Posted by Abe Sauer on May 20, 2013 10:54 AM
The "Live Free" logo on the back of a jacket or the big, red "自由" ("Freedom") on the sleeve of Harley-Davidson riders in China may seem a wild bit of irony. To those who buy into China as the brutal 1984-like state dry of any freedom, it may seem like a bold, almost rebellious political statement but to the riders displaying them, it's neither.
The idea of freedom through consumption is exploding in China. More and more brands—both foreign and domestic—are using the message every day. While the concept of consumer choices and products offering "freedom" is global, the idea of "freedom" in China is very unique.
A recent Reuters photo essay showed the world what a China Harley-Davidson rally is like. There were more than a few cultural differences. While the Sturgis Rally is held in the dusty backwater of South Dakota, China's recent Harley rally was at a private lake resort just outside of Shanghai. China's Harley enthusiasts tend to be CEOs or the very wealthy, but Harley-Davidson ownership is booming in China for some of the same reasons as in the west. "For me [Harley] represents freedom, total freedom,” a rider named Phillip Chu told Reuters.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 15, 2013 07:14 PM
Volvo owners always knew they were different from other consumers. Now, the brand is launching a new, integrated advertising campaign in the US that explicitly appeals to the non-materialistic, minimalist ethos which differentiates Volvo aficionados from buyers of other luxury and near-luxury brands.
In the process, Volvo brand stewards hope to finally begin turning around the sales of a franchise whose US results peaked a decade ago, when the company was owned by Ford, and have kept on sliding over the last few years as Ford lost interest and then, in 2010, sold Volvo to Geely, a large Chinese automaker, for $1.5 billion.
Volvo owners' "interpretation of luxury is different but very real," Tassos Panas, vice president of marketing and product planning for Volvo of North America, told brandchannel. "They're more into life's experiences, and more into a Scandinavian simple design [of vehicles] versus a lot of clutter. They are very much luxury customers and love luxury products, but they don't feel a need to impress others."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 15, 2013 09:03 AM
Charlie Ergen's Dish Network offers to buy Sprint for $25.5 billion in a bid to one up SoftBank.
ConAgra, Heinz and Nestle lead frozen food battle to reverse negative image.
Nike seeks to regain its edge with fewer ads following Tiger Woods stumble.
Dannon uses Greek-style to leapfrog Yoplait to top of U.S. yogurt business.
Apple clearly enters post-Jobs era.
Justin Bieber sparks controversy with Anne Frank comment.
Boeing sees new inspection order on its 737s.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2013 08:59 AM
Apple loses iPad Mini trademark, and finds a fan in Kim Jong-un as North Korea rattles saber and tensions rise with U.S., while increased China headaches include hacking threat and iPad regulation.
Discovery Communications expands global channel reach and launches scripted programming.
Novartis loses cancer drug patent battle in India.
Amazon buys Goodreads community-driven user reviews website.
AMC reveals new tagline and logo.
Armani hires Cate Blanchett for $10M campaign.
AT&T scores with March Madness Twitter campaign.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 06:32 PM
Because the Tri-State market is so demographically broad, automakers load up their car haulers for the New York International Show and bring every conceivable type of new vehicle—from inexpensive fresh production models to concept cars that would demand seven-figure prices if they were available—in an effort to leave no segment of the local market unturned and to impress the hordes of journalists who've assembled in the world media capital.
Given that the U.S. auto-sales recovery continues to gain some steam, it's no surprise that this year's show at the Javits Center has attracted one of the most impressive hauls of automotive hardware to the New York show that's been seen in several years.
Here's a brand-by-brand account of some of what news media have been seeing as the show prepares to open to the public:
Honda got tongues wagging this week with, of all things, a vacuum cleaner. HondaVAC debutes in the Touring Elite version of the 2014 Honda Odyssey as the brand ups the ante in the rolling-living-room segment. The device was developed with Shop-Vac and is comprised of a powerful vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag with nozzle accessories neatly integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear cargo area, Honda explained.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 28, 2013 10:27 AM
One detail that contributed to the tragedy of China's Great Leap Forward was how local leaders reported what the central authority wanted to hear and not the reality. Volvo, it seems, is learning that, despite economic development and opening, business in China is still done with "Chinese characteristics."
The venerable Swedish auto brand recently reported that its China dealers have been inflating sales numbers to clench cash incentives. It claims it fixed the problem, but the practice of grasping the short term at the cost of the long is a particularly present challenge for China that goes far beyond Volvo.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on March 11, 2013 08:45 AM
Adidas aims to outrun Nike with bouncier shoes (Boost), Google ad test and increased soccer focus as Confederation Cup and FIFA World Cup loom, while Nike feels the heat in China.
Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful wins weekend box office, marking a comeback for Disney's studio arm.
Old Spice introduces wolfish marketing director to boost men's animal magnetism.
America's Brand USA global marketing arm expands reach with $200M boost and German campaign.
Apple CEO Tim Cook may testify in e-book antitrust suit.
Beam looks past corruption scandal with new brand strategy in India.
Bumblebee and Chicken of the Sea expand U.S. tuna recall.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 22, 2013 11:38 AM
It's a rough start when your new China spokesman is banned from China—but it appears Cadillac is going ahead with a new deal to make Brad Pitt its face in the world's fastest growing auto market.
Though with sales plunging in China and Audi and BMW eating its lunch, the brand needs to do something. It's too bad that even Brad Pitt won't likely be able to sell the Chinese an angry car they don't want.
Cadillac's new $3 million dollar endorsement with Pitt (Bradillac?) may add some perspective to Pitt's recent, less than smooth entry to Chinese social media. In January, Pitt joined microblogging platform Weibo and posted "Yep, it is the truth. I am coming…"
The news was forwarded tens of thousands of times by those wondering if China's ban on the actor—following his film "Seven Years in Tibet"—had been lifted. Just a few weeks later, Pitt's account disappeared. It's unclear if the actor himself deleted it or if Weibo shut it down, something the platform is wont to do. Continue reading...