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Posts Tagged ‘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

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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.

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5 PR Lessons We Can All Learn from Maury

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For the past couple of months, I’ve been battling severe bronchitis. My lungs were on fire. My throat was closed shut. My voice was gone for weeks. And I was about as productive as Congress on a deadline.

To wit, I was forced to catch up on binge viewing and some trashy TV. As I was filling my body full of enough drugs to make Rob Ford jealous and filling my body my all sorts of trash, I was enjoying just watching dregs of society looking for their 15 minutes of fame (while using 12 of those trying to figure out how to speak a coherent sentence).

So, one good thing came of out this mid-morning experience — 5 PR lessons all flacks can learn from Maury

Yes, way!

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10 #NeverForget Brand Tweets: Offensive or Acceptable?

He’s joking, BTW. And if you didn’t see this post coming, then you must not have logged on to Twitter today. It really does seem like every. single. brand. has taken the opportunity to piggyback off this twelfth anniversary of 9/11 in order to increase exposure…or something like that. Here’s the tweet that’s been irritating everyone in media: 

The image was tacky, sure—and the social team quickly issued an apology and deleted it.

But is AT&T the worst offender? And how terrible are these brand posts, really?

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Instagram for Brands: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Photo courtesy of PiXXart / Shutterstock.com Every brand on Earth is chomping at the bit to place official ads on the rapidly growing Instagram, but parent company Facebook continues to proceed with extreme caution.

While Mark Zuckerberg says he is very encouraged by the expansion of the image-sharing network, he clearly does not plan to open the commercial floodgates until he’s good and ready. In his own words, Instagram must first focus on “build[ing] community” before determining how best to use its considerable potential as an ad/marketing forum. We can see why Zuckerberg prefers to take low-risk baby steps, no matter how impatient advertisers may be.

In the meantime, brands and their social media teams should be quite happy to learn that they do have more promotional options on Instagram thanks to the newly introduced function “photos of you,” which allows users to tag any other existing account—be it a friend, a celebrity, a local business, or a big-name brand—in their own pics. Amateur lensmen and brand managers alike will receive notifications when others tag them, and they can then choose whether to display these images on their own public feeds.

Can you say “pre-approved user generated content?”

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The World’s Greatest Brands: 2013 Edition

StarbucksNike Just Do It Welcome back, dear readers! We hope everyone had a great holiday and survived the crazy season in one piece despite hectic travel schedules, extended visits with the in-laws and borderline alcoholism.

The first of the many, many stories we accumulated over the break is an interesting one: a list of 2013’s 27 “World Champions” of the global branding game, brought to us by Citi and Business Insider.

According to Citi, these 27 brands have beaten all others when it comes to creating “significant and enduring business models over the long term”–and we covered quite a few of them in 2012. Our thoughts on some of the winners after the jump:

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5 Great 2012 Instagram Branding Campaigns

InstagramThere’s been a bit of drama on the social media photo-sharing front recently, hasn’t there? We didn’t spend too much time following the playground Twitter vs. Instagramfilter fight” that had tech bloggers wondering which property would come out on top or the recent outrage over new privacy policies–and we still think Instagram will be the visual branding tool of choice for the foreseeable future.

On that note, we thought we’d highlight a few  successful Instagram projects from 2012 via brands that know how to do visual PR.

(Quite a few brands have great Instagram accounts, but for the purposes of this post we only considered theme-driven branding campaigns.)

Five names that stood out in 2012:

  1. Ben and Jerry’s
  2. Ford
  3. Burberry
  4. Urban Outfitters/Free People
  5. Bergdorf Goodman

Click through for some notes on each:

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Why Do Brands Struggle To Create Original Content?

Frustrated writer stock photoThis week Digiday posted on an issue close to our hearts: the challenges of branded content creation.

Reporter Giselle Abramovich asked attendees at the company’s latest Brand Summit to describe the biggest obstacles they face in the endless quest to create compelling content. Our favorite quote from senior associate brand manager Orion Brown of Capri Sun:

“The biggest challenge is creating both consumer-relevant and brand-building content. Some brands (namely, passion brands) lend well to this as they are already ubiquitous and are intimately integrated into the daily lives of consumers — so their hurdle to find touchpoints that feel natural and relevant to the consumer may be lower. But for many brands, it’s a delicate balance between creating a branded message that doesn’t sound ‘preachy’ or like a sales pitch but still drives consumers ultimately to purchase.”

We couldn’t agree more—the process of identifying relevant topics and creating material that truly delivers value without the sort of heavy-handed messaging that repels consumers is a constant challenge (along with the measurement and ROI demands that accompany every business project).

Send us your thoughts, PR pros: What is the most difficult element of the content creation/distribution process?

Aussie Cigarette Makers Replace Logos with Cancer, Emphysema Pics

Last week we told you about a federal judge’s decision to hold US tobacco companies accountable for their misleading advertising, ordering them to pay for PSAs detailing the true dangers that their products pose to public. Now, Australia has taken transparency in tobacco advertising to an entirely new level — as of December 1, all packs of cigarettes will be required to feature plain, uniform labeling, with brand names taking a back seat to explicit warnings and graphic photos of ailments caused by tobacco use.

Rather than familiar, colorful brand logos, smokers will now find themselves faced with images of mouth cancer and lungs plagued by emphysema (among other equally unappealing conditions). “They’re so horrifyingly ugly that they are magnificent”, said Fiona Sharkie, executive director of anti-smoking campaign Quit Victoria.

As you might have guessed, tobacco companies are less enthusiastic to see decades of branding work tossed out the window in favor of caution labels. In an effort to prevent the new packaging law from taking effect, the companies claimed that prohibition of the display of trademarks was equivalent to an illegal seizure of their property–a complaint which the High Court of Australia rejected on August 15.

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2012′s Top Baby Names Are Soooo Predictable

There may still be such a thing as childhood innocence–but the days of parental innocence are long gone.

As the world’s population continues to grow on a planet with limited resources, parents know their children will be living in a competitive landscape. Before many children are even born, their parents are already busy networking and negotiating a future that will offer their offspring access to the best schools, the best jobs and—in theory—the best lives.

That entire process begins with conceiving/adopting a child, of course–and then the personal branding begins. Everyone asks expectant parents if they’ve considered a name–and it’s a dumb question. Of course they have; in fact, they’ve probably bandied about dozens of options, running them through that emotional Rolodex of acquaintances in their heads and trying to remember whether Cliff was a bully in grade school or Samantha was that girl who got kicked out of high school for smoking weed in gym class.

Choosing a name is a daunting endeavor for parents, because they usually approach the deliberations with airline-loads of personal baggage. Then they’re subjected to the personal baggage of others—from prying mothers-in-law to gruff strangers on the subway.

Life is hard by nature. The last thing anyone wants to do is burden a child with a word that will impede his or her chances at success in life.

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