bc q&a

Storyteller-in-Chief: A Conversation With Levi's Global CMO Jennifer Sey

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 13, 2014 07:26 PM

On the Fourth of July in 2009, Levi's launched "Go Forth," a new voice and campaign for the Levi’s brand and Levi’s 501 jeans. The "striking" call to arms featured the words of Walt Whitman and summoned America's pioneering zeal. After taking the "Go Forth" platform global two years later, Levi's quietly phased out the tagline in 2012, and it has been without a global brand campaign—until now.

Levi's is in the midst of rolling out the "Live in Levi's Project," a multifaceted global campaign and digital platform (in partnership with AKQA) that features dynamic content to engage fans worldwide in the Levi's brand experience. Blending storytelling with social media, targeted content and e-commerce worldwide is no mean feat, which is why Levi's global chief marketing officer Jennifer Sey conducted extensive research before venturing into the world of shoppable videos, Weibo and WeChat, iBeacon and user-generated content and curation.

Sey, a 15-year veteran with Levi's who was promoted to global CMO a year ago, spoke with brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady about the vision and tactics informing the Live in Levi's platform and the challenge of channeling and elevating passion in such an iconic brand. As Sey commented, "If Levi’s isn’t an icon, I’m not sure what is!"Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Inspiration Behind Aunt Jemima Brand at the Heart of $2 Billion Lawsuit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 11, 2014 06:37 PM

Aunt Jemima stares down from grocery-store shelves with a beatific smile, but the woman who is supposedly the inspiration behind the brand has at least one great grandchild who isn’t too happy.

Last year, the progeny of Anna Short Harrington, whose descendants argue that she was the inspiration behind the Aunt Jemima brand and recipe and whose likeness served as the model for the brand, which was bought by Quaker Oats in 1935, discovered that the company “had trademarked Harrington's likeness and picture in 1937" and "determined that they were owed royalties,” Reuters reports.

Harrington's great-grandson, D.W. Hunter, filed a $2 billion lawsuit on August 5 against Quaker Oats Co., PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats, Pinnacle Foods and Hillshire Brands Co., for exploiting Harrington's image and recipe for years without paying an "equitable fair share of royalties" to her family.Continue reading...

retail

Aeropostale Crops Its Brand to Reveal Younger, Fresher AERO

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 4, 2014 01:46 PM

Aeropostale is just the latest former cool kids brand to give itself a facelift in light of increasing competition from fast fashion brands including Forever 21, H&M and Uniqlo. 

The clothing retailer has launched Aero Now with a campaign that shows off the brand's new visual and verbal identity in stores, with AERO now its name on its stores, on its website (even if the URL aero.com is already claimed) and across mobile and social media (as Mobile Commerce Daily noted) that's timed to this week's back-to-school push across North American retail.

Its new positioning is summarized in the tagline, "You've changed, so we've changed" — which hints at the major restructuring underway at the brand.Continue reading...

sporting brands

New Kit on the Block: Nike Cuts Manchester United Ties [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 8, 2014 02:08 PM

Soccer is the one category where Adidas has a significant market-share lead over archrival Nike and the latter would love to change that. For evidence, take a gander at how much Nike has invested in World Cup-related marketing.

As much as Nike would like to conquer the one last silo Adidas has, it apparently isn’t ready to open its wallets completely in order to continue being associated with the biggest-name football club in the world: Manchester United.

Nike’s 13-year deal to supply uniforms for the team ends next year and the pair have been in talks about an extension. Nike currently pays out around $40 million annually along with a percentage of merchandise sales to ManU, Bloomberg reports. Now the team is said to want $102.8 million each year—an amount that Adidas may be willing to pay—as Nike confirmed today that it will no longer sponsor the storied team.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Walmart Boosts Women-Owned Brands With Major Retail Push

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 3, 2014 05:36 PM

The world's biggest retailer is betting on women entrepreneurs in a big way. Starting in September, Walmart will carry a range of items by women, but not just for women, in its stores.

From lingerie to bathroom cleansers, Walmart shoppers will soon be able to spot and buy products made by female entrepreneurs thanks to a “women-owned” logo that resembles a ring of women with their arms around each other.

“Women perceive there’s a higher quality to a woman–owned product, that there's a real value in it,” commented Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which certifies women-owned businesses seeking US federal contracts.

As part of its bigger Empowering Women Together commitment, Walmart's goal by 2016 is to source 20 billion dollars worth of products from women-owned businesses. Already promoting women-owned brands on its website, the women-owned logo will now accompany these products into its stores.Continue reading...

trademark wars

BP Hopes to Prevail in Green Trademark Claim in Australia

Posted by Jerome McDonnell on July 3, 2014 12:56 PM

After more than 20 years of trying, BP has failed to convince the Australian government that its signature shade of green should be granted a trademark registration.

IP Australia, which administers that country’s intellectual property rights system, ruled on June 17 that it found no convincing evidence to support the petroleum giant’s efforts to protect the color shade Pantone 348C—despite the fact that the color has been central to the BP brand since the 1930s. While the company has the right (until July 17) to appeal, this decision is yet another setback for BP, which has successfully secured trademark registrations for the single color in markets including the UK, France, Iran and nearby New Zealand.

Australian retailer Woolworths, whose apple logo also utilizes the color green, had previously opposed BP’s attempts to register the color, and while some media reports have positioned this development as a huge victory for Woolworths, this latest update focuses on less the a war between two corporations but on whether the color, as BP seeks to protect it, actually functions as a trademark and warrants protection.Continue reading...

diversity watch

Burger King Courts LGBT Community and Millennials With Proud Whopper

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2014 12:21 PM

Pride Month may have just come to a close, but Burger King is looking to make it last a bit longer with the showcasing of its Proud Whopper, a burger sold in a San Francisco location during last week’s Gay Pride festivities that is no different from other Whoppers but came encased in brightly-colored paper.

When the burger was unwrapped, the text inside read, “We are all the same inside.” The brand unveiled a video today about the burger (watch below) as the chain is working “to connect with customers, particularly with the younger individuals fast-food chains are known for courting,” the Associated Press reports.

"A burger has never made me cry before," a young woman says in BK's pride burger spot. Reaching consumers on a personal level was also the rationale behind the brand’s recent replacement of its longtime “Have It Your Way” slogan with “Be Your Way.”Continue reading...

sporting brands

Change the Mascot Hails Cancellation of Washington Redskins Trademarks

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2014 11:56 AM

The fight against the Washington Redskins mascot just got a whole lot more interesting.

Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the organization's trademarks related to its team mascot after the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled that the marks were "disparaging" to Native Americans. 

While the trademarks are no longer viable, the team can continue to use them—though with no protection from unauthorized merchants that sell Redskins gear, a stipulation that could drive the team's valuation down over time.

The action was the result of a lawsuit against the team filed by “five Native Americans” eight years ago, the USPTO said. “This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath, told the Washington Post.Continue reading...

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