Posted by Abe Sauer on May 8, 2013 01:38 PM
Isolation and loneliness may seem like an odd foundation for a Coca-Cola campaign, but in China, the brand is aiming to bring the smile associated with Coke to a generation afflicted with such attributes as they try to find their way in suddenly booming metropolises.
Coca-Cola's "Friendship Experiment" aims to capture moments of "happiness creation" by inviting "complete strangers to come together and share a moment of connection." It's an effort by Chinese photographer Kurt Tang to combat what he saw as the "dispiriting sense of isolation and loneliness" found today in China's cities.
"We even date through virtual social networks instead of more intimate, human close-in-person communications," Kurt Tang, the photographer and 'Happiness Creator' of the Friendship Experiment, told brandchannel. Tang's photo and video collection, a project that used Coke to bring urbanites together, recently showed at the Fei Gallery in that same city. Notably, the photo exhibition does not contain Coke bottles or products, although some of the videos do.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 3, 2013 03:37 PM
New York City’s Citi Bike bike share program is finally ready to launch, with 6,000 bikes and 330 docking stations spreading in Brooklyn and Manhattan, but plenty of New Yorkers have already found something to complain about.
The just-placed docking stations are causing parking and delivery problems for residents and business owners. According to CBS Local, drivers are being forced to stall their vehicles in no standing zones while others have noted that the docking stations block loading docks and drop-off points. “I don’t know how we’re going to be able to operate really now effectively. It’s sad, dramatic negative impact,” Carlo Giurdanella, owner of Bella Tile told CBS.
'Installation frustration' is just the beginning of the gripes that city-dwellers have with the bike share program. It's been noted that the Citi Bike rules include a statement about overweight riders, effectively banning persons over 260 pounds from using the bicycles. Appalled by the statement, many are calling the program discriminatory and the rules unfounded.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 12, 2013 10:53 AM
Oreo has made an unlikely pairing for it's latest China campaign, and we're not talking about green tea Oreos or the host of other local variations (ice-cream flavor, anyone?) introduced by the Nabisco division of Kraft-now-Mondelez.
It's an irony of history that Oreo's new China spokesman, film director Feng Xiaogang, was last found at the helm of Back to 1942 (一九四二), last year's three-hour, brutal epic about the Henan family that killed at least three million people.
But then again, Feng Xiaogang's career is full of little ironies. He's one of China's most popular directors of the last decade and yet almost nobody has heard of him in Hollywood. For Oreo, a western brand that has localized for the China market better than almost anyone, it makes him a perfect choice. Oreo's localization strategies like cucumber flavors and square shapes have won it press accolades and, more importantly, leagues of happy customers.Continue reading...
Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 21, 2013 01:46 PM
Target’s first foray into Canada, with 21 more store openings just announced, is striking some eager shoppers as off the mark.
The Minneapolis-based retailing giant surprised southern Ontario consumers a couple of weeks ago opening its first three stores north of the border earlier than expected. People lined up in anticipation of the highest-profile retail arrival since Walmart entered the market nearly 20 years ago, but once they got inside, many were disappointed.
Despite Target's efforts to embrace Canadian culture, including a design partnership with Canadiana chic brand Roots as well as an entertainment partnership with Vancouver-born crooner Michael Buble, there were a number of product shortages. This would be excusable in a newly-minted store that’s getting the kinks out—but perhaps most importantly, the low prices on which Target had built its reputation and brand weren’t there, or at least not to the extent that cross-border and online Canadian shoppers expected.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 01:17 PM
Coca-Cola has been getting very serious about its "Open Happiness" campaign. Now it may even be ready to try to beat swords into plowshares—or at least into vending machines.
Ad Age reports that a big announcement "is coming soon" about a "major project" for the brand, possibly involving vending machines that will virtually connect consumers in India and Pakistan, two countries that long have had sectarian, sometimes bloody, differences. As depicted in a teaser video that Coke released in December, the machines would use video technology so that users in the two countries could see each other and "touch hands virtually," the magazine reported.
"The idea," Ad Age continued, "is that it could roll out to various countries in conflict."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 13, 2013 10:25 AM
After a short teaser spot two weeks ago, the Cadillac ad for China with the brand's new spokesman Brad PItt is here. It's terrible in general, but it's even worse for the Chinese market. Cadillac knows white is the color of funerals in China, right?
In the ad, Pitt (or maybe a CGI Pitt, it's hard to tell) cruises around San Francisco, pensively doing "creative" person things. Maybe the actor is on his way to Chinatown since he's banned from entering China itself.
He swipes some digital displays while never saying a word. Couldn't GM have asked him to speak a little Mandarin? Chinese love it when celebrities humble themselves by mangling some Chinese. It's even been rumored that Pitt and Angelina Jolie are learning a little Mandarin. Not that Cadillac appears to "speak Mandarin" any better. It's latest attempt to grow its flagging sales in China may hint at a deeper problem with its fundamental understanding of the market.Continue reading...
Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 4, 2013 04:21 PM
After playing coy about its exact launch dates in Canada, Target has confirmed it's opening the first of its Canadian stores this week. Residents in three communities (Guelph, Fergus and Milton) west of Toronto will be able to check out the launch trio of Target Canada "pilot stores" that will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, part of the first wave of 24 stores soft opening this month in Ontario. As Target's press release puts it,
Like the majority of Target locations opening in Canada, the pilot stores feature a licensed Starbucks, as well as an in-store pharmacy designed to provide guests with superior patient-centered healthcare. “The Target team is excited to open these test locations as we put the finishing touches on our stores, assortments and inventory,” said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. “We look forward to delivering on our Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise and providing an outstanding shopping experience as we approach our grand opening in early April.”
The move kicks off the Minneapolis-based retailer's opening of up to 135 locations in former Zellers locations across Canada, 124 of those locations opening their doors this year. Target had said publicly it will start having soft store openings in March but it hadn't given exact dates or specific locations. In advance of this week's opening drive, the brand is practically building snowmen (see a recent Facebook cover image, above), drinking maple syrup straight from the bottle and painting its face at hockey games.
The retailing giant has been on an awareness-building campaign for its highly-anticipated arrival since late last year, one that is expected to ignite an all-out battle for consumers not seen since Walmart stormed the 49th parallel in 1994 with the acquisition of 122 Woolco stores.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2013 12:17 PM
Budweiser, the self-anointed King of Beers and nine of its AB InBev brethren found themselves with a bit of a PR problem last week when press seized on the story of class-action suits being filed in seven states that claimed the brewskis had been knowingly watered down before being sent out for consumption.
The world’s largest brewer denied the charges being made in the suits filed in California, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, but clearly wanted to set the record straight for some of its loyal drinkers for fear that they might believe the stories of those who had filed suit—people who had been buying Bud and other InBev products by the caseload every month for years on end.
To combat the claims, AB InBev has turned to both newspaper print ads and Twitter, the Associated Press reports. The Twitter push encompassed the Budweiser-back "Beer Loves You" local Twitter handles (see below), which sent out the a copy of the full-page newspaper ad that ran on Sunday.
That ad, carried in newspapers including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, showed an image of a can of drinking water, representing “one of the 71 million cans of drinking water it has sent to the American Red Cross and other relief organizations in disasters.” Along with that is the text, "They must have tested one of these," the ad says, along with "We take no shortcuts and make no exceptions. Ever."
Two independent tests by St. Louis TV station and NPR have both backed the brewer’s side of the story, a fact that was pushed out onto Twitter by InBev, Ad Age reports. That’s a big switch, the publication notes, for a company that had avoided being on Twitter at all until fairly recently.Continue reading...