• Product Placements Now Appearing In Unexpected Places
    Product placement in movies and TV programming is reaching new levels. Marketers know that product placement is one of the best ways to reach tech-savvy consumers whose digital video recorders let them zap through traditional commercials. Until now, the strategy has been used primarily for adult fare. But now major advertisers are getting their products in places people might not expect, such as animated films for kids, which advertisers used to consider off limits because of the clamor watchdog groups might raise about marketing to children. For example, this month "Curious George," a movie for young kids, opened in theaters ...
  • Reinventing the Marketing Organization
    In the final installment of his series on marketing, Association of National Advertisers President-CEO Bob Liodice addresses the issue of reinventing the marketing organization. Previous essays discussed the importance of brand building, integrated marketing communications and marketing accountability. "In addition to those critical elements, reinventing the total communications process also requires a reinvented marketing organization--one that provides true strategic leadership, consumer centricity and process efficiency," Liodice writes in his ANA blog. "It's an organization that makes every facet of marketing work brilliantly in service of the business' overarching goals. Liodice says there are four critical dimensions to reinventing the marketing ...
  • Burger King Introduces Value Menu
    Burger King is hoping to lure customers into its stores by using one of the oldest marketing tactics in the book--cheaper prices. This week the fast-food marketer introduced a value menu of 10 products priced at up to $1.39 to attract cost-conscious consumers, offering Whopper Jrs., four-piece chicken tenders, small fries or onion rings, side salads, 16-ounce soft drinks and apple pies starting at $1. Restaurants in different regions can add to that list with items such as chili and tacos. The move follows similar tactics implemented by Burger King's main rivals, McDonald's and Wendy's, which have each had value ...
  • New Marketing Boss For GM's Hot Hummer
    Megan Stooke has been named marketing director for General Motors Corp.'s popular Hummer brand, the company announced. Stooke, who assumes her post March 1, has been director of advertising and sales promotion at Chevrolet since May. She succeeds Liz Vanzura, who shifted to marketing director of Cadillac earlier this year. While at Chevrolet, Ms. Stooke oversaw day-to-day activities on key launches, including the redone Tahoe sport utility vehicle and the HHR tall wagon. The HHR tall wagon marked GM's brand's largest digital launch, with online accounting for 20 percent of the marketing budget, including integrating the model into AOL's online ...
  • NBA Goes to the Beach
    The National Basketball Association is extending its brand to an arena not usually associated with basketball: the beach. The association announced that it will launch a new line of beachwear in conjunction with apparel marketer Ocean Pacific, which will design, manufacturer, sell and distribute the new line, to be called NBA Beach. It will include beachwear and swimwear, including cover-ups, coordinating T-shirts, and related accessories--all festooned with the logos of NBA teams. The line will be available in specialty and sporting goods retailers in the U.S. and Canada, including the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York, NBAStore.com, and ...
  • Sony to Launch New DVD Technology in May
    Sony Pictures is stepping up its battle for control of the home viewing movie market with the planned introduction of its new Blu-ray DVD format to U.S. stores in late May, to coincide with the launch of compatible disc players. Sony's Blu-Ray is in a multibillion-dollar standards war with rival Toshiba Corp., whose HD DVD format competes with Blu-ray. The new technology offers players and discs with greater capacity and interactive features, and each side hopes their version will be the one to reignite a sagging $24 billion home video market. Sony and MGM Home Entertainment will first release eight ...
  • Automakers Redesign 'Chick' Cars To Appeal To Men, Too
    Cars that once appealed primarily to women are being redesigned to capture the attention of men as well. One example is the small sports utility vehicle, the RAV4 from Toyota. In the new model, the automaker has added a bigger V6 engine, lengthened the vehicle by 14 inches, and given it sharper lines. But at the same time the company has kept the sleek, aerodynamic look that appealed to women. The redesign was prompted by complaints from focus groups that the RAV4 was too small and unsophisticated, said Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong. ''They were finding a lot of males were ...
  • Health Drink Launches First Big Marketing Effort
    Is Odwalla ready to go mainstream? For years the oddly named, super-premium juice drink has maintained a quirky image not inconsistent with its history of being created by three musicians squeezing fresh orange juice in a California shack. Today, it is the No. 1 brand in the national health beverage category, and its best-selling flavor is a bright green concoction, known as "Superfood," pumped up with 15 ingredients that offer micronutrients in a super-healthy drink. Other entries in the line include Mo' Beta (with antioxidants, vitamins C, E and beta-carotene) and the new PomaGrand, a pomegranate juice. The brand has ...
  • Havas Looks Ahead To 2012 Olympics
    The 2012 London Olympics may be six years away, but a rise in sports partnerships and sponsorships has prompted the French agency holding company Havas to plant seeds in preparation for the event. To take advantage of anticipated opportunities, the company is planning to open a London branch of its Paris-based sports marketing unit, Havas Sports, later this year. "The objective is to launch the agency before the end of June although the project could be moved forward or delayed," a Havas spokesman said. If the London company gets the go-ahead, it is likely to operate as Havas Sports in ...
  • Jordan Teams With Bacon In New Hanes Spot
    Basketball superstar Michael Jordan and actor Kevin Bacon are teaming up in a new TV spot for Hanes apparel, a company that has used Jordan as a celebrity endorser for years. The TV campaign is an extension of the marketer's "Look Who We've Got Our Hanes On Now" effort, and will also include actress Christina Applegate. The spot with Bacon and Jordan rolls out today and is called "Shot Blocker." In it, Bacon shoots objects like waste paper, keys and a basketball, while wearing Hanes casual wear. Jordan enters each scene out of nowhere and nonchalantly blocks Bacon's shots. In ...
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