Posted by Dale Buss on December 9, 2013 12:04 PM
By now, it really doesn't matter if Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is any good or not, or even if it appeals only to true Will Ferrell aficionados. Several days ahead of its release, the movie already could qualify for its own new category in any Hollywood awards show: Most Outrageously Successful Advance Promotion for a Film.
Ferrell, in his signature Anchorman burgundy--and Burgundy--garb has been everywhere promotionally, sometimes with fellow cast members including Steve Carrell, in one of the most overwhelmingly memorable integrated-marketing pre-launch campaigns in movie history. Or certainly Ron Burgundy might put it that way.
All the stuff with the Dodge Durango and horses and dancers turned out to be only a tease. Since that campaign began a few weeks ago, Burgundy also has been seen shilling for everything from Riviera Imports' "Great Odin's Raven Special Reserve" to Ben & Jerry's very real new flavor, "Scotchy Scotch Scotch" (which, surely to his dismay, contains no real alcohol). Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2013 02:47 PM
Maybe the glum economic view in Europe is souring the perspectives of CPG-company CEOs there. Or maybe they're the ones most looking at the global economy without rose-colored glasses these days. In any event, both Unilever and Nestle have announced significant new moves that will bring about big new skinbacks in their portfolios—and marketing.
Unilever stunned followers of the company by announcing that it aims to cut the number of individual products it sells by a whopping 30 percent by the end of next year so that it can become more efficient and navigate a global economic slowdown that it admits it was slow to confront, according to Reuters.
As a result, the Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Lipton tea, Knorr soups and Dove personal-care products—among many other brands—is cutting about 2,000 jobs, including about 800 alone in marketing, and will continue to adjust its portfolio.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 01:45 PM
Instagram has wasted not a moment in shifting from a photo-sharing app to videos and now ads, as Michael Kors became the app's first advertiser earlier this month.
The evolving social/photo/video brand is now churning them out on a daily basis with entries from General Electric, Levi's, Lexus and Ben & Jerry's, among others. Michael Kors garnered nearly 34,000 new followers 18 hours after its first of four ads published, followed by a jump to more than 1.4 million followers with three subsequent ads.
But reactions to the paid posts are so far mixed. “Nitrogram analyzed the sentiment of comments appended to Michael Kors's four ads and found there was a roughly equal mix of positive and negative comments on the first. But the percentage on the positive side swelled to 73 percent for the second ad; to 89 percent for the third; and to 64 percent for the fourth," Ad Age reported.
Ben & Jerry's on the other hand, seems to be the clear winner in the ad race, amassing more followers and 'likes' than any other advertiser so far—and their ad comments are on the sweeter side, too.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 11:33 AM
The B Corp, or “For Benefit” corporation, is redefining fiduciary responsibility, governance, ownership and stakeholder relationships in light of an equal increase in stewardship and sustainability obligations by businesses, government and consumers.
“It's not just retailers that take notice of B Corp certification. It can also be a game changer for consumers and investors. Over the past five years, B Lab said small businesses with B Corp certification have had a 30 percent higher survival rate than U.S. small businesses as a whole," Hartford Business noted.
While green products are increasingly available, telling the difference between "eco-friendly" companies and those with a real commitment to sustainable practices has become much easier thanks to B Corp certification, a business badge for companies with a proven track record on sustainability, community, transparency and fair employee treatment.
Companies looking for certification must complete an assessment of their current practices, gather documentation and go through an audit with a B Lab consultant, and pay fees anywhere from $500 to $25,000 depending on size. But the payoff is more than worth the trouble.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 05:42 PM
Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese long ago was identified by critics as a paragon of junk food wrapped in the guise of a comfort food. Sure, it was the favorite, filling and inexpensive lunch of many Americans—but it was rife with fat, sodium and artificial dyes.
Well, now Kraft can feel a bit better about its iconic mac-and-cheese offerings for at least a couple of reasons, one of its own doing and the other an outside endorsement. And considering both of them, Kraft now is sitting closer to the edge of a new dynamic in the CPG business in which brands let "natural" products speak for themselves.
Turns out that Kraft Mac & Cheese, apple slices and Nestle bottled water, a combination offered by Arby's, was deemed the healthiest lunch for kids by researchers in an update of a Yale study of childhood obesity. There's some confusion, MarketingDaily said, about whether such a combination actually is offered at any Arby's. But in any event, Mac & Cheese came out looking pretty good. (The worst combination meal, meanwhile, was a McDouble with french fries and Hi-C Orange Lavaburst from McDonald's.)Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 25, 2013 07:12 PM
On the road to reduce its environmental footprint, Unilever has agreed to buy nearly three million gallons of algae-derived oil from Solazyme for use in its personal care products. The deal will contribute greatly to the CPG giant's goal to use only sustainable agricultural raw materials by 2020.
“This is the first oil that was jointly developed that’s going to a product sale,” Jonathan S. Wolfson, Solazyme’s CEO, told the New York Times. “We’ve laid out the path for years, and now we’re closing the first big loop about where a big chunk of this oil goes coming out of one of these plants.”
Solazyme's renewable products can replace or enhance oils currently derived from petroleum, plants and animal fats—with commercialization efforts that will lend well to industries including chemicals and fuels, nutrition, and skin and personal care.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2013 02:56 PM
Chipotle keeps sticking its neck out for "sustainable," locally produced food—now with an animated-short-film attack on "Big Food" and with the promise of more expansive and aggressive efforts to come.
"The Scarecrow" is a 3-1/2-minute film that Chipotle Mexican Grill released online today that depicts what the brand calls "a dystopian fantasy world" in which "all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system."
"Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory"—an alternative that looks an awful lot like the Chipotle business model that emphasizes local sourcing and food as natural as possible.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2013 01:52 PM
Once mundane, the suddenly sexy US yogurt business is attracting more big players that used to have nothing to do with the formerly sleepy category. The latest: Starbucks, which has formed a strategic partnership with Groupe Danone to market a new, exclusive line of Greek-style yogurt parfaits in Starbucks stores and grocery channels.
PepsiCo was the latest big non-yogurt brand to jump into a category that has become thorougly energized lately by the success of Greek yogurts, led by startup Chobani. PepsiCo hooked up with Germany's Muller brand to introduce a new US line this year.
For Starbucks, the leap into yogurt with the Paris-based parent of Dannon USA represents just the latest broadening of its product lines and distribution channels, which also have included picking up a baked-goods brand, Le Boulange, and tea-based interests such as the Teavana chain.Continue reading...