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Branding

CNN Asks Marketing Experts If the KKK Can ‘Rebrand’

CNN KKK rebrandWe don’t blame you at all.

If you had a blog, and said that one of America’s largest and “most trusted” news sources asked such a heinous question, we would have thought it was you smoking Rob Ford’s crack. Nonetheless, there’s the screen grab asking the earnest question “Can the Klan rebrand?”

In an effort to strike a chord with viewers (or strike a match and burn the network to the ground), CNN decided on a secondary story that would be fitting for a 73-year-old-bigot named Frazier Glenn Cross, a white supremacist and avowed anti-Semite, in the back of a police car, spitting, “Heil Hitler!”

And from there, we get a marketing question?! Yeah.  Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

What Will the Successful Campaigns of the Future Look Like?

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Something like this?

The question that plagues most businesses today is the same: how do we truly reach and create a relationship with the customer? How do we ensure that the sentiments surrounding our brand are positive?

We all know that the combined powers of traditional advertising and earned media aren’t quite enough–and even brands with incredibly successful interactive, multimedia campaigns like Dove’s “Real Beauty” encounter blowback on social media and beyond.

So what do the brands of the future need to do to stand out? What will the most successful campaigns look like?

Ryan Aynes, digital trends expert and co-founder of EDGE Collective, gave us his thoughts on the subject.

Read more

STUDY: Is PR’s Focus on Digital Media Detrimental to Brand Storytelling?

BPR Infographic V5 - Stories-without-borders-infographic.pdfTurns out, while managing to cram powerful, sharable, effective brand messages into 140 characters is an undeniably valuable skill, PR’s focus on digital media might be drawing vital attention away from effective storytelling.

This is according to a recent report by Berkeley 360, titled Stories Without Borders—International PR in an Evolving Media World, which explores current research and trends to discover how the global media landscape is shifting, and what that means for PR. The report states that, “the media in most countries has been transformed by digital technology, but success lies in the story, not the delivery.”

As a press release about the study explains that while boundaries are disappearing between print and digital media, between online, social and mobile channels, and between brands and their customers, the world remains a culturally, linguistically and geographically heterogeneous place—and brands and PR professionals forget this at their peril.

While social media networks remain a great way to build and engage local communities and are essential ingredients for successful PR, research shows that over half of the world’s population reads a daily newspaper, and trade publications remain the best way to influence senior decision makers. In other words: the press release is not dead, and people still want to hear a meaningful, engaging, and full-length story about the brands and companies they interact with. Read more

Just in Time for Prom: KFC Introduces Chicken Corsage

Hey, prom-bound teenagers: unsure of your date’s favorite flower, or clueless as to which blooms would best match her dress? Fear not! KFC is here for you with a corsage that pairs flawlessly with everything (especially mashed potatoes and gravy).

Just in time for the prom-related promo season, KFC has introduced a new type of “arm candy” — a chicken corsage, which is exactly what it sounds like. For a mere $20, the savvy shopper can purchase a kit online, which will ship from a Louisville, Ky. florist, and comes complete with delicate corsage-makings and a $5 KFC gift card to be used for a drumstick. The only decision you’ll have to make is whether the morsel to adorn your date’s lovely wrist will be Extra Crispy, Kentucky Grilled Chicken or Original Recipe.

Just be forewarned of two things: First, it’s not easy to get grease stains out of chiffon. Second, if it suddenly seems as though your date is leaning in for a mid-dance kiss, she might just be leaning in for a nibble of her delicious accessory.

If You’re CNN, Which Do You Choose? The Brand or Ratings?

CNN MH370 coverageCNN‘s ratings got a boost from coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight that has been called both “breathless” and “speculative.” In the process, its reputation has taken a hit.

The AP noted in mid-May — the point when CNN’s round-the-clock reporting of MH370 was hitting a fever pitch — that various shows on the news network had seen a spike in viewership. One Thursday, programming reached 588,000 viewers where they usually reach 320,000. And Anderson Cooper, who would usually have 444,000 people watching his program, was reaching numbers closer to one million.

However, YouGov BrandIndex data shows that perception of the network (and HLN) had dropped in the first three months of this year after reaching near highs at the end of 2013.

So to get those bumps in eyeballs, the network had to sacrifice a piece of the brand’s perceived quality. The question is whether it’s worth it.

Read more

15 Brands That Made the Most of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere

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Didn’t you guys jump the shark last month?

There was a show on the teevee last night. You might have heard something about it. And no, it wasn’t ‘Veep.’

As you may have guessed, last night’s Season 4 ‘GoT’ premier provided every brand’s copywriting team with an angle too tempting to resist.

Here are some of the many, many accounts capitalizing on the cultural event.

Read more

Jack Daniel’s Challenging Competitors to a Branding/PR Fight

funny-Jack-Daniels-water-dispenser

Meanwhile around the cooler in the break room…

If you fancy an adult beverage, odds are you have imbibed in a high ball glass full of Jack Daniel’s burning smooth, corn-based recipe. And now that the 148-year-old, Tennessee-based whiskey distillery has a proprietary face and taste in the beverage industry, they want to keep it that way.

And so, Jack Daniel’s is taking the competition to court over the term “Tennessee Whiskey.” Because they can, in case you were wondering.

Read more

No One Is Impressed by Your April Fools’ Stunt

Of all the groans you heard in the office today, approximately 40% were inspired by Google, which went all-out to develop a different April Fools’ campaign for every single person with a wi-fi connection.

Here’s the best one on a subject close to our hearts: the future of marketing measurement.

Now be honest: did your brand or client have a little stunt to promote?

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SNL Brand Parodies: Bad PR?

Love you, Louis C.K., but to anyone who lived through the 90′s Saturday Night Live’sChris for President” skit was last week’s winner, hands down. The second best was this “brutal” takedown of Jos. A. Bank.

Harsh, bro. Today AdAge asks whether the company’s imminently mockable “buy 1 suit get 3 free” made the skit inevitable. We’d say “probably”, but we’d like to pose a different question: does it matter?

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This Is Why You Don’t Hand Over Too Much Branding Power to a Sponsor

citi bikeCiti Bike is in trouble. The bike-sharing program that has quickly become a part of the New York City landscape needs “tens of millions of dollars” to stay afloat.

Citi Bike began on shaky footing with tons of technical problems, but has since attracted nearly 100,000 annual members. One major problem is finding people willing to rent a bike on a shorter term. Those technical glitches are part of the issue. And just getting the bikes to the neighborhoods where they’re most desired has proved to be a costly hurdle. In addition, New York magazine says the weather has been a problem, not just for the bikes and the docking stations, but for potential customers. No one wants to ride a bike in the snow.

Finally, a big problem with Citi Bike is the “Citi” part. The program, the Wall Street Journal notes, operates with funds provided largely by advertisers and sponsors (alongside those membership and other rental fees). It doesn’t use public funds. The main sponsor is CitiBank. And finding other sponsors has proven daunting.

Read more

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