• Sony Ericsson Fires Agency, No Review Scheduled
    Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has fired the ad agency that handled its global creative assignment for the past five years. A spokesman for the telecommunications marketer, a 50-50 joint venture of Sony and Ericsson, said the break-up with Bartle Bogle Hegarty has stemmed from "rethinking our branding and advertising strategy." However, the marketer has not announced a review, and a spokesman declined to comment on its future ad plans. BBH's last work, a TV campaign featuring K800 Cyber-Shot camera phones, broke last week in the Asia-Pacific region and will roll out in Europe next. That effort, tagged "Never miss a ...
  • Saturn Markets 3 Models With Mail Campaign
    Automaker Saturn is employing direct mail and e-mail strategies to market three of its 2007 models. The campaign is for the Aura sedan, the Vue Green Line Hybrid SUV, and the Outlook SUV. Carlson Marketing Group, a Minneapolis-based ad agency, is handling the account. The campaign poses a difficult challenge because it is attempting to promote three cars to three separate and distinct target groups. "We're trying to capture the essence of each vehicle, the brand itself and its revitalization," says David Carmichael, Carlson creative director. "For the Aura, for example, we try to capture the refinement and the styling ...
  • Rise In DVR Households
    Marketers who rely solely on TV ads to reach consumers take note. New research shows that more households than ever are now equipped with digital video recorders--high-tech devices that allow viewers to zap effortlessly through ads. A new study from Mediamark Research Inc. found that the percentage of households with DVRs is up to 11.2 percent, from 8.6 percent in fall 2005. The statistics are from MRI's spring 2006 data, the Study of the American Consumer, in which 26,000 U.S. adults were personally interviewed on their media use and product consumption, as well as their lifestyles and attitudes. Experts say ...
  • Dope Scandals Impact Cycling Sponsors
    Marketers that put up big bucks to sponsor cyclists in major races are having second thoughts. Their hesitation follows a string of doping scandals that have plagued the international sport. The most recent incident involved Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, whose test results after the race revealed abnormally high testosterone levels. The list of sponsors that support riders and teams is a long one and includes T-Mobile, Computer Sciences Corp., Liberty Mutual Group, and Phonak AG, a Swiss hearing-aid maker that sponsored Landis and his team. Some companies have cut their losses and left cycling. Others are trying to ...
  • Kraft Sells Minute Rice To Spanish Company
    One of America's most iconic food brands has been sold to Ebro Puleva, a leading food group in Spain. Late last week, food marketer Kraft announced that it had sold Minute Rice, which burst on the American scene when it was fed as soldiers' rations during the Korean War. The price was $280 million. "Our decision to sell Minute Rice is part of a broader effort at Kraft to focus our portfolio," says Dave Johnson, president, Kraft North America Commercial. "While Minute Rice is a great brand, our focus is on businesses in which we believe we have a sustainable ...
  • Wendy's Creates New Marketing Unit
    Fast-food chain Wendy's Corp. is making major changes in its marketing operation following a round of layoffs and other cost-cutting measures designed to save $100 million by the end of the year. The marketing changes include the creation of a new unit, dubbed the innovation and strategy group, which will consist of four executives. They include Lori Estrada, senior vice president-research and development; Casey Minton, vice president-strategic insights and innovation; and Mike Watson, senior vice president-operations innovation. A senior strategist will be named later to serve as group leader. The inclusion of Watson, formerly senior vice president-operations administration and strategic ...
  • Drug Companies Report Sales, Marketing Hikes
    Pharmaceutical companies are spending more on marketing despite a faltering economy, lawsuits, and a batch of patent expirations. In recently released second-quarter earnings reports, companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly & Co., and Schering Plough all reported single-digit-percentage gains in sales and promotional expenses for the previous three fiscal months. At Pfizer, revenues rose 3 percent on the strength of a 9 percent gain in sales from cholesterol fighter Lipitor and a 17 percent rise from cox-2 painkiller Celebrex. At Lilly, sales lifted 5 percent to $3.8 billion--with Cymbalta, an antidepressant, serving as a main driver. At ...
  • Movie 'Talladega Nights' Proves Product-Placement Bonanza for Marketers
    A new comedy film from Sony Corp. is proving to be a product-placement bonanza for a wide range of major marketers. The film, which opens next Friday, is called "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," and stars Will Ferrell as a NASCAR driver. NASCAR pitched sponsors on marketing opportunities with the full blessing and encouragement of Sony, which remained open to a variety of suggestions. The producers pitched the story, and asked us: "Do you have any thoughts on where you would like to fit in?" recalls Sarah Nettinga, managing director of film, television, and music entertainment for NASCAR. ...
  • Fast-Food Marketers Promote Fat-Heavy Options
    Despite being under fire from health groups over the childhood obesity issue, America's fast-food marketers are introducing new menu items that defy healthy eating. In a move that has alarmed nutritionists, the chains are promoting what the industry calls "indulgent" offerings packed with calories and fat. For example, ads for Burger King's new BK Stackers tout burgers that can include four slabs of beef, four slices of cheese, and four strips of bacon. And BK is not alone. An ad for Denny's restaurant chain touts its Extreme Grand Slam Breakfast, which consists of three strips of bacon, three sausage links, ...
  • Cadillac Expands Customer Base with New Ads
    Now that Cadillac has hip hoppers, jocks, and oldsters in its grip, the carmaker wants to expand its appeal to young people, women, and baby boomers. A new ad campaign breaking next week departs from past efforts centered on the Led Zeppelin song "Rock and Roll." It features the people Cadillac wants to attract. For example, one print ad shows a young blonde woman hanging out with a friend in a Cadillac. Another has a young man and his friend in a Cadillac DTS, the brand's most traditional-looking sedan. The new marketing approach runs the risk of alienating buyers who ...
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