Penguin Love: It's That Time of the Year for John Lewis, the Store and the Man

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 6, 2014 01:48 PM

British retailer John Lewis has made headlines for itself since 2006 by putting out an annual short film holiday advertisement to great fanfare. Aside from being a heartwarming, music-driven spot, the ads always noticeably go out of their way to not showcase anything about the department store itself.

The videos have become an annual event of sorts for the department store, an indicator that the holiday shopping season is upon us. This year’s edition, revealed online today ahead of Friday's TV debut in the UK, tells the sweet story of a lad and his lovelorn Monty the penguin, set to British Breakthrough Artist nominee Tom Odell singing John Lennon’s Real Love.

There's also an in-store virtual reality experience, a mobile app, an online game and much, much more.Continue reading...


Campaign Watch: New Ads From Lexus, Coors Light, Toyota and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 4, 2014 07:14 PM

Lexus is promoting its RC 350 sport coupe and RC F performance coupe with a new campaign that "mirrors the story of the coupe itself—which was built from a blank canvas, unconstrained by existing designs and convention—and is centered on the theme of shattering limits."

Two new U.S. TV spots—"Face Off," starring actor Wes Bentley and directed by Sophie Muller and "From Road to Race Circuit" for the RC F—will be joined by a trio of spots targeting specific audience segments: "Flex Your Drive" for African Americans, "Shatter" for LGBT consumers and "Control Power," which targets Latinos. 

Other elements include a custom Lexus RC Flipboard magazine curating content from Esquire and Bon Appétit; a branded content partnership with Engadget and AOL called Your Brain on the RC F that will demonstrate "the science and technology behind the adrenaline rush associated with driving the RC F."Continue reading...


Gap Goes For Awkward, Remains Monosyllabic in Holiday Campaign

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 3, 2014 03:01 PM

It may be hard for any 20-something today to imagine, but there was a time when Gap was the coolest. Before the widespread invasion of H&M and its peers, Gap had a nation swing dancing—literally. In 1998 and 1999, Gap ads like "Swing Time" and "Swing a Go Go" had America be-bopping and the brand's stock price breaking $50 a share. Gap was cool, daddy-o.

Then, the party ended. Since 2000, Gap's share price has dropped below $10 twice (first in 2002, then again in 2009). More recently, it's managed to climb back to around $40, but largely because of billions and billions of dollars in buybacks since 2004, the most recent in Oct. 2004.

What Gap has not been able to buy back is its cool. From the (RED) campaign to throwback 1969 themes to celebrities—so, so many celebrities—to a desperate logo redesign in 2010, nothing has helped. So anyone's forgiven for rolling their eyes at the announcement that Gap was bringing in bleeding edge cool directors David Fincher and Sofia Coppola with the launch of a short art film series.Continue reading...


Honda Goes Jekyll and Hyde with Interactive Type R Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 31, 2014 05:12 PM

The new Honda Civic Type R is coming and the company wants the world to know that it isn’t just your everyday Civic. To illustrate the point, Honda UK has released an interactive short film, “The Other Side,” that allows viewers to immediately see the difference between the two models.

The video, made by W+K London, lets viewers toggle between two different segments, each featuring a different Civic. Each shot aligns with the same shot in the other film. One narrative is set during the day, and follows a dad picking his kids up from school and taking them to a surprise party. The other shot features the same man, but as a getaway driver in a big midnight heist.Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Lexus, Zegna, H&M, Sony and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 31, 2014 01:45 PM

The Pitch: "Out of this World" for Nike Football

The Plot: Superhero Cristiano Ronaldo journeys to El Clásico on behalf of the Mercurial Superfly CR7 shoes.

The Verdict: The World Cup may be over but Ronaldo remains as popular as ever. Watch it, along with the latest in branded entertainment and content, below.Continue reading...


Lincoln Launches in China With Moody, Artistic Advertising Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2014 03:31 PM

When Ford committed to revive its flagging Lincoln luxury franchise a couple of years ago, it wasn't publicly understood that then-CEO Alan Mulally actually wasn't wild about the idea. That partially explains why Ford has been so slow to actually reinvent Lincoln—as contrasted with just talking about it—and why current CEO Mark Fields still seems to have so far to go to make Lincoln a truly relevant and strong player in the luxury market again.

But that's not stopping Ford from moving ahead in its key market of China, where Lincoln this week officially launched a new line of vehicles specifically tailored for mainland tastes. Lincoln is promoting its mid-sized sedan, MKZ, in China, along with a smaller MKC utility vehicle, another new version of which is going on sale in the United States.

"We believe Lincoln's highly competitive products, coupled with its innovative and personalized ownership experience, will provide our customers with a totally differentiated offering on today's competitive luxury auto market in China," stated John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford China, in a press release.

Well aware that the Lincoln brand is virtually unknown in the market, a quartet of ads featuring Chinese artists is now rolling out to highlight the artistry and luxury of the marque.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Sprite and Kia Celebrate LeBron James Return With a Pickup Game and Ride

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 27, 2014 03:55 PM

LeBron James has returned to his home state of Ohio for the coming basketball season, and appears to be planning to stay there until he retires. This fact has been driven home so many times that even folks who don’t follow the NBA one iota are likely to know it. 

But Sprite has decided to once again share the story of how the 29-year-old—whose jerseys were burned on the streets of Cleveland only a few short years ago because of his decision to “abandon” the Buckeye State in order to move to Miami and win a few championship rings—is coming home to try and bring the city its first championship in any sport in half a century. 

While Sprite (and Beats by Dre before it) don't mention the burnt jerseys, their ads and mini-docs are all about how, in the end, home is where LeBron's heart is—and the fans are—as King James returns to his hometown.Continue reading...


OK Go Take Honda Robotic Unicycles for Spin in New Video

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 27, 2014 10:14 AM

YouTube music video darlings OK Go are back with their latest trick shot music video—and a new spin on product placement.

"I Won't Let You Down," the band's Busby Berkeley-esque new video which debuted this morning on NBC's The Today Show, features Honda's penguin-resembling, Segway-like UNI-CUB motorized unicycle from Honda's robotics division, along with the brand's drone-like "multi-copter camera" for the stunning overhead shots.  

According to a press release, the video "was directed by OK Go's Damian Kulash and Kazuaki Seki, with creative direction by Morihiro Harano (of Mori Inc.). Honda lent the band the futuristic UNI-CUBs seen in the video. The UNI-CUB is a unique omni-directional driving wheel system that is currently in the development stage."

Check out the video, and take a closer look at the part office chair, part unicycle UNI-CUB below.Continue reading...

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