ConAgra Foods’ frozen meals brand Marie Callender’s is presenting mealtime as a respite from the day's worries in a campaign themed "Time to Savor" that portrays the brand's products as comfort food. Adweek 8/29/10
Asian models have been added to represent the brands of Estee Lauder and Maybelline to appeal to the fastest-growing market in the world. SifyNews 8/28/10
A study of YouTube videos for tobacco brands including Marlboro, Benson and Hedges and Winston, says most had pro-tobacco content, using themes like celebrities and movies, sports, music or archival footage (such as an ad using the Flintstones smoking Winston cigarettes), and noted that some videos seemed to be professionally made. A World Health Organization treaty requires participating countries to ban all forms of tobacco advertisements and sponsorships but YouTube is a user-generated site that is not regulated for content control. Pagingdrgupta.com 8/27/10
Federal regulators are looking at Google Inc.'s plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc., which could position Google to compete with travel brands Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Huffingtonpost.com 8/27/10
Two teenagers are suing Facebook, claiming their names and images were sold to advertisers without parental permission as part of a Facebook feature that allows members to ‘like’ a service or product. Facebook broadcasts likes to the user's friends. Huffingtonpost.com 8/27/10
Apple has set the date of its next "big announcement" for Sept. 1. Speculation is that the company will unveil a cloud-based music service. Brandweek 8/27/10
Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand plans to launch its first performance sub-brand in December, a version of its G coupe, to compete with BMW's M-series, Cadillac's V-series and Mercedes-Benz's AMG. Detroit Free Press 8/26/10
Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo has named Charlize Theron and Orlando Bloom global brand ambassadors for its new “Made For All” philosophy. The company’s new tagline, emphasizes its commitment to provide clothing for everyone, regardless of nationality, age, occupation or gender People 8/26/10
Google has rolled out the “Call Phone” feature to all US Gmail users enabling them to call people directly on their phones. The service is free for calls in the US and Canada for the remainder of 2010. Gmailblog 8/26/10
RIM falls to 17-month low as India plans to ban BlackBerry messaging services Aug. 31 unless RIM resolves concerns the smart phones could be used for terrorist attacks or other illegal activities. Bloomberg 8/26/10
Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. are recalling 1.3 million 2005-2008 model vehicles because of engine stalling complaints. Autonews.com 8/26/10
Tiffany & Co. is launching a collection of handbags in a dozen U.S. stores on Sept. 1.The move will help Tiffany to drive sales through accessibly priced goods while maintaining the brand’s luxury image. WSJ.com 8/26/10
GM is launching the Chevrolet Cruze in September. As part of GM’s effort to achieve long term profitability the Cruze will be priced higher than previous compacts. WSJ 8/26/10
Four Points by Sheraton has reached a milestone of 150 properties in 24 countries.The Four Points’ brand positioning of “uncomplicated comfort” and value has helped the brand become one of the fastest growing brands within the Starwood portfolio. MarketWatch 8/25/10
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. plans store closings and layoffs in the wake of weaker margins, higher overhead and losses related to its failed Martin + Osa chain. The company points to inconsistent business trends and unpredictable consumer behavior as contributors to losses. WSJ 8/25/10
McDonald’s has named Steve Easterbrook evp, global chief brand officer, a new position at the fast-food giant. Reuters 8/24/10
Sweet ‘N Low is introducing a new campaign to relaunch the brand to consumers and differentiate it in an increasingly crowded category. NYTimes 8/23/10
Levi’s has launched a new lined called Levi's Curve ID that offers women jeans that complement their body type. Freep.com 8/14/2010
Kellogg Co.has debuted Pop-Tart World, a pop up store in Times Square, where customers can eat Pop-Tart “sushi,” order a customized pastry, create a custom box filled with a mix of their favorite flavors, suggest new types of Pop-Tarts, select a Pop-Tart T-shirt made by specialty artists or get “frosted” and “wrapped in foil” by a light show. The State.com 8/14/2010
Jaguar Cars has created the XJ75 Platinum Concept a demonstration of the design customization potential of the XJ luxury sedan, as part of their year long celebration of the Jaguar brand’s 75th anniversary. PRNewswire 8/14/2010
Kroger Co. has doubled its number of store-brand beauty products this summer and plans to continue to launch more products this fall and next year. Their Mirra brand beauty line contains natural ingredients and is priced below brands such as L’Oreal, Aveeno and Olay. Associated Press 8/13/10
Walgreens (WAG) is rolling out its DR Delish private brand line of snacks and beverages nationally; they acquired the line as part of their purchase of Duane Reade Drugstores. Marketwatch.com 8/13/10
The East India Company, world’s first multinational trading company, known for bringing exotic foods from the east to the west, beginning in 1600, has been relaunched as a luxury brand. The company ceased operating in 1874; intellectual property rights to the company were purchased by an Indian-born importer and entrepreneur in 2005. CNN.com 8/13/10
An advocacy group claims that Ben & Jerry's All Natural ice cream and frozen yogurt contains ingredients that either don’t exist in nature or have been chemically modified such as alkalized cocoa and corn syrup. The company says it abides by federal guidelines in using the term natural. Boston.com 8/13/10
Hyundai has replaced Nissan to become one of the top five most considered automotive brands among new-car shoppers, according to the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence Brand Watch Study. NYTimes.com 8/12/10
David Lauren, son of fashion brand founder Ralph Lauren, tells Blogher conference attendees that his father was born in the Bronx as Ralph Lifshitz and was a salesman, not a trained fashion designer. But his idea was to dress for the life you wanted, and who you wanted to be: "It's not about fabric. It's about dreams." The Recessionista 8/12/10
Unilever, the world's third-largest maker of consumer goods behind Procter & Gamble Co. and Nestle SA, wants to buy Sara Lee Corp.'s worldwide body care products business and its European detergents but the European Union says it needs to examine the effect the deal will have on competition in European markets. Forbes 5/25/10
Fresh Express, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, is voluntarily recalling one of its ready-to-eat salad mixes in 27 states because of possible salmonella contamination. KITV.com 5/25/10
Kimberly-Clark Corporation introduces trendy diapers with the launch of their limited edition Huggies brand Little Movers Jeans Diapers. The jeans have a printed denim pattern, including seams and back pockets. Some networks refused to run the ads promoting the new diapers because they contained the word “poo.” NYTimes.com 5/24/10
I’ve been using this product that I love, Alpha Hydrox, for a couple of years. It’s not easy to find in stores so when I do find it I stockpile it. My current stash is running low so I went online and found the Neoteric website, maker of Alpha Hydrox.
This video, from the Neoteric website, depicts company employees, including the CEO, thanking customers for purchasing their products while acknowledging that 2009 was a challenging year and that their brands are sometimes difficult to find. Because the video, for the most part, is free of corporate speak, focuses on issues that will resonate with customers, and the production values are modest, the company comes across as genuine, earnest, and trustworthy---qualities that encourage emotional connections with customers, a key component of successful brand building.
You know what else I like about this video? 'Thank you' seems to really mean thank you, and isn't used as cover for a marketing ploy.
Microsoft (MSFT), Sephora, NASCAR and Comcast (CMCSA) are using Twitter as a component in sweepstakes promotions to boost buzz about their brands. Adweek 11/22/09
Complaints over ads from competitors filed with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the industry’s main self-regulatory program for national ads, will set a record in 2009. Combatants include Pantene vs Dove, Science Diet vs. Iams, AT&T(ATT) vs. Verizon Wireless (VZ) and Campbell Soup vs. Progresso. New York Times 11/22/09
Mega media brand Oprah Winfrey is ending her talk show in 2011 after 25 years on the air to launch OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Adweek 11/20/09
eBay (EBAY) will sponsor free wireless Internet on Delta (DAL) flights during the holiday travel period Nov. 24 through Nov. 30 to promote eBay’s “Holideals.” Clickz 11/18/09
Intel (INTC) hopes to strengthen the connection between it’s brand and consumers through a new website they’ve launched called LifeScoop. The site is designed to appeal to consumers interested in technology “but aren’t hard-core geeks.” Brandweek 11/14/09
Hundreds of “older, poorly perfoming” Holiday Inn hotels in North America could lose the right to call themselves a Holiday Inn if the franchisees don’t meet franchisor Intercontinental Hotel Group's (IHG) quality specs and undertake extensive renovations. Wall Street Journal 11/13/09. Requires subscription.
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) plans to open about 1,000 new restaurants, remodel 2,300 existing ones around the world next year, and is experimenting with new technology to prepare for a global economic recovery. Wall Street Journal 11/13/09. Requires subscription.
The American Family Association is calling on consumers to boycott Gap Inc. (GPS) and its brands, which include Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, this holiday season because the retailer's ads downplay the word "Christmas." Brandweek 11/13/09
Burger King franchisees are suing the company, alleging that Burger King Corp (BKC). doesn't have the right to set "maximum prices" for certain menu items. The lawsuit was spurred by the double-cheeseburger promotion that franchisees fought against saying it causes them to lose money. Advertising Age 11/12/09
Miracle Whip bought every ad slot on The Colbert Report on November 12th, and announced the buy “in newspapers warning Colbert that his commercial breaks would expose his viewers to “hardcore Miracle Whip attitude.” The Miracle Whip ad roadblock was in response to a parody of a Miracle Whip ad that Colbert ran on his show in October. MediaFreak 11/12/09
Ashley Furniture sponsors live-streamed birth on MomsLikeMe.com, a one-year-old site owned by newspaper publisher Gannett. The company had a featured banner running during event which was seen by 3,600 people watching the live stream, and an additional 148,600 unique visitors who downloaded the video during the next 72 hours. ClickZ Network 11/11/09
Breaking with other airline sites, Continental Airlines (CAL) plans to sell advertising on their website, saying their 10 million monthly unique users are in a trip-planning frame of mind, creating “an extremely conducive atmosphere for advertisers."Brandweek 11/11/09
The Rockport Company, a division of Adidas, is launching a new campaign exhorting people to “Choose to walk.” The campaign “celebrates people who have chosen to live professional and personal lives that may step off the beaten path but are nonetheless fulfilling and rewarding.” New York Times 3/2/09
Fashionology is a retail concept that enables tween girls to decorate clothing. The Fashionology LA store was launched in June 2008 and is currently promoting the launch of their Fashionology website. MediaPost 3/2/09
Japanese cosmetics e-tailer, @Cosme, has been so successful with their Amazon-like ranking of Japanese products according to popularity and user stars, that they’ve just opened a bricks and mortar site. AdAge 3/2/09
Ted’s Montana Grill is rewarding anyone who proclaims their love for the chain’s burgers with a free burger. First place winner gets a Prius. Atlanta Business Chronicle 3/2/09
MARS Snackfood's new Web site for Skittles takes visitors to a Wikipedia entry for Skittles, a Skittles-related Twitter Feed, Facebook Page, YouTube channels, Flickr, etc, in an effort to let consumers tell the story, instead of sending visitors to a typical product web page. Clickz 3/2/09
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has signed an “extensive partnership” with BET to weave their Listerine, Zyrtec and Ambi brands into the storylines of new reality show “Harlem Heights.” New York Times 3/01/09
Safeway (SWY) says they will promote its private-label brands harder if branded-food makers don't start lowering prices on their products. Chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd says some food makers have been “disingenuous” with consumers by not decreasing prices to reflect declining costs. Chain Store Age 2/27/09. The LA Times reports Grocers, name-brand food producers at odds over prices.
The NCAA denies some flavors of The Coca-Cola Co.’s(KO) VitaminWater could cause student athletes to test positive for impermissible or banned substances. They had previously listed six flavors as containing impermissible or banned substances including taurine, caffeine, guarana seed extract, L-theanine, green tea extract, ecgc, Rooibos tea extract or glucosamine. Atlanta Business Chronicle 2/11/09
Maybelline has launched “Lash Stiletto™ aka “The only mascara that does for lashes what stilettos do for legs.” Great name, great visual.
Lance Inc. (LNCE), owner of the Archway Cookies brand, has filed a lawsuit against Canadian company Voortman Cookies, alleging that their packaging adopts colors and other design elements closely simulate Archway’s and is calculated to take advantage of the Archway bankruptcy “to persuade consumers and retailers to accept the infringing Voortman package as the successor in the marketplace to the well-known and highly regarded Archway products.” Charlotte Business Journal 2/10/09
Look ma, no hyphen: Name Wire says Hilton has officially removed the hyphen from their Waldorf-Astoria brand. It’s now Waldorf Astoria. Hilton is also reportedly finalizing plans to introduce a new “lifestyle hotel brand to the world next month. Name Wire: The Product Naming Blog 2/10/09.