mobile brands

Vodafone Cut Costs by Pulling Sports Sponsorships

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2012 03:03 PM

Vodafone wasn’t quite ready for the information overload that the smartphone revolution brought to consumers. In late 2010, it got a slew of complaints and it lost a half million folks by the end of 2011 because of it, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

That let them with seven million consumers, a number that Vodaphone would clearly like to increase. So it has decided to pull some of its money out of marketing and throw it back into building a better network and creating better customer service.

Vodafone is not re-upping its 11-year sponsorship of the Australian cricket team and also ending its six-year relationship with V8 Supercars. Cricket Australia and Triple 8 Racing Engineering are seeking sponsors as a result of the telco's decision.

The company is also saving money following a decision by Telfonica and Vodafone “to extend their existing network sharing deal to create one single national grid,” according to This could help save “at least 25 percent of their network costs,” the site notes.

“Over the three years from now until 2015 when both parties expect to achieve 98 per cent indoor population coverage across 2G and 3G, the combined potential savings would be in excess of £600 million ($926 million),” analyst Emeka Obiodu commented.

Vodafone, which is also battling to turn around its reputation, also just signed a deal with Optus to form a mobile broadband joint venture in Australia.

health matters

Australia, the World's Happiest Country, is Butting Out

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 25, 2012 11:55 AM

The good folks of Australia are battling hard against the world’s powerful tobacco companies and they aren’t getting a ton of support from some of their brethren across the globe. Australia is planning to ban branded packaging for cigarettes and cigars, and big tobacco isn't having any of it.

The word from Reuters is that “the tobacco industry is providing legal advice to Ukraine and Honduras in their challenges to Australia's new tobacco packaging rules at the World Trade Organization.” These two countries are questioning the move purely for trade reasons since neither owns a big chunk of the Australian tobacco marketplace.

"We know that the tobacco companies, because they have admitted it, are providing legal advice to WTO members in order to encourage them to take action against Australia," said Australian Health Secretary Jane Halton to Reuters.Continue reading...

no kidding around

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Salutes Anti-Smoking Advocates

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2012 02:09 PM

The U.S. government's campaign to help smokers quit (and keep kids from starting the nasty habit) has led to calls to quit lines more than doubling. The main mind behind the campaign, Dr. Howard Koh, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, has been a force on the anti-smoking front for 20 years. He was involved in everything from the proposal to put highly graphic images on cigarette packaging and the movement to expand health insurance coverage for tobacco cessation.

While he’s been doing that, Australia’s Attorney General Nicola Roxon has also been hard at work trying to end the world’s fascination with cigarettes. While she was Health Minister in Australia, she launched the idea that all cigarette packs in the country should be sold in plain brown paper, which of course sent the legal departments of tobacco companies into a tizzy. As Attorney General, she is requiring that graphic warnings cover the large majority of the packs.

For their efforts, Koh and Roxon are being recognized at event in Washington, D.C. held by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which works to counter tobacco brands' marketing and frowns on advertising such as characters and other kid-friendly touches, such as Camel's pinkalicious print campaign at right.Continue reading...

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.

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