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brand aspiration

Goldie Blox Builds Dream Scenario with Viral Video, Shot At Super Bowl

Posted by Dale Buss on November 22, 2013 06:12 PM

The founder of Goldie Blox may be writing a dream script for a startup, one that already includes an idea with traction, a madly viral video, and high-profile nod in the New York Times—and an effort that could very well culminate in a Super Bowl commercial on February 2.

One of the videos that Goldie Blox has posted on its YouTube channel since its inception two years ago has gotten skyrocketing views, over 7 million so far, according to MarketingDaily.com. It shows young girls in stereotypical pink princess outfits suddenly breaking out of character to grab a tool kit, goggles and hard hats, constructing things with Goldie Blox building-block toys.

"Girls to build the spaceship / Girls to code the new app / Girls to grow up knowing / They can engineer that," the video hums, adapting an old Beastie Boys song. "It's OK to be a princess," Goldie Blox Founder and CEO Debbie Sterling, a Stanford University mechanical-engineering graduate, told the New York Times. "We just think girls can build their own castles too."Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Prime Directive: Bezos Pushes Original Content, From Amazon Studios to Amazon Studio

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 01:20 PM

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (as the story goes) chose a company name starting with "A" so it appeared early in search results, and Amazon, as the world's largest river, fit his vision of creating the biggest store in the world. 

Staying true to that founding DNA as it expands from the world’s first online bookseller to include everything from original programming to fashion, Bezos has tapped Clark Johnson (Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire) to produce his next project, Alpha House, for the Amazon Studios unit. The GOP comedy, created by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, debuted its pilot episode on Amazon in April, using the preview as a focus group to tweak the show before its exclusive debut to Amazon Prime members next month.

The $79-a-year Prime subscription service is key in Amazon’s plan to snare viewers. “It’s about making delight for Prime members,” commented Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to the Seattle Times. “What can we do that would make somebody be a happy Prime member? If we can make great television for them, that’s going to be an element of that. And they pay us an annual fee for that.” Those members are Amazon's VIPs, big spenders who typically shell out three times more than non-Prime Amazon shoppers across Amazon's channels.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Finally Thinking About Getting that Ferrari? Good Luck Finding One

Posted by Dale Buss on May 8, 2013 03:36 PM

Planned scarcity is a classic marketing trick for high-end goods. And if luxury fare isn't just difficult enough to get, then many of the most discriminating consumers don't want it anyway.

Ferrari's vehicles have been relatively inattainable forever largely by dint of their six-figure pricetags (and the brand unveiled a new, $1.3 million LaFerrari hybrid model at the Geneva auto show in March). But now Ferrari wants to make its goods even more exclusive by beginning to limit production. It's hoping a new tie-in with Apple will boost Ferrari's rarefied cachet even more.

The company plans to scale back sales to fewer than 7,000 vehicles this year to "maintain the exclusivity" of the brand. Ferrari sold 7,318 cars last year, and revenues so far this year have grown by about 4 percent over a year earlier.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

VW May Have Last Laugh Over Global-Domination Skeptics

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2011 05:07 PM

Volkswagen raised a lot of eyebrows five years ago when it vowed to become the world's No. 1 car maker, as measured by sales, by 2018. General Motors was still very much on the global throne then, and Toyota was its No. 1 threat.

But VW got with it and has become an extremely credible bet to carry out its pledge. It's even possible that — depending on how the three companies measure sales from their joint ventures in China — Volkswagen already could threaten to become the world's largest auto maker this year. VW certainly is vying with a resurgent GM and a wounded Toyota to meet its goal seven years early, as each of them closes in this month on around 8 million sales for the year.

VW has leapt ahead of expectations on the strength of a sales boom in China and in other emerging markets in recent years, acquisitions of other brands such as the Czech bargain-price marque Skoda, and a better-than-predicted surge back into the U.S. market with new products and VW's first U.S. assembly plant in decades, which makes the Passat in Chattanooga, Tenn. And let's not forget the well-oiled marketing buzz around the new Beetle.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Zales Adds Vera Wang and Romance to NFL Viewing

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 22, 2011 02:02 PM

In a development that will be appreciated by male football fans everywhere, "The Diamond Store" Zales has a new holiday season ad campaign.

And… it's actually not that bad. But the campaign message is nearly the same as two years ago, what changed?Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Heinz Gets Sophisticated, and Social

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 26, 2011 04:01 PM

Ketchup. This ever-present condiment is found in 97 percent of American households, according to market research firm Mintel. Heinz has snared 59 percent of the ketchup market, estimates Symphony IRI Group (whose figures do not include Walmart). Hunt is a distant second among brand names, with about 15 percent market share, while store brands make up close to 22 percent.

That's why one might consider Heinz the Coca-Cola of ketchup — and why Heinz is consciously cautious about brand extensions, especially those that tamper with its original formula. Clearly, the company does not want to repeat the colossal branding mistake made by Coca-Cola in the 1980s when it introduced newly flavored "New Coke" and, after consumer outrage, was forced to bring back the "old" Coke.

Founded in 1869, Heinz Ketchup remains true to its roots, with its original flavor still dominant. In recent years, the company has conservatively expanded its line to include No Salt Added, Organic, and "Simply Heinz" (no high fructose corn syrup) versions. Heinz has also added one flavor enhancement — a "Hot & Spicy" variety that includes a touch of Tabasco sauce.

Yet Heinz has stayed away from any dramatic departure from its landmark flavor, toying instead with packaging, such as wide-mouth bottles, plastic bottles and its newest "Dip & Squeeze" container, with three times as much ketchup as regular packets. Previously restricted to restaurants, Dip & Squeeze now sells in 10-packs at stores.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Australia’s Telstra Gets a Colorful Makeover

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2011 03:01 PM

Next time you are in Australia and a multicolored truck rolls by, don’t worry. It’s probably just the phone company.

Telstra, the nation’s largest telco and provider of voice, mobile, video (pay TV) and broadband Internet services (via its BigPond ISP), is in the midst of a major branding initiative with a new tagline that announces “Welcome to Life in Full Colour” and an advertising push whose song includes the line, "Get out your rainbow colors."

According to Telstra's press release, the company is wrapping itself in six colors (orange, green, turquoise, blue, purple and magenta) to symbolize "the diversity" of its customers and services.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Chevy Wants to Be Like Apple -- and Now Disney Too

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2011 03:10 PM

General Motors CEO Joel Ewanick has generated both praise and smirks by going public recently with the idea that Chevy should emulate Apple. But that worthy goal may not be as far-fetched as some allege.

It turns out that Apple isn't the only premier consumer brand inspiring Chevy these days. The brand and its dealers also are "partnering with [Walt] Disney around the customer experience," Alan Batey, Chevy's vice president of U.S. sales and service, told brandchannel. Chevrolet sales execs and a select group of 50 dealers just concluded a two-day leadership conference under the famous tutelage of Disney brand experts in Orlando, where the automotive folks learned -- as many thousands have done at Disney seminars before them -- how to spread figurative pixie dust over everything they do, particularly when it comes to actually retailing Chevy vehicles.Continue reading...

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