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...

brandcameo

'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."

in the spotlight

Lance Armstrong Loses Seven Titles In One Blow

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 22, 2012 10:01 AM

It took years of work and sacrifice to win seven straight Tours de France, but it only took a minute for all seven to be taken off the record of the now-disgraced Lance Armstrong.

The announcement finally came Monday morning that cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union (which couldn't catch Armstrong red-handed through 218 tests) was erasing the famed rider’s slate since there was plenty of evidence that Armstrong himself hadn’t exactly been clean during his cycling days, and was banning him for life from competing in the sport.

The man who made the Nike anti-doping commercial above has denied it vehemently, of course, but his fellow riders have one by one decided to talk about what they saw him do and how they were, well, Strongarmed into cooperating, as the New York Times reported in a damning recap of their testimony.In the wake of the ICU decision, one of Armstrong's last remaining sponsors — Oakley — announced it's severing ties with the cyclist.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Nike Shoe Drops as Lance Armstrong Resigns From Livestrong [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2012 10:29 AM

A week after the United States Anti-Doping Agency let loose a thousand pages of painful details about how Lance Armstrong and pretty much every other top American bicycle pro of the last decade doped, Nike has finally released its own news on the matter.

Following a protest at its Beaverton, Ore., HQ yesterday, Nike this morning confirmed it's dropping the athlete with two terse paragraphs, serving up a serious financial blow to Armstrong even though still continuing to support the Livestrong philanthropic brand he founded. The sports giant just released a limited-edition collection to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Livestrong, which promotes cancer awareness and healthy living, as part of a licensing deal that will continue.

Just as Joe Paterno's name was scrubbed from the Nike campus, Armstrong will also see his name removed from the fitness center on the Nike campus in Oregon, as CNN is reporting that Nike will remove his name from the building. In tandem with Nike's news, the disgraced cyclist also announced this morning that he was stepping down from his role as chairman of Livestrong.

The news prompted a mass exodus from Team Armstrong. On the heels of Nike's announcement, sponsor Anheuser-Busch announced it's dropping the cyclist when his deal as a Michelob Ultra brand ambassador ends on Dec. 31st. The Giro brand, which produced a custom $15,000 bike helmet for Armstong's 2010 Tour de France race and a branded line of helmets, also quit Team Armstrong, along with the Honey Stinger brand and, as the Wall Street Journal reports, RadioShack .

In all, Bloomberg estimates that Armstrong stands to lose $30 million as his sponsors flee.Continue reading...

personal brands

Tweetstrong: Lance Armstrong Survives Another Big Crash

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 12, 2012 11:34 AM

Racing, sports and Lance Armstrong fans are grappling with the man, the myth and the legend this week, as Armstrong remains, it seems, unperturbed in the aftermath of what appears to be damning evidence that he took performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied career.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report accused the U.S. Postal Service team under Armstrong of widespread doping and a cover-up that enabled Armstrong's seven straight Tour de France titles and involved a cover-up so officials never caught Armstrong via a drug test.

While many were saddened and disappointed, other fans and observers didn't care if he took performance-enhancing drugs with his teammates (who he allegedly "bullied") or on his own. For all we know, he may have taken them on a boat and on a train, with a goat and in the rain. But Armstrong himself appears "unfazed," as Reuters puts it, by Wednesday's report and the mounting accusations by others in the racing world.

Armstrong's personal response to the blow-up: he tweeted a link on Wednesday for a press release noting the 15th anniversary of the Livestrong foundation, commenting: "What am I doing tonight? Hanging with my family, unaffected, and thinking about this. http://bit.ly/Po6mXT #onward." He later tweeted a telling YouTube link, for the late singer Elliott Smith's song, "Everything's coming up roses."Continue reading...

personal brands

Boom Lowered on Lance Armstrong Brand With Damning USADA Report

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 10, 2012 03:17 PM

What is it about the living legends of sports? These larger-than-life heroes -- people like Barry Bonds, Tiger Woods, and Lance Armstrong — should be symbols of lasting integrity, yet they often seem to self-destruct, shocking their fans and shaming their sport.

Still, these personalities' brands somehow weather the storm and they move on. Woods, publicly debased for his marital infidelities in late 2009, proved the point when he finally won a tournament late last year, the first since his 2009 Australian Masters victory. The situation with Lance Armstrong, however, plays by a different set of rules. The world's greatest cyclist was disgraced by doping charges that resulted in his being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling. In August, Armstrong decided not to fight the charges, a move that many interpreted as admitting guilt without saying it.

Now, the boom is officially being lowered on Armstrong by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The organization announced on October 10 that it is releasing its "Reasoned Decision" in the Lance Armstrong case (click here for a PDF). The USADA called it "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."Continue reading...

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