. “Women in most households make the purchase decisions and in particular, they understand personal care products. They want simplicity and something that will work and not something that has all these added things that contribute to ‘body burn,'" she told brandchannel. "Condom brands are so focused on men; no one is talking to women."

It was actually two decades ago that Jeffrey Hollender trademarked the name “Rainforest Rubbers” intending to make condoms from rubber harvested in the Amazon, but he instead co-founded and ran Seventh Generation.Continue reading...

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