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The Big Game

Heinz Wants Super Bowl Fans to See Red In Its 1st Big-Game Spot in 16 Years

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2014 08:12 PM

Commodity-type products and the Super Bowl typically don't make a match. In the world's ultimate advertising and branding platform, sizzle rather than steak seems to command the day. Luxury cars take on higher profiles. Even an actual commodity—pistachios—only comes clothed in the brand-building accoutrements created by the Wonderful brand.

So Heinz's decision to run a Super Bowl ad for the first time in the last 16 years is one of the more interesting opt-ins for Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 on Fox. Heinz plans a 30-second ad that will "highlight the belief that when someone picks up a bottle of Heinz Ketchup, they're triggering all the happy memories they've experienced over the years where Heinz was present," the company said.

OK. In any event, the decision is intriguing, as Advertising Age pointed out, for a company that "has traditionally spent very little on advertising, given its size." Heinz failed to crack the magazine's list of the nation's 100 top ad spenders in 2012, according to Kantar Media. In the UK, it has just launched a charity-related campaign for Heinz Soup.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Samsung, MillerCoors, Motorola and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2013 09:24 AM

In the News

Samsung launches major soccer-based campaign for Galaxy 11 as new phase of its trial against Apple begins.

MillerCoors cans lime-flavored Miller Chill after poor sales.

Motorola plans lower-cost phone.

Anheuser-Busch endorses consumer reach of Facebook.

Coca-Cola vows to engage suppliers on "land grabbing."

Google relents on YouTube ad measurement and expands Glass features into music.

Kellogg runs into trouble with "distasteful tweet" in UK.

McDonald's plans broad attack on CPG coffee aisle.

Merck launches pet-diabetes campaign.Continue reading...

The Big Game

Are You Ready for Some Football? Because Brands Are Ready for the Super Bowl

Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2013 07:04 PM

The first kickoff isn't even for two weeks yet, but already Fox is drooling at the possiblities for the post-season of the National Football League. That's because it seems likely to fetch around $4 million from brands for a 30-second spot in its broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, and it has already sold about 85 percent of its advertising inventory for the game.

That price wouldn't necessarily set a record, because CBS said it sold some ads for $4 million in its recent broadcast of the Super Bowl, according to Variety. But the figures do suggest that advertisers continue to covet the world's biggest marketing stage in part because it's the most-watched live event on the globe—and shows watched live on the TV screen keep disappearing.

"It's incredible the way people are attached to live sports, and certainly the NFL is the top of that," Neil Mulcahy, executive vice president of sales for Fox Sports Media Group, told the publication. "You know exactly the audience you're getting. You can figure out the kind of return on investment, becase it's always there."Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Despite Big Sponsors, NFL Draft Does Little to Bolster Big League Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 29, 2013 03:36 PM

Starting last Thursday, bigwigs from the NFL’s 32 teams gathered at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to select young players in the hopes that they would become the next John Elway, Gale Sayers, or O.J. Simpson. (Well, OK, maybe not O.J.)

Since 1980, the Draft has been televised and it audience has grown exponentially, with an expected viewership of 50 million for this past weekend's broadcast, Ad Age reports. With that kind of captive audience, sponsorships and advertisers have grown as well. There were 19 official sponsors of the event this year, up from 16 last year. The list included Anheuser-Busch, Nike, Verizon, Pepsi, GMC, Visa, EA Sports, Under Armour, Gatorade and Castrol. It's no doubt that the big names spent more than the $15 million spent across ESPN and the NFL Network last year and the $11.9 million spent the year before.

"To the credit of the NFL, it's the most robust league," Ernest Lupinacci, founder of branding consultancy Ernest Industries, told Ad Age. "They announced the [2013 regular season] schedule and people went crazy. It was as if they let us know they were bringing the McRib sandwich back."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: American Airlines, Deutsche Bank, Google Babble and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 20, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

American Airlines defends $20-million severance pay to CEO.

Deutsche Bank forced to restate 2012 profits due to U.S. lawsuits.

Google will package and brand chat services as Babble.

T-Mobile readies "Uncarrier" no-contract pricing plan and proposed board structure, while AT&T introduces no-contract wireless phone service and Sprintlaunches de-branded Android smartphones.

7-Eleven sues 7-SEVEN chain for trademark infringement.

Apple brand found to be less "inspiring" than it was three years ago in new consumer survey.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: QSR, Snack Brands Prepare for Their Peak Day

Posted by Dale Buss on February 1, 2013 04:51 PM

The Super Bowl is either an excuse for a phantasmagoria of purposeless eating, or the stage for a veritable symphony of snacking. Either way, QSR and CPG brands have been gearing up for Sunday for months — and not just in the game-day advertisements that are being run at great expense by Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, Coke, Doritos, Wonderful Pistachios and other kings of Super Bowl consumption.

Take Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, for example, both owned by Yum! Brands. This week, Pizza Hut expanded its "Hut. Hut. Hut" Super Bowl campaign it's been promoting on Facebook by offering all Americans a free sample of its latest "product innovation" on Tuesday afternoon at any of its 6,200 U.S. locations. The chain wouldn't reveal the nature of this innovation but said it'll become apparent by being integrated into the content of CBS's pregame show. All that is necessary to activate this promotion is for one of the quarterbacks to yell "Hut!" during the game — which seems very likely.

On the Taco Bell side of the company, the brand plans to introduce the new Cantina Bell Steak Burrito in a pregame ad and, of course, already has released its Super Bowl ad featuring young-at-heart seniors. Copy at the end of the ad  points viewers to Taco Bell's Facebook page, where consumers can participate in a "Live Mas Monday" on Feb. 4, during which a free churro willl be given away with any purchase during regular storehours at U.S. locations.Continue reading...


'Flight' Complaint Reveals Budweiser's Stunning Product Placement Success

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 6, 2012 09:55 AM

Be careful what you wish for is the lesson out of Hollywood for Budweiser. The King of Beers recently lodged a complaint, via Anheuser-Busch's legal eagles, about its brand appearing as the drink of choice for the alcoholic pilot played by Denzel Washington in the new thriller Flight.

While Stoli vodka is also up in arms at playing a role in Washington's "boozy downward spiral" in the movie, it's interesting that Bud — which is developing new flavors to woo American beer-drinkers back to the brand — had no such complaint when it was similarly depicted in some of this year's biggest films. Nor did Bud make a peep when it reaped an unknown amount of product placement value by appearing in a countless number of Hollywood's top films over the last decade.

But then, maybe not so countless and maybe not so unknown. Brandchannel has some Budweiser product placement numbers.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Anheuser-Busch Donates 1M Cans of Water to Hurricane Sandy Victims

Posted by Trent Edison on November 1, 2012 10:01 AM

According to the company's press release, "Anheuser-Busch will begin packaging 44,000 cases of emergency drinking water – or 1,056,000 cans – this week for residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters. More than 4,000 cases of canned water are already en route to Anheuser-Busch distributors Harrison Beverage in Pleasantville, N.J., and Ritchie & Page Distributing in Robbinsville, N.J., and will be available to American Red Cross and other local disaster relief organizations later today. More than 10,000 cases have been requested for Brooklyn, N.Y., alone.

The Anheuser-Busch Foundation also announced a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross to assist in on-the-ground support for disaster relief workers and victims of Hurricane Sandy. "The devastation left by Hurricane Sandy is significant, and we hope our donation will bring some relief to those impacted by the storm, especially those hardest hit in New Jersey and New York," said Margarita Flores, VP of Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch.

Anheuser-Busch is the founding sponsor of the American Red Cross Ready Rating Program through a $2.1 million grant. Ready Rating is a program that helps businesses, schools and organizations become prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Anheuser-Busch continues to support Ready Rating by encouraging businesses, schools and organizations to familiarize themselves with the Ready Rating Program to help ensure the safety of their teams. Helping communities cope with disasters has been an Anheuser-Busch tradition since 1906 when the company made a donation to victims of the San Francisco earthquake.

Today, in addition to providing monetary support, Anheuser-Busch packages fresh drinking water and donates it to emergency relief organizations for distribution to those in need. Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch has donated more than 71 million cans of emergency drinking water following natural and other disasters."

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