Teens Deliver Word of Mouth

There were also large gaps when it comes to products/services in “telecommunications” (63 percent of the 13-17s, 39 percent of the general public), “retail & apparel” (59 percent vs. 38 percent), “sports, recreation & hobbies” (63 percent vs. 42 percent) and “personal care & beauty” (45 percent vs. 26 percent).

The research tabulated the brands that get the most word of mouth from 13-17-year-olds. The top 10: Coca-Cola, Apple Computer, Verizon, iPod, Ford, Pepsi, McDonald’s, AT&T, Sony and Nike. For comparison, the top 10 among total respondents consisted of Coca-Cola, Verizon, Walmart, AT&T, Pepsi, Ford, Apple Computer, McDonald’s, Sony and Dell.


– Mark Dolliver, Adweek
Anyone who has tried to shut a teenager up will be unsurprised to learn that teens produce a disproportionate amount of “word of mouth” about products and services. A recent report from Keller Fay Group has the numbers to document this phenomenon.

Based on data collected during a one-year period (July 2009 through June 2010), the report says teens “engage in a significantly higher level of word of mouth about all categories than the total public.” For instance, 78 percent of 13-17-year-olds, vs. 57 percent of the general public, engaged in word of mouth about “media & entertainment” brands during that period; 67 percent of 13-17s, vs. 39 percent of the public in general, talked about “technology” products. Leer más “Teens Deliver Word of Mouth”

A Good Housekeeping Seal for the Twitter Age

Aiming to be a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for the social media age, a startup called TwitterMoms is working with Procter & Gamble and Quickie Manufacturing to get its ratings on their products in stores. In a modern twist, the ratings and reviews will be accessible instantly via QR codes printed on product packaging.

Megan Calhoun, founder of TwitterMoms—which boasts 30,000 “influential” mommy bloggers (each member has at least 1,000 followers on Twitter)—said the organization introduced the initiative to provide a one-stop, reliable source of product information for moms.

“The way product reviews were done before, there was no credibility, no easy way to access [all that was being said] about a product—to the point where the [Federal Trade Commission] stepped in,” Calhoun said, referring to the FTC’s stringent rules governing blogger-marketer relationships.


– Elaine Wong | //brandweek.com
Aiming to be a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for the social media age, a startup called TwitterMoms is working with Procter & Gamble and Quickie Manufacturing to get its ratings on their products in stores. In a modern twist, the ratings and reviews will be accessible instantly via QR codes printed on product packaging.

Megan Calhoun, founder of TwitterMoms—which boasts 30,000 “influential” mommy bloggers (each member has  at least 1,000 followers on Twitter)—said the organization introduced the initiative to provide a one-stop, reliable source of product information for moms.

“The way product reviews were done before, there was no credibility, no easy way to access [all that was being said] about a product—to the point where the [Federal Trade Commission] stepped in,” Calhoun said, referring to the FTC’s stringent rules governing blogger-marketer relationships.

For marketers, the benefits are twofold: They get customer feedback on products and marketing strategies, and they’re able to escape some of the finger-pointing that comes from sending bloggers new products, often in hopes of getting gushy reviews.

In the case of TwitterMoms, women are given product samples to try and evaluate at home, and then asked to offer honest and practical feedback for both marketers and their peers. Panels usually consist of 25 to 30 “experts,” and the groups are drawn from a subset of 1,200 TwitterMoms members. (The goal is to capture a subgroup that’s best representative of its community, Calhoun said.)

The organization then works with the advertiser to come up with a set of criteria for evaluating the product. If the product “meets or exceeds” all guidelines 85 percent or more of the time, the marketer is awarded a “Moms Like This” seal of approval.

Companies pay TwitterMoms to assemble the groups and for the rights to run the ratings information. TwitterMoms, in turn, pays panelists for their contributions. The setup is designed this way so that the women aren’t taking money from the companies they’re reviewing.

Augie DeLuca, chief marketing officer for Quickie, said the primary appeal was the opportunity to gain “unbiased and objective feedback” from bloggers. The Cinnaminson, N.J.–based company next month will launch its first product carrying TwitterMoms’ seal of approval: an improved version of its Microfiber Twist Mop.

Following a six-week evaluation process by moms, Quickie garnered insights on how to improve the “efficacy and efficiency” of its mop. Research showed that 96 percent of the moms who tried it would “recommend it to their peers,” the company found.

Leer más “A Good Housekeeping Seal for the Twitter Age”

NFL Buzz: Coors Leads Light Beer Category

Many of the top-selling beer brands have been losing sales volume, as recession-stricken consumers have cut back their alcohol consumption or sought out cheaper brews. But that hasn’t stopped leading brands form launching new ads this NFL season. In fact, Miller Lite, Coors Lite and Bud Light have all moved up in buzz score with men over 21, per market research firm YouGov.

The Brandweek BrandIndex Report by YouGov is a weekly consumer perception report that analyzes the most talked about brands based on buzz: The scores are based on weighing positive and negative perceptions of a brand. A +100 score is positive, a -100 score is negative, and a rating of zero means that the score is neutral. This week’s report also measures consumer willingness to recommend a brand.

YouGov interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.

The report spotlights:

• Beer brands
• Nissan
• Quaker Oats

Beer Brands Eye NFL Fans
The 2010-2011 NFL season has kicked off with an onslaught of new beer advertising.

In several major cities, MillerCoors has been tinkering with its product longevity by offering a new $20 draft beer box that keeps the product fresh for about 30 days. Both Miller Lite and Coors Lite are served in 1.5-gallon Home Draft boxes.

Leading up to kick off time, Coors Lite has improved the most, jumping from 36.7 at the beginning of August, leapfrogging the other two brands, and ending up at its current score of 53. Bud Light spent most of August in the low to mid 30s but then took off just before Labor Day, hitting 45.9 in time for the first game. Miller Lite hit a peak around Labor Day at 51.1 and has since drifted down slightly.



http://www.brandweek.com

Many of the top-selling beer brands have been losing sales volume, as recession-stricken consumers have cut back their alcohol consumption or sought out cheaper brews. But that hasn’t stopped leading brands form launching new ads this NFL season. In fact, Miller Lite, Coors Lite and Bud Light have all moved up in buzz score with men over 21, per market research firm YouGov.

The Brandweek BrandIndex Report by YouGov is a weekly consumer perception report that analyzes the most talked about brands based on buzz: The scores are based on weighing positive and negative perceptions of a brand. A +100 score is positive, a -100 score is negative, and a rating of zero means that the score is neutral. This week’s report also measures consumer willingness to recommend a brand.

YouGov interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.

The report spotlights:

•    Beer brands
•    Nissan
•    Quaker Oats

Beer Brands Eye NFL Fans
The 2010-2011 NFL season has kicked off with an onslaught of new beer advertising.

In several major cities, MillerCoors has been tinkering with its product longevity by offering a new $20 draft beer box that keeps the product fresh for about 30 days. Both Miller Lite and Coors Lite are served in 1.5-gallon Home Draft boxes.

Leading up to kick off time, Coors Lite has improved the most, jumping from 36.7 at the beginning of August, leapfrogging the other two brands, and ending up at its current score of 53. Bud Light spent most of August in the low to mid 30s but then took off just before Labor Day, hitting 45.9 in time for the first game. Miller Lite hit a peak around Labor Day at 51.1 and has since drifted down slightly.

Leer más “NFL Buzz: Coors Leads Light Beer Category”

Timberland Offers 3D View of Earthkeepers

Leagas Delaney is the agency behind the print and TV ads; Holst created the 3D window displays and microsite.

This is not the first time that Timberland has boasted its green initiatives. Last October, the footwear and apparel brand tapped singer Wyclef Jean as its “Earthkeeper hero.” The two partnered on a U.S. campaign to promote environmental and humanitarian efforts in Haiti.

Several months later, the company began running a series of outdoor, environment-themed events in 10 U.S. cities as part of its 2009 sponsorship of the Green Apple Festival, an annual music and Earth Day awareness event. The brand launched a contest in conjunction with the event to promote the Earthkeepers line.


– Elena Malykhina
Timberland is putting its best foot forward in a new global campaign showcasing the Earthkeepers collection of eco-friendly apparel.

The effort, dubbed “Nature Needs Heroes,” includes TV, print and retail ads, as well as social media and a microsite that uses 3D technology to help consumers become better acquainted with Earthkeepers. The site allows users to examine a frozen moment on screen at a 360-degree angle.

Retail ads, too, utilize 3D technology. Starting Thursday, select store windows in the U.S. started featuring oversized graphics, which consumers can bring to life using 3D glasses handed out in stores. Point-of-purchase displays show an x-ray image of the Earthkeepers 2.0 boot, touting the company’s use of recycled materials.

In the past, Timberland focused on traditional elements like TV and print, said Jim Davey, Timberland’s vp of global marketing. “This is the first time we’ve reflected new media realities with additional elements like 3D microsites and interactive windows in our retail stores,” he said.

Furthermore, Timberland aims to drive its eco-friendly message home through TV and print ads, which focus on a “lost bottle.” The humorous ads depict a man chasing a runaway water bottle so that he can recycle it. TV spots will air in the U.S., Europe and Asia during live sports, primetime and late night programs. And those consumers who want to create their own heroic moments can do so using Timberland’s Earthkeepers Facebook app, called “Virtual Forest,” which debuts later this month.

“We’re finding that consumers are being drawn to the styling and performance of the new Earthkeepers collection, but it’s also the most environmentally-innovative collection of products we’ve ever launched,” said Davey. “Great products that happen to be more sustainable makes for a great story.” (Timberland has had a good year so far, with sales growing in the high teens, said Matt Powell, an analyst at SportsOneSource.) Leer más “Timberland Offers 3D View of Earthkeepers”

Brand Icons ‘Guest Star’ in Xerox Campaign

The ads are meant to show how Xerox enables each of these businesses to succeed, illustrated by the various tasks each of the brand mascots juggles. A print ad featuring Mr. Clean, for instance, has him wiping a table while attempting to copy a pile of documents. The copy reads: “We focus on digitizing P&G’s documents worldwide. So they don’t have to.”

So what’s the underlying message? “When you’ve got Xerox working behind the scenes, you have the freedom to focus on your core and real business,” Carone said.

Tony Granger, global chief creative officer at WPP-owned Y&R, said the mascots function as a sort of customer testimonial, albeit with a unique spin. “At the end of the day, Xerox is about helping customers be successful, and using their customers’ brand icons was a fun way of saying that,” he said.


– Elaine Wong
Xerox is prepping a new campaign, via Y&R, New York, as part of an effort to position itself as more than just a printer and copier maker. The effort spans TV, print, out-of-home and digital, and is one of the largest brand initiatives in decades for Xerox.

The move follows the company’s acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services in February, making it a bigger player in the information technology space. Valued at $6 billion, the deal nearly tripled Xerox’s services business, said chief marketing officer Christa Carone.

Dubbed “Ready for real business,” the campaign launches next Tuesday. Notable in the ads is Xerox’s use of well known brand mascots: Procter & Gamble’s Mr. Clean, Target’s Bullseye dog and the Marriott Hotels & Resorts’ bellman, to name a few. All of the icons featured in the ads are current Xerox clients, Carone said.
Leer más “Brand Icons ‘Guest Star’ in Xerox Campaign”

MasterCard Brings E-Commerce to City Streets

For the past month, MasterCard has been running an out-of-home campaign to promote its MarketPlace e-commerce site. The goal? To get consumers’ attention both online and offline.

The credit card brand has put up storefront ads featuring black-and-white vinyl panels and taglines like: “A Smarter Way to Shop Online” and “Where Bargains Find You.” The effort, which includes ads in New York, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia, wraps up this month.

The displays, set up in busy retail locations, consist of motion sensor-activated screens on which items like a purse, laptop and sneaker pop up when someone walks by. There is also a mobile component: Pedestrians can view the latest offers via MasterCard MarketPlace’s RSS feed and e-mail deals to themselves.

MasterCard hopes “to capitalize on consumers’ dual online-offline shopping behavior by directly placing the MasterCard MarketPlace ‘shop smarter’ message within the physical, brick-and-mortar shopping experience,” said Cheryl Guerin, the company’s svp of digital marketing. Storefronts were a “natural channel extension,” she said.


– Elaine Wong
For the past month, MasterCard has been running an out-of-home campaign to promote its MarketPlace e-commerce site. The goal? To get consumers’ attention both online and offline.

The credit card brand has put up storefront ads featuring black-and-white vinyl panels and taglines like: “A Smarter Way to Shop Online” and “Where Bargains Find You.” The effort, which includes ads in New York, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia, wraps up this month.

The displays, set up in busy retail locations, consist of motion sensor-activated screens on which items like a purse, laptop and sneaker pop up when someone walks by. There is also a mobile component: Pedestrians can view the latest offers via MasterCard MarketPlace’s RSS feed and e-mail deals to themselves.

MasterCard hopes “to capitalize on consumers’ dual online-offline shopping behavior by directly placing the MasterCard MarketPlace ‘shop smarter’ message within the physical, brick-and-mortar shopping experience,” said Cheryl Guerin, the company’s svp of digital marketing. Storefronts were a “natural channel extension,” she said. Leer más “MasterCard Brings E-Commerce to City Streets”

Fashion Brands Still Wary About Using Social Media

When visitors land on fashion and design blog The Lil Bee, they’ll notice something unusual. In the upper right corner of the page sits a graphical rendering of poppy flowers sprouting across the page with the message “You’ve found a poppy” and an invitation to “follow the poppy trail.”

The Lil Bee is one of hundreds of blogs that are part of a network stitched together this month in a social media campaign from fashion brand Coach. The bloggers have added a small piece of code to their sites that acts as a mini-discovery tool, along with a game for users to grow the poppy image on the site by their visits or using Twitter to broadcast a message.

The Poppy Project, which promotes Coach’s Poppy line of affordable but still luxury fashions, is an unusual approach for the fashion world, which has built brands in traditional media with lush images and an aspirational message. These approaches run counter to the ethos of social media, where sharing and connectivity rule the roost.

Coach leaned on Facebook to launch Poppy a year ago. It tapped into its fan base — now nearly 1 million — and gave Facebook fans a gift when they visited the store. In postlaunch research, store managers reported many customers said they initially heard of the line from Facebook, according to David Duplantis, svp of global Web and digital media at Coach. “We felt the organic nature of poppies growing in social media was a home run,” he said.

Yet many fashion brands, particularly those in the luxury category, remain wary of social media. Instead, visit the sites of major fashion names like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and you’ll find pretty much the digital equivalent of Vogue: lots of glossy photos and little in the way of interaction. Diana Hong, creative director at Create the Group, a New York digital shop that specializes in fashion, said the rather simple step of adding a Facebook “Like” button can worry fashion clients who zealously guard their brand image around exclusivity.

“Being open to social media has been challenging because it’s almost too open for them,” she said. “They’re worried about how their brand is perceived.”


Brian Morrissey, Adweek
When visitors land on fashion and design blog The Lil Bee, they’ll notice something unusual. In the upper right corner of the page sits a graphical rendering of poppy flowers sprouting across the page with the message “You’ve found a poppy” and an invitation to “follow the poppy trail.”

The Lil Bee is one of hundreds of blogs that are part of a network stitched together this month in a social media campaign from fashion brand Coach. The bloggers have added a small piece of code to their sites that acts as a mini-discovery tool, along with a game for users to grow the poppy image on the site by their visits or using Twitter to broadcast a message.

The Poppy Project, which promotes Coach’s Poppy line of affordable but still luxury fashions, is an unusual approach for the fashion world, which has built brands in traditional media with lush images and an aspirational message. These approaches run counter to the ethos of social media, where sharing and connectivity rule the roost.

Coach leaned on Facebook to launch Poppy a year ago. It tapped into its fan base — now nearly 1 million — and gave Facebook fans a gift when they visited the store. In postlaunch research, store managers reported many customers said they initially heard of the line from Facebook, according to David Duplantis, svp of global Web and digital media at Coach. “We felt the organic nature of poppies growing in social media was a home run,” he said.

Yet many fashion brands, particularly those in the luxury category, remain wary of social media. Instead, visit the sites of major fashion names like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and you’ll find pretty much the digital equivalent of Vogue: lots of glossy photos and little in the way of interaction. Diana Hong, creative director at Create the Group, a New York digital shop that specializes in fashion, said the rather simple step of adding a Facebook “Like” button can worry fashion clients who zealously guard their brand image around exclusivity.

“Being open to social media has been challenging because it’s almost too open for them,” she said. “They’re worried about how their brand is perceived.” Leer más “Fashion Brands Still Wary About Using Social Media”

Who Needs The Internet Anyway?


– Mark Dolliver, Adweek

Twenty-one percent of America‘s adult population is a big market—an audience marketers would be unlikely to shun. But perhaps they overlook it as they seek to exploit the latest iterations of the Internet. Odd as it may seem to the Web-obsessed, a report issued this month by the Pew Research Center‘s Internet & American Life Project says 21 percent of U.S. adults don’t use the Internet at all. Leer más “Who Needs The Internet Anyway?”

American Apparel collapse told through 10 of its advertisements

By David Kiefaber on Thu Aug 26 2010

AaFlavorwire’s exploration of American Apparel’s decline, as shown through the clothing company’s slapdash advertising, is like watching a clown die: sad, sobering, but still funny. That its owner is a sexist mongrel is well-known, but Dov Charney’s transgressions have been far from the only problem at a company that never settled on what image it wanted. Its models were either blankly parading their scanties with gonzo-porn production values (the “Pyramide Humaine” ad is especially gross) or trying to look casual in boyishly ugly, unflattering designs. Sometimes there weren’t any AA products in the ads at all. Now, a certain amount of cheeky camp has always been part of AA’s brand, often literally. Which is fine, but they had trouble deciding how seriously to take themselves, and now the company is in danger of being removed from the NYSE.


By David Kiefaber on Thu Aug 26 2010

AaFlavorwire’s exploration of American Apparel’s decline, as shown through the clothing company’s slapdash advertising, is like watching a clown die: sad, sobering, but still funny. That its owner is a sexist mongrel is well-known, but Dov Charney‘s transgressions have been far from the only problem at a company that never settled on what image it wanted. Its models were either blankly parading their scanties with gonzo-porn production values (the “Pyramide Humaine” ad is especially gross) or trying to look casual in boyishly ugly, unflattering designs. Sometimes there weren’t any AA products in the ads at all. Now, a certain amount of cheeky camp has always been part of AA’s brand, often literally. Which is fine, but they had trouble deciding how seriously to take themselves, and now the company is in danger of being removed from the NYSE. Leer más “American Apparel collapse told through 10 of its advertisements”

Kellogg’s Times Square Strategy Pops

Branded retail locations have helped sell computers and footwear for years. Now, toaster pastries are getting in on the action, with one iconic brand enjoying significant buzz from its recent foray into New York’s Times Square.

Pop-Tarts World debuted Aug. 11 at 42nd Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway. Joining other packaged-goods brands like M&M and Hershey in establishing a retail fixture at one of the world’s great crossroads, P-T World boasts an everything Pop-Tarts-inspired café (menu items include ants on a log and the Fluffer Butter) and fan merchandise. The store sees 1,500 to 2,000 visitors per day.

Since the launch, the brand’s buzz has improved on the Web, with positives rising to 88 percent from 74 percent before the brick-and-mortar launch, per interactive marketing shop Zeta Interactive. Some of the words most commonly associated with Pop-Tarts are “memory/memories,” “great” and “fun,” Zeta found — solid associations for any brand. Plus, the tone of posts surrounding the brand has become more positive as well.

The brand is even overtaking familiar competitors. Measured in terms of average daily volume (i.e., the number of online daily posts), Pop-Tarts’ popularity is currently 16 percent higher than Wheaties, 18 percent above Cheerios, 22 percent more than Frosted Flakes and well ahead of breakfast food juggernaut Quaker Oats at 84 percent.

That says a lot about the brand, particularly one that has taken a backseat to more healthful (and non-toaster-required) grab-and-go morning fare like Kellogg siblings Nutri-Grain, Kashi and Special K.


– Elaine Wong
Branded retail locations have helped sell computers and footwear for years. Now, toaster pastries are getting in on the action, with one iconic brand enjoying significant buzz from its recent foray into New York’s Times Square.

Pop-Tarts World debuted Aug. 11 at 42nd Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway. Joining other packaged-goods brands like M&M and Hershey in establishing a retail fixture at one of the world’s great crossroads, P-T World boasts an everything Pop-Tarts-inspired café (menu items include ants on a log and the Fluffer Butter) and fan merchandise. The store sees 1,500 to 2,000 visitors per day.

Since the launch, the brand’s buzz has improved on the Web, with positives rising to 88 percent from 74 percent before the brick-and-mortar launch, per interactive marketing shop Zeta Interactive. Some of the words most commonly associated with Pop-Tarts are “memory/memories,” “great” and “fun,” Zeta found — solid associations for any brand. Plus, the tone of posts surrounding the brand has become more positive as well.

The brand is even overtaking familiar competitors. Measured in terms of average daily volume (i.e., the number of online daily posts), Pop-Tarts’ popularity is currently 16 percent higher than Wheaties, 18 percent above Cheerios, 22 percent more than Frosted Flakes and well ahead of breakfast food juggernaut Quaker Oats at 84 percent.

That says a lot about the brand, particularly one that has taken a backseat to more healthful (and non-toaster-required) grab-and-go morning fare like Kellogg siblings Nutri-Grain, Kashi and Special K. Leer más “Kellogg’s Times Square Strategy Pops”

Nissan Leaf Falls on the Side of ‘Innovation’

Earlier this year, when Toyota was facing its PR disaster over recalls of faulty anti-lock brakes and accelerator pedals, Rob Schwartz said Nissan looked at the situation and asked, “Why do we have to be No. 3?”

Nissan, which Schwartz dubbed an “alternative” Japanese brand that formerly stood for performance and design, is attempting to change that with a big boost in ad spending and a new campaign built around the theme, “Innovation for all.”

Schwartz, chief creative officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day, said the Toyota episode “opened our minds” to the fact that an opportunity existed. The strategy, outlined in the agency’s new campaign, is to own “innovation” in the auto category by using Leaf, the brand’s electric car, as a halo.

The “Innovation for all campaign” soft launched in July with a TV spot featuring Lance Armstrong bemoaning all the tailpipes he’s followed over the past 20 years of biking. Then Armstrong lauds the Leaf, which he notes is “100 percent electric, no tailpipe.”

Nissan is breaking five more spots echoing the theme, including one called “Innovations” that celebrates new technologies the brand is introducing, like smart phone apps and the use of recycled materials in the cars. On Sept. 9, the brand plans to introduce “Polar Bear,” which takes on global warming by showing the threatened species hugging a consumer who bought the Leaf.

Jon Brancheau, vp, marketing at Nissan North America, said the Leaf is meant to be the “poster child of innovation” for the brand. Brancheau acknowledged that the model, which goes on sale in December at $32,780 (not including a $7,500 federal tax credit), is not for everyone. He said communication at the dealer level will stress that the model only gets about 100 miles per charge, so it wouldn’t be ideal for long trips.


– Todd Wasserman
Earlier this year, when Toyota was facing its PR disaster over recalls of faulty anti-lock brakes and accelerator pedals, Rob Schwartz said Nissan looked at the situation and asked, “Why do we have to be No. 3?”

Nissan, which Schwartz dubbed an “alternative” Japanese brand that formerly stood for performance and design, is attempting to change that with a big boost in ad spending and a new campaign built around the theme, “Innovation for all.”

Schwartz, chief creative officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day, said the Toyota episode “opened our minds” to the fact that an opportunity existed. The strategy, outlined in the agency’s new campaign, is to own “innovation” in the auto category by using Leaf, the brand’s electric car, as a halo.

The “Innovation for all campaign” soft launched in July with a TV spot featuring Lance Armstrong bemoaning all the tailpipes he’s followed over the past 20 years of biking. Then Armstrong lauds the Leaf, which he notes is “100 percent electric, no tailpipe.”

Nissan is breaking five more spots echoing the theme, including one called “Innovations” that celebrates new technologies the brand is introducing, like smart phone apps and the use of recycled materials in the cars. On Sept. 9, the brand plans to introduce “Polar Bear,” which takes on global warming by showing the threatened species hugging a consumer who bought the Leaf.

Jon Brancheau, vp, marketing at Nissan North America, said the Leaf is meant to be the “poster child of innovation” for the brand. Brancheau acknowledged that the model, which goes on sale in December at $32,780 (not including a $7,500 federal tax credit), is not for everyone. He said communication at the dealer level will stress that the model only gets about 100 miles per charge, so it wouldn’t be ideal for long trips. Leer más “Nissan Leaf Falls on the Side of ‘Innovation’”

AmEx Serves Up Deeper U.S. Open Integration

American Express has launched a digital site that will help consumers experience the U.S. Open up close when the tennis tournament kicks off next week.

The site, NextContenders.com, allows fans to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the games’ players, specifically, John Isner (shown), Sam Querrey, Caroline Wozniacki and Melanie Oudin. It’s part of a sponsorship deal AmEx has inked with the U.S. Open. (The financial services company is a 17-year sponsor of the event.)

At NextContenders, visitors can watch a video on “what does it take?” to be a rising tennis star, as well as follow tweets and read short posts (written by bloggers) about the players. The approach is designed to bring fans “closer to the sport they love with unique experiences and a fresh perspective on the game,” said Jessica Igoe, sponsorship marketing director at AmEx.


– Elaine Wong

American Express has launched a digital site that will help consumers experience the U.S. Open up close when the tennis tournament kicks off next week.

The site, NextContenders.com, allows fans to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the games’ players, specifically, John Isner (shown), Sam Querrey, Caroline Wozniacki and Melanie Oudin. It’s part of a sponsorship deal AmEx has inked with the U.S. Open. (The financial services company is a 17-year sponsor of the event.)

At NextContenders, visitors can watch a video on “what does it take?” to be a rising tennis star, as well as follow tweets and read short posts (written by bloggers) about the players. The approach is designed to bring fans “closer to the sport they love with unique experiences and a fresh perspective on the game,” said Jessica Igoe, sponsorship marketing director at AmEx. Leer más “AmEx Serves Up Deeper U.S. Open Integration”

More Marketers Start Blogging

In many studies, company use of social networks and Twitter outpaces the use of blogs, but the platforms are not mutually exclusive. “Companies are finding that blogs fill a specific niche that other forms of social media do not,” said eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna.

“Marketers perceive blogs to have the highest value of any social media in driving site traffic, brand awareness, lead generation and sales-as well as improving customer service,” Verna added.


eMarketer Staff

More companies are using blogs as marketing tools, according to a new report from eMarketer.

The firm estimates that one in three companies will have a public-facing blog for marketing this year, rising to 43 percent by 2012. Leer más “More Marketers Start Blogging”

Ford Returns as ‘White Collar’ Sponsor

Beginning Tuesday, August 17, USA’s dedicated White Collar site will host a series of exclusive videos featuring actress Marsha Thomason behind the wheel of a Ford Fusion Hybrid. (Thomason’s role as special agent Diana Barrigan was expanded for season two of White Collar; she is perhaps best known for playing Naomi on ABC’s Lost from 2007-10.)

The online vignettes offer White Collar fans a virtual tour of some of the iconic New York locations that serve as the backdrop of the crime drama. Thomason will motor her way from the FBI’s Park Avenue digs to the wilds of Brooklyn, where she’ll make a pit stop at the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower in Fort Greene.

“New York is as much of a character in the show as are Neal and Peter and Diana,” said Alexandra Shapiro, USA’s svp, brand marketing and digital. “These guys are filming on-location in the city almost 50 percent of the time and so New York is a constant presence. It lends a certain kind of intrigue to the series, which is what we wanted to draw on in the vignettes.”


– Anthony Crupi, Mediaweek
USA Network has reupped Ford as the exclusive automobile sponsor of its original drama series White Collar, crafting a multiplatform partnership that includes significant brand integration and a number of customized interactive features.

Beginning Tuesday, August 17, USA’s dedicated White Collar site will host a series of exclusive videos featuring actress Marsha Thomason behind the wheel of a Ford Fusion Hybrid. (Thomason’s role as special agent Diana Barrigan was expanded for season two of White Collar; she is perhaps best known for playing Naomi on ABC’s Lost from 2007-10.)

The online vignettes offer White Collar fans a virtual tour of some of the iconic New York locations that serve as the backdrop of the crime drama. Thomason will motor her way from the FBI’s Park Avenue digs to the wilds of Brooklyn, where she’ll make a pit stop at the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower in Fort Greene.

“New York is as much of a character in the show as are Neal and Peter and Diana,” said Alexandra Shapiro, USA’s svp, brand marketing and digital. “These guys are filming on-location in the city almost 50 percent of the time and so New York is a constant presence. It lends a certain kind of intrigue to the series, which is what we wanted to draw on in the vignettes.” Leer más “Ford Returns as ‘White Collar’ Sponsor”

Ice cream’s recipe for success not a big secret in difficult times

Worried about a double-dip recession? Why not have a double dip on a waffle cone, instead? Never mind that 9 percent of us can’t find jobs and recent college grads might as well use those liberal-arts degrees as wallpaper. The local ice-cream shop is doing just fine. (In fact, maybe they’re accepting resumes!) The National Ice Cream Retailers Association recently told Time magazine that some of its members have clocked sales spikes of 25 percent over last year. Unilever, which owns sweet and drippy brands like Good Humor and Ben & Jerry’s, posted Q1 ice-cream sales up 7.4 percent. You don’t need an MBA to figure this one out: Ice cream is an affordable way to feel good when everything else sucks. Enough said. This might explain the spate of branding news on the ice-cream front lately.

Starbucks, which started chillin’ last year with the introduction of an ice-cream line, just rolled out its eighth flavor on July 23. (It’s Peppermint Mocha, and with a MSRP hovering between $3.89 and $4.39, it’s cheaper than some Starbucks drinks.) We’ve got no moles in the Starbucks test kitchens, but the company seems to know exactly what it’s doing with this pint-size strategy. The flavors, which include Vanilla Bean Frappuccino and Strawberries & Crème, not only stick to Americans’ perennial faves (yes, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are still the most popular varieties according to the International Ice Cream Association) but carry the same drink names you’ll find on the Starbucks beverage board. (Psst, it’s called consistent branding.)


By Robert Klara

Starbucks-ice-cream

Worried about a double-dip recession? Why not have a double dip on a waffle cone, instead? Never mind that 9 percent of us can’t find jobs and recent college grads might as well use those liberal-arts degrees as wallpaper. The local ice-cream shop is doing just fine. (In fact, maybe they’re accepting resumes!) The National Ice Cream Retailers Association recently told Time magazine that some of its members have clocked sales spikes of 25 percent over last year. Unilever, which owns sweet and drippy brands like Good Humor and Ben & Jerry’s, posted Q1 ice-cream sales up 7.4 percent. You don’t need an MBA to figure this one out: Ice cream is an affordable way to feel good when everything else sucks. Enough said. This might explain the spate of branding news on the ice-cream front lately.

Starbucks, which started chillin’ last year with the introduction of an ice-cream line, just rolled out its eighth flavor on July 23. (It’s Peppermint Mocha, and with a MSRP hovering between $3.89 and $4.39, it’s cheaper than some Starbucks drinks.) We’ve got no moles in the Starbucks test kitchens, but the company seems to know exactly what it’s doing with this pint-size strategy. The flavors, which include Vanilla Bean Frappuccino and Strawberries & Crème, not only stick to Americans’ perennial faves (yes, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are still the most popular varieties according to the International Ice Cream Association) but carry the same drink names you’ll find on the Starbucks beverage board. (Psst, it’s called consistent branding.) Leer más “Ice cream’s recipe for success not a big secret in difficult times”