2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand news

In the News: CVS, AT&T, MINI and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2014 09:02 AM

In the News

CVS quits selling tobacco products, standing to lose $2 billion in sales, and draws plaudits from President Obama and the Twitterverse.

AT&T becomes first Olympics brand to condemn Russia anti-gay policy.

MINI rolls out biggest US campaign.

Google reaches antitrust deal with EU.

McDonald's shows how McNuggets are made.

RadioShack plans to close 500 stores under restructuring.

3M launches $12 billion stock buyback.

Adidas sues Under Armour over patents.

Chrysler says Ram diesel gets 28mpg rating.

Jaguar Land Rover pushes back China production to 2015.

Mazda targets record profits.

Mercedes-Benz global sales rise sharply.

Michael Kors expands in menswear.Continue reading...

auto motive

Chrysler Completes Pivot to American Positioning as it Eclipses Detroit Connection

Posted by Dale Buss on February 3, 2014 12:53 PM

It's true that Chrysler is now a wholly owned subsidiary of a Dutch company headed by an Italian with a CMO from France. And yes, Chrysler made some new enemies in Detroit by dissing a local watch-maker in favor of the Swiss, and the third quarter of a blowout Super Bowl game turned out not to be the ideal ROI positioning for its ad.

But the Chrysler brand still legitimately riveted America's attention with its two minute Big Game commercial yesterday starring Bob Dylan and, nominally at least, the new and vastly improved version of its Chrysler 200 sedan. In the process, Chrysler also re-branded itself as "America's Import" and finally ditched the "Imported From Detroit" language that had dominated its positioning for three years.

On Sunday, the brand clearly tried to establish a broader message than the fact that it is associated with Detroit. Instead, Chrysler preached a new sermon about cars that are made in America, while mentioning Detroit only tangentially.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Chrysler, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 3, 2014 09:23 AM

In the News

Apple meets with FDA over mobile medical apps and reportedly explores alternative energy sources.

Chrysler posts 8 percent increase in January sales and re-brands to "America's Import" in Super Bowl.

Walmart cuts outlook as new CEOs take office on Feb. 1.

AT&T cuts family-plan mobile pricing as competition heats up. 

Bacardi shakes up safety efforts at Jacksonville plant after death.

Bank of America reaches $8.5 billion settlement.

Facebook toys with anonymity.

Honda touts vehicles' safety performance in wake of Bruce Willis Super Bowl ad. 

Jos. A. Bank rebuffs Men's Wearhouse again.

Keystone XL gets a green light.

Maserati touts its return to US in Super Bowl spot.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

Chrysler Happy to Have Marchionne Stick Around—and to Launch 'Flagship' 200

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2014 04:48 PM

Chrysler got at least two things today that augur well for 2014: a robust new version of its Chrysler 200 sedan, and an indication that its charismatic CEO, Sergio Marchionne, will stick around for a while.

Through Fiat Chairman Jon Elkann, Marchionne has indicated that he'll stay at least three years with the combined Fiat-Chrysler after serving as the master architect of the company as it has been cobbled together so far after the 2009 bailout. Marchionne's vision and charisma are widely credited as key factors in Chrysler's ability to come back even as Fiat continues to be hampered by the European market.

And while Chrysler has done well with a recently overhauled version of the Ram pickup truck, and with new and revised Jeep models that are faring fine in the SUV segment—with plans for more, according to the Wall Street Journal—it's sedans are where Chrysler so far has fallen short. The 200 and the 300 full-size sedan have been threadbare for a while, and last year's launch of the new Dodge Dart compact hasn't lit the automotive world on fire.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

Ford Pulls Big Load with New Tech-Filled, Aluminum F-150 Pickup

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2014 12:16 PM

Ford executives were on the offensive at the Detroit auto show today as they introduced the world's most significant aluminum-framed vehicle, the new Ford F-150 pickup truck, and ticked off stat after stat about the company's burgeoning position and success in the US and global automotive markets.

The new 2015 Ford F-150, to go on sale sometime this year, represents for Ford not only the crucial newest version of America's best-selling vehicle but also the manifestation of a huge technological bet encouraged by CEO Alan Mulallly.

When the truck debuts, not only will it be the newest entry among the Detroit Three pickup-truck segment but also, with the aluminum frame, the new F-150 could be perceived by truck buyers as a whole generation ahead of the competition. Chevrolet just introduced a new version of its Silverado pickup truck, which was named North America Truck/Utility of the Year this morning, while Chrysler also launched a substantially reworked version of its Ram last year.Continue reading...

auto motive

Fiat-Chrysler, Marchionne Will Have to Come Off Year-End High to Address '14 Challenges

Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2014 05:49 PM

It's been a pretty good few days for Chrysler. CEO Sergio Marchionne finally managed to bring the last share of the company under the Fiat umbrella. And Chrysler just posted its best December sales in seven years. Happy New Year.

But for Chrysler, the road ahead in 2014 promises to be a lot bumpier, with challenges ranging from the launch of the important new version of the Chrysler 200 sedan to Fiat's continued weaknesses in Europe to the joint Fiat-Chrysler problem of a lack of a major presence in Asia. Marchionne might want to remember this week's high for a while.

And it is a high. With a burst of holiday energy and ingenuity, Marchionne managed to wrap up a deal in which Fiat gets full control of Chrysler for $4.35 billion and the United Auto Workers gets the huge chunk of money it had been seeking for worker and retiree health care benefits. The coming full integration of the two companies will allow Marchionne to pursue his dream of creating a single, global automaker with combined sales of six million vehicles, ranking it the world's seventh-largest.Continue reading...

car talk

Americans Aren't 'Importing' Many Chrysler Cars from Detroit in This Market

Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2013 12:27 PM

Chrysler the company remains on a roll. November sales were up 16 percent in the US market, the company's 44th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The new Jeep Cherokee is a Truck-Utility of the Year finalist, and Ram trucks are taking full advantage of the pickup boom. Even Dodge muscle cars are selling well as gasoline prices moderate, and the Dodge Dart compact finally has gained some traction after a year.

Chrysler the brand? Meh. The cars made famous by Eminem and "Imported From Detroit," the Chrysler 200 and 300 sedans, have fallen off a cliff sales-wise, with year-to-date sales off 17 percent for the larger 300 and sales only flat—with a 24 percent drop in November—for the 200.

Meanwhile, the other member of the Chrysler-brand lineup, the hoary Town & Country minivan nameplate, is enjoying something of a sales renaissance, with sales up by 10 percent for the year and a whopping 70 percent in November alone.Continue reading...

car talk

Green-Tinged Los Angeles Auto Show Finds Importance as Brand Platform

Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2013 06:43 PM

The stream of brand news out of the Los Angeles Auto Show has never been stronger. More carmakers are using the exhibition as a launch platform. And while the vehicles and features they're choosing to introduce have a decidedly green tint, that's the way the industry is headed anyway.

As the event heads into the public-exhibition phase, which is expected to draw record attendance, the Los Angeles Auto Show today saw Honda Accord named "Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal, an increasingly sought-after designation in an era when alternative powertrains comprise much of the cutting edge of the auto business. The addition of hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of Accord helped seal the deal. Two diesel-powered cars, Audi A6 TDI and BMW 328d, were the other finalists.

Honda also drew interest with its sleek FCEV hydrogen-fuel-cell concept car. And executives announced that the 2014 Honda Civic compact will come equipped with a continuously variable transmission, a technology that smooths shifting as the car accelerates and saves fuel as well as boosts driving enjoyment.Continue reading...

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