chew on this

Obesity Wars: Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and 7-Eleven See the Lite

Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2012 06:33 PM

While they suffer from even more ignominy under a new glare induced by the HBO documentary series The Weight of the Nation, the roundly condemned purveyors of "junk" salt, sugar and calories aren't exactly lying low and saying their mea culpas. McDonald's, Coca-Cola and 7-Eleven are each fighting back in their own way.

Coca-Cola has launched a test of its own new "mid-calorie" sodas to join PepsiCo in trying once again the concept of a "hybrid" diet/non-diet drink even though other attempts by both companies to mine a moderately-minded market have failed. Coke plans to test Sprite Select and Fanta Select products this summer — with only half the calories, 70 of regular drinks per 12-ounce can — in test markets in Atlanta, Detroit, Louisville and Memphis.

Interestingly, Coke's new toe in the mid-calorie water will depend on a blend of sugar: Cargill's Truvia brand of natural sweetener stevia plus erythritol, a "sugar alcohol" (unlike the ingredients in PepsiCo's new, nationally available mid-cal, Pepsi Next, which includes sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup). That gives Coke a leg up on an "more natural" claim it might want to make for select beverages against Next.Continue reading...


62M View Chinese Love Story Is Really Australia Tourism Commercial

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 11, 2012 06:05 PM

Following the release of its second installment, China's microblog network Weibo was buzzing about the mini-series 再一次心跳 (Heartbeat Love). For a period, it was a top ten trending topic on the social website.

The "micro-film" is being broadcast online at China's video sharing site Tudou in five 45-minute segments. The story chronicles the dramatic romance of a young Chinese couple, played by wildly popular duo Rainie Yang and Show Luo.

The romance kicks off in Australia, which makes sense — the whole movie is funded by the The Australian Tourism Commission. We spoke with Leo Seaton, manager of media relations for Tourism Australia, about the unique branded entertainment campaign.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Increases Limited (Promotional) Attention Span

Posted by Dale Buss on May 4, 2012 04:14 PM

McDonald's has come a long way in its menu variety from variations on burgers, its iconic fries, the Fillet-O-Fish and Coke. And now the chain has incorporated its accelerated menu diversification as a main driver of sales and profits around the world.

In particular, McDonald's is relying on more "limited-time" offerings. The latest examples are a seasonal banana nut oatmeal, which will be available nationwide in the middle of May, and Cherry Berry Chiller, an iced drink that already is available everywhere. McDonald's began focusing on limited-time offers on a national scale last year after research showed that variety was a top priority for consumers, Wendy Cook, vice president of U.S. marketing, told USA Today.Continue reading...


Dove Expands Campaign for Real Beauty with Ad Makeovers

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 23, 2012 12:17 PM

Dove is continuing on its award-winning "campaign for real beauty" with a social twist in Australia, where women are invited via a Facebook app to replace ads that prey on women's insecurities with feel-good messages. Dubbed "The Ad Makeover by Dove," the Unilever-owned brand aims to make women feel good about themselves."Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Qantas Launches Discount Asian Airline, Biofuel Flights

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 26, 2012 11:45 AM

Australia's Qantas is expanding into Asia with a joint venture between budget carrier Jetstar and China Eastern airlines. The new regional discount airline, to be branded as Jetstar Hong Kong, will launch as HK's first low-cost carrier in mid-2013. Qantas also just announced it's launching Australia's first commercial flights using biofuels, with the first flight using SkyNRG's World Wildlife Fund-endorsed sustainable fuel scheduled for April 13th.


Nitro Infuses Brand With Aussie Attitude

Posted by Michael Waltzer on February 21, 2012 04:28 PM

Friendly technology. It may sound like an oxymoron to some, but through thoughtful branding and visual design, it can be portrayed as exactly that. Nitro, which offers a PDF conversion product, has just rebranded for that very reason.

The brand, which started in Australia in 2005 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, felt its visual identity did not reflect its culture, products, or approach. In short, they wanted a brand "we could be proud of." Below, find out how they rebranded and why.Continue reading...

package design

Kangaroo Cigarette Pack Swings at Australia’s Tobacco Laws

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 31, 2012 11:01 AM

Australia is getting tough with tobacco companies. The government there recently voted to ban branded packaging for cigarettes and only allow them to be sold in plain packages that only contain graphic warnings against smoking.

Several tobacco companies have taken legal action against the law and now a different form of payback has emerged: British American Tobacco's Winfield brand cigarettes sold in France “feature a picture of a kangaroo on the front, with a map of Australia and the words ‘An Australian Favourite,’” according to the Telegraph. The health warning, "Fumer tue," translated to "Smoking Kills."

The Aussie packaging, of course, is not sitting well with Australia’s Health Minister, Nicola Roxon.

“Many Australians are going to be outraged that a big tobacco company all the way round the world is using Australia's healthy lifestyle to market their deadly products," she stated. "What I think it's really showing is the sneaky levels that tobacco companies will go to encourage people to buy their products."

The legal case against the Australian government is set to be heard in April.

The Australian Society for Kangaroo Lovers probably isn’t happy about it, either.

brand challenges

Australian Surfboard Brands Battle Chinese Makers

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 5, 2012 02:40 PM

Made in China surfboards are taking market share from Australia's surfboard brands, according to Bloomberg. Blame undercutting on price by the Chinese manufacturers, along with rising production costs for the Aussies, who are also being slammed by "a strong currency that’s making their products less competitive overseas."

The dilemma, as Bloomberg puts it:

From Bells Beach to Brisbane, Australia’s board builders are facing a choice: close down, or try to preserve local designs and branding by applying them to products made abroad. “We have to adapt,” said Michelle Blauw, co-owner of Currumbin, Queensland-based D’Arcy Surfboards and president of the Australian Surf Craft Industry Association. “You can’t always point the finger and blame everybody else for the situation that you’re in.”

Another solution, beyond local branding and craftsmanship, is to better utilize digital marketing to more deeply engage with surf, board and action sports fans. Case in point: the D'Arcy Surfboards website offers a Japanese version, in addition to riding the social wave with a Facebook page and store, blog, on Google+ and on Twitter.

The Australian Surf Craft industry is also promoting "Made in Australia" labels to battle the cheaper imports and appeal to homegrown pride:Continue reading...

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