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sports in the spotlight

Branded Entertainment Extends FIFA World Cup Fever Off the Field

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 5, 2014 04:43 PM

In just over a month, the world's top soccer players will take to the field and do battle from June 12 to July 13 in soccer's quadrennial blockbuster event, the FIFA World Cup. Big brands, though, are already tangling and showing their soccer cred in hopes of winning the hearts and minds of the billions that get a glimpse of the World Cup. The Super Bowl is nothing compared with this.

With a relationship with FIFA dating back to 1974, and as an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 1978, Coca-Cola is celebrating this year's event with what it's billing as the largest marketing campaign in company history, entitled The World's Cup. Aimed at involving as many consumers as possible, the campaign kicked off in early April with a two-minute short film, called "One World, One Game."Continue reading...

brand strategy

Investors Unimpressed with Darden's Olive Garden Strategy (or New Logo)

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2014 05:41 PM

Darden Restaurants executives have launched a new logo and menu changes at Olive Garden that, they proclaimed, will lead to a "brand renaissance" for the chain as they're rolled out.

But activist investors Barington Capital Group says: Don't bother. They believe Darden should be selling Olive Garden as well as the Red Lobster chain that both they and the company agree should be separated. It feels that Darden should fully focus on its specialty unit that includes rising chains Capital Grille, LongHorn Steakhouse and Yard House to help overcome financial doldrums for the company that have continued for several years.

Darden CEO Clarence Otis made the case to investors this week that he and his executive team can revive a slumping Olive Garden chain at the same time that they bid adieu to Red Lobster, whose customer base has become increasingly promotion-oriented. Olive Garden will get fresh attention instead of the boot.Continue reading...

retail watch

New Image Fails to Boost Floundering RadioShack

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2014 12:52 PM

RadioShack Joe Magnacca has pulled every rabbit out of the retailer's tattered hat. The embattled electronics brand has shuffled executives, changed its logo, redesigned its stores, and even had one of the most popular Super Bowl commercials. 

But to no avail. RadioShack has continued its downward spiral and has announced with its fourth quarter earnings that it will close 1,100 of its retail locations after reporting dismal fourth-quarter numbers. 

Sales during the prime holiday-season were $935.4 million, down from the $1.17 billion made in the same quarter a year earlier and significantly lower than the $1.12 billion analysts, on average, were looking for, Reuters reports.

Stores that had been open for at least a year saw sales fall 19 percent. In 2012’s fourth quarter, the company’s net loss had been $63.3 million. This time, it was $191.4 million. The news inspired the company’s stock to drop almost 24 percent.Continue reading...

place branding

Cape Town's New Visual Identity Draws Ire from Government Penny-Pinchers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 3, 2014 08:03 PM

Cape Town, South Africa has unveiled a new logo, and with it came a whole lot of acrimony. 

The African National Congress is calling the new design, which cost R313,000, a waste of money, and one that didn't get the appropriate approvals from government representatives. It’s rather impressive that it received approval in the City Council considering the same meeting had to be stopped numerous times so order could be restored as multiple members were throwing their agendas onto the floor to protest another issue, the Independent Post reports

“The City of Cape Town had changed their strategy, and they required assistance in building a new brand centered on the idea of collaboration and shared responsibility,” David Blyth, group managing director of Yellowwood, the firm behind the new logo, told IOL.com. “For that reason, the primary objective of the design was to help the city build a reputation for the following things: 'opportunity, progress, shared responsibility, and inclusivity.'"Continue reading...


Reebok Realigns Visual Identity to Reflect Fitness Focus

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 3, 2014 01:54 PM

After 121 years in business, Reebok has only changed its logo three times. But the third alteration to the brand's visual identity is one that signifies a bigger shift in its strategy to attract new customers. 

"For 30 years we've been successfully making products for elite athletes in every imaginable sport, but what we haven't been able to do is inspire enough people to move," said Matt O'Toole, Reebok's Chief Marketing Officer, in a video posted on YouTube. "It's an invitation for all of of us to take part and fight against complacency for everyday people, not just super stars and elite athletes."

That's the motivation behind the brand's adoption of a new delta symbol that looks to capitalize on the "sport of fitness" trend powered by Reebok's strong affiliation with CrossFit. "The Reebok Delta has three distinct parts each representing the changes—physical, mental and social—that occur when people push themselves beyond their perceived limits and embrace an active and challenging life," the company said in a press release. 

The new logo has already been worked into the brand's CrossFit gear and will proliferate over other footwear and apparel lines throughout this month. The brand's Reebok Classics line will retain the older logo.Continue reading...

auto motive

FCA Gets the OK: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Establishes Global Structure

Posted by Dale Buss on January 29, 2014 12:33 PM

Chrysler and Fiat took a huge step today toward becoming the competitive, globally-minded automaker envisioned by CEO Sergio Marchionne when Fiat acquired Chrysler with the US government's help in 2009.

In a press announcement following its board meeting at Fiat HQ in Turin, Italy, the automaker revealed that the combined entity will be named Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, be incorporated in the Netherlands, have a tax-related fiscal domicile in the UK and enjoy a primary stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange with a secondary listing in Milan. Fiat Chrysler also unveiled a new corporate logo in simple, blue, sans serif initials spelling out "FCA."

There's still a lot on FCA's plate if it ever wants to join the top tier of global automotive giants.Continue reading...

auto motive

Lower, Longer, Leaner: Cadillac Drops Wreath to Reveal New Crest at NAIAS

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 15, 2014 12:35 PM

After 14 years, Cadillac is changing its look. The iconic GM luxury brand announced this week that it is replacing its wreathed logo with a "lower and wider" crest, following the design influences seen on other major carmakers like Chrysler and Bentley.

The new emblem was first shown back in August on the Elmiraj concept car, but was officially unveiled this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where executives said it would adorn all Cadillac models beginning the middle of this year.

"This new crest matches the lower, longer, leaner mantra of our current car designs," Andrew Smith, Cadillac's executive design director, said in a press release. The crest is based on the coat of arms for the family of Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, the founder of Detroit.Continue reading...


A&E Takes the Road Less Traveled with New 'Be Original' Rebrand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2014 03:47 PM

Anyone who has watched an episode of Duck Dynasty on A&E knows they don’t give three beignets about pretty much what anybody else thinks. They pride themselves on being renegades of sorts, truly originals. 

Now A&E has decided to follow suit. When the cable network launched back in 1984 as The Arts and Entertainment Network, its executives surely didn’t dream of a day when its lineup had such titles as Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel, and Storage Wars. But these are the shows that are drawing eyeballs today—the most in the industry, in some cases—and what TV exec doesn't like that?

To cater to its new tenants, the channel is moving away from its "Real. Life. Drama" tagline to “Be Original” and is emphasizing it by only running original programming in prime-time.Continue reading...

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