Best Global Green Brands 2014

red carpet

Big Ad Season for Brands Wraps Up This Weekend with Oscars Showdown

Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2014 05:51 PM

With barely a breather since Sochi, big brand marketers are now ready to strut the red carpet to the next tentpole-marketing event: Sunday's Academy Awards on ABC. Often called the "Super Bowl for Women," the Oscars promise to be a huge draw as they finish up a first-quarter season of extraordinary high-profile marketing opportunities for brands that are willing to invest.

The Oscars promise to draw ads from more than a dozen brands including Chevrolet, Coldwell Banker, Lipton, Mars, JCPenney, Pepsi and Unilever. And a growing number of these brands also are building experiential marketing efforts as well as social media engagements around their TV ads during the actual 86th Annual Academy Awards

However, at least two well-known brands with close past alliances to the Oscars decided not to return this year: Coca-Cola and Hyundai. It begs the question whether the Oscars have hit the same sort of advertising plateau as the Super Bowl, whose ads, studies show, don't have nearly as large of a consumer impact as one would think for such a hefty price tag. 

With or without Coke, other brands are taking advantage of the captive Oscars audience and treating the lead-up much the same as the Super Bowl; teasing and full-on releasing their campaigns beforehand—a newer tactic whose payoff isn't quite measurable yet as compared to the typical build-up and big reveal strategy of previous years. 

Here's a look at this year's brands hitting the red carpet:Continue reading...

retail watch

The Sun Will Rise Again Over JCPenney as Retailer Reports Promising Numbers

Posted by Dale Buss on February 26, 2014 06:42 PM

Could it be that JCPenney finally has bottomed out after nearly a year of reversing course and going back to the future? The brand said it expects same-store sales to increase about 3 to 5 percent during the current quarter as it also today posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the fiscal fourth quarter.

Early readings on the recovering retailer's performance during the fourth quarter were colored with worry that CEO Myron Ullman wasn't reaping enough benefits, quickly enough, from his deconstruction of the radical changes that had been made to the traditional middle-market brand by predecessor Ron Johnson in 2012.

But today Ullman was able to say—with real numbers to back him up—that JCPenney might just have turned the corner. One number alone might have been enough to cheer investors and JCPenney employees alike: The chain actually reported a profit for the fourth quarter, of $35 million, after year-earlier losses of $552 million, and after experiencing two years in which CEOs were slashing jobs and expectations as the brand at times seemed to be in free fall.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: LinkedIn, Taco Bell, Facebook and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 09:23 AM

In the News

LinkedIn launches China site despite risk of censorship.

Taco Bell rolls out breakfast nationwide.

Facebook drops unpopular email service.

Avaya hopes payoff from Olympics is just beginning.

Bitcoin plunges as major exchange goes dark.

BlackBerry launches sub-$200 phone aimed at Asia that is manufactured by Foxconn.

Conde Nast's Self magazine launches frozen foods line. 

Einstein Noah sees CEO resign.

Ford readies smaller Focus engine in fuel-efficiency drive.

JCPenney plans to break new marketing campaign during Oscars.

JPMorgan Chase cuts thousands more jobs.

Jack Daniel's enlists Frank Sinatra.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Mobile World Congress, Honda, Barnes & Noble and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 24, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

Mobile World Congress gets underway in Barcelona, as Nokia unveils its first Android phone, Samsung drops Android for its new smartwatch, Mozilla promises to deliver a $25 smartphone and Sony tries to crack smartphone market.   

Honda appoints first woman to its board and starts making Fit cars in Mexico.

Barnes & Noble sees conditional acquisition offer. 

Apple and Samsung fail to settle US patent case.

Best Buy and JCPenney will be reporting earnings this week, hoping to show signs of turnaround.

Brahma finds unique way to merge soccer and beer in Brazil.

Budweiser launches special-edition World Cup bottle.

CNN pulls the plug on Piers Morgan primetime show.

Ford reportedly swaps Microsoft for BlackBerry in Sync.

Glanbia may be trying to acquire Muscle Milk parent CytoSport.

Jaguar Land Rover presses dealers for customer data.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: McDonald's, Nike, Deutsche Telekom and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 10, 2014 09:12 AM

In the News

McDonald's US sales feel January chill.

Nike's Kanye West surprise sale sees red hot shoe sell out in 10 minutes.

Deutsche Telekom buys rest of T-Mobile Czech arm as Vodafone bids for Spain’s Ono.

Tesla bumps Mercedes-Benz in Consumer Reports survey.

AMC misfires with Walking Dead zombie stunt.

AOL CEO takes back "distressed babies" comment after mother speaks out.

Apple sees Carl Icahn drop buyback demand.

Asiana Airlines seeks "cockpit culture changer" after US crash.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2014 09:08 AM

In the News

Microsoft confirms rumored frontrunner Satya Nadella as new CEO. Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman but remaining on the board.

Facebook celebrates 10 years by thanking its 1.23 billion members as rumored "teen problem" may be overblown

AT&T hails Olympians with new app.

Lenovo and Sony reportedly eye PC business alliance.

Nestle sells PowerBarMusashi brands to Post.

Alfa Romeo names new rear-wheel drive platform “Giorgio.”

AppleMicrosoft join carriers in $750M pledge to education.

Apple is reportedly building out its own content delivery network.Continue reading...

social media watch

Super Bowl's Real-Time Battle: JCPenney Mittens vs Budweiser Puppy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2014 07:49 PM

Following last year's blackout, which Oreo won hands down in a real-time marketing play hard to replicate, brands this year did all the prep work they could ahead of the Super Bowl to best prepare for that fleeting moment of social opportunity. What they couldn't prepare for, though, was a boring game. 

And so while brands over-touted their hashtags and engaged in banter with fans over their ads, there were bound to be missteps. This year's Super Bowl real-time battle was a "is this account hacked?" face-off between JCPenney and Budweiser.

In an attempt that left many wondering if JCPenney's Twitter account had been hacked (although our editor-in-chief called it), the struggling retailer seeded the stunt with a promotional tweet pushing its Team USA mittens—and then things got weird.Continue reading...

retail watch

Now What? Best Buy, Investors in Shock Over Plummeting Holiday Sales

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2014 03:53 PM

This past holiday season was not a good one for big-box retailers and Best Buy is the latest to take a big hit. Its shares fell about 30 percent Thursday to erase around $4 billion of its market value after the company announced that it was going to have “a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating margins,” according to Reuters.

"It just seems that the promotions did not drive incremental sales, that opening on Thanksgiving just added costs," Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser told the wire service.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for Best Buy, which had been one of 2013’s hottest stocks after launching a turnaround effort to combat showrooming from online retailers. Best Buy, of course, wasn’t the only big-name retailer that had a lousy holiday season. Sales at Sears stores in the nine weeks that ended January 6 were down 9.2 percent while Kmart’s were down 5.7 percent in the same time period, adding to what is becoming a legacy of decline. “Sales at the company have been falling since 2005, when billionaire hedge fund manager Edward Lampert merged the two US chains in an $11 billion deal,” Reuters notes.Continue reading...

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