Archive for March 2010
"Don't buy this gum. It tastes like rubber." is a favorite phrase for graffiti vandals to write on condom vending machines in men's rooms. I've seen it several times during roadside restroom breaks in various regions of the country, indicating either a well-traveled vandal with a tremendous lack of creativity or a graffitist meme of sorts. Oddly, the current campaign for Dentyne Ice gum draws a direct comparison between its product and prophylactics, highlighting the awkward moments associated with practicing safe sex and positioning the brand as prerequisite to getting it on.
Twice each month, Twist Worldwide, a global visual intelligence firm, presents quick views and insights into the moments that are working in today's retail environments. Enough with self-impressed trend consultants who claim to see the future: Twist sees the present with clarity and provides practical intelligence on how to make your business better today. Over time, patterns emerge and possibilities get realized. But first we have to see what is right in front of us. This week: the power of universal stories.
The British have waged war on American soil, only this time we can pass on the tri-cornered hats and tight breeches. Which, considering the increasing girth of Americans, is a sartorial blessing. After a sneak preview last weekend, tonight marks the official broadcast premiere of ABC's "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Though you'd never know it from the network's fat-headed decision to air it during the Friday ratings dead zone, it could very well be the most important television program in years.
In a time when brands must move comfortably across contexts to extend their relevance and engage consumers, Lady Gaga's mind is prime real estate. Her latest brainchild, a 10-minute long mini-film for "Telephone," is a product placement hotbed. Miracle Whip, Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, HP, Polaroid, Wonder Bread, and the dating Web site Plenty Of Fish all co-star, shaped by the artist into a surreal mashup that confirms the importance of brand to our cultural dialogue.
If you have a powerful singing voice you should sing. If you have a mediocre singing voice, you should sing and dance. In the business world, Zappos.com has serious pipes. The unorthodox retailer quickly climbed the customer service charts and stands alongside Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton and USAA, companies long known for exemplary service. But despite legitimate talent and personality, Zappos choked recently when making the jump to advertising. Their first ad from Mullen, featuring puppets reenacting unusual customer calls, dials up the showmanship and distracts from their unique voice. As a result, Zappos misses some big notes and never quite connects with the audience.
Twice each month, Twist Worldwide, a global visual intelligence firm, presents quick views and insights into the moments that are working in today's retail environments. Enough with self-impressed trend consultants who claim to see the future: Twist sees the present with clarity and provides practical intelligence on how to make your business better today. Over time, patterns emerge and possibilities get realized. But first we have to see what is right in front of us. This week: the power of a smile while shopping.
March Madness begins this week, but the madness around athlete endorsements has been around since the days of Michael Jordan. It came to its most recent head last Thanksgiving, when a certain superhuman hit a fire hydrant and set off a torrent of media, fan and sponsor action and reaction. The sexy unfolding of that incident and its subsequent tawdry revelations probably inspired the Developing the Athlete’s Brand panel at this year’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference – a gathering which usually focuses on wonkier subjects. The panelists, after a barrage of questions from conference attendees, touched gingerly on Tiger’s comeback strategy, but the real takeaways were about the industry, not Tiger. The resulting discussion raised larger questions about athlete endorsements as brand strategy, and whether the sports representation industry model is still relevant today.
We're fans of IKEA and have written on their past marketing successes and brand missteps. The company captures our attention again by tackling an area of its business that, for many, leaves much to be desired: the assembly of its products.
Davis Brand Capital, which published the 2009 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking in December, today announced expanded rankings in five industries: automotive, finance, retail, technology, and telecom.
AshleyMadison, of "Life is short. Have an affair." fame, trotted out this Avatar-themed spot for broadcast during Sunday's Academy Awards. Then, in a move as predictable as an over-the-top Sharon Stone reaction shot, ABC banned it from the telecast. Funny that the nation's leading adultery enabler ends up flaccid on Oscar night. Why did those frigid execs give Ashley's aliens the cock block?