• Zurich Launches 'Your World'
    Zurich's new campaign for the United Arab Emirates, "Your World. Our Insurance," talks up the company's motor, home and travel insurance. Developed by Zurich's in-house creative agency, the four-month long campaign features primetime television sponsorships, as well as print, outdoor, radio and digital advertisements. The campaign depicts everyday scenarios from the lives of UAE residents, conveying the message that Zurich understands the way its customers live their lives.
  • Greenpeace Goes All 'Star Wars' On VW
    Greenpeace is again going after Volkswagen's green claims with a "Star Wars"-themed attack. The Greenpeace campaign copies Volkswagen's 2011 TV ads in which a child plays Darth Vader. After that, Greenpeace featured Darth Vader in a 2011 campaign attacking Volkswagen, but was forced to pull the video from YouTube for breaching Lucas Film's copyright. The new ad is timed with the launch of Volkswagen's latest Golf in September. Greenpeace, on its site, says that for years "VW has failed to put its money where its mouth is and commercially produce cars that are both cheap to run and emit far …
  • Consumers Ready For Heineken Cube?
    We have wine in a box. But are you ready for beer in a box? It's just a design concept so far, but French industrial designer Petit Romain has created the "Heineken Cube," square glass units that are stackable, a big efficiency in storage. The "minimalist form" would lead to "significant fuel economy during transport," making for a more "economical and ecological" way to drink, he says. Eric Shepard, editor of trade magazine Beer Marketer's Insights, says "Clearly, the brewers are trying very hard to catch up a bit with what spirits companies have done with packaging, whether it's the …
  • Gyro, The Agency, Not The Wrap
    Gyro is making big noise in the B-to-B advertising world. The agency has hired Michael Lehmann, a director whose Hollywood credits include "True Blood," "Californication," and "Heathers," to shoot a commercial for cloud-tech company Turn. The ad didn't run on a SlashDot-type site, or on some screen in a booth at a tech fair. It ran during "Mad Men." Gyro has 17 offices in 10 countries. Clients include Audi, FedEx and L'Oral. Also on the client list are consumer marketers like Lincoln Financial Group and Virgin Atlantic.
  • Social Media Sweepstakes: Brief Encounters
    Hill Holliday's SVP of digital strategy, Mike Proulx, says shortcut tactics won't make long-term relationships. "One's fandom on whatever social platform grows (and sticks around) if you're giving them awesome content," he says, adding that the brands that have good content and services get mileage. "There is too much emphasis on contests, sweepstakes, custom Facebook tabs, and buying followership. There are no shortcuts in social media."
  • Anti-Bag Trend In The Making?
    The West Hollywood City Council has passed an ordinance banning single-use, carryout plastic bags at the point of sale from all pharmacy grocery and retail stores here. The law is based on the ban currently in effect in Los Angeles County. Santa Monica, Malibu, Calabasas and Long Beach have similar laws. The new one goes into effect for retail establishments of at least 10,000 square feet and retail establishments smaller than 10,000 square feet.
  • Fairway May Go Public
    Fairway Market, a New York-area, high-end supermarket chain, has filed for an initial public offering. The retailer's owner, Sterling Investment Partners, originally invested $150 million in the chain in 2007, and has pumped cash to fund an expansion to 10 locations, each of which is estimated to generate at least $50 million per year in sales.
  • No Surprise Here: Bye-Bye, Middle Class
    A new report from the Pew Research Center says the U.S. middle class has shrunk drastically over the last 10 years as Americans' net worth has plunged, wages declined and standards of living slipped away. The blame goes to U.S. lawmakers, banks and big business. Since 2001, median household income has fallen from $72,956 to $69,487 in 2010, the report said.
  • Nissan Hires Ex-'Consumer Reports' Analyst
    David Champion, long-time auto analyst at Consumer Reports, has jumped the fence. Nissan has hired him, and created a position for him as executive adviser for competitive assessment and quality. "David Champion's unique industry background will help ensure that the customer's voice is evident in every product we engineer," said Carla Bailo, Nissan's senior vice president for research and development, in a statement.
  • Abercrombie Who?
    Abercrombie & Fitch, which got a lot of attention for young flesh more than actual apparel, has lost a third of its market value in the past year and has falling store sales in Europe and the United States. The company says it's the economy, but analysts disagree, arguing that the company hasn't kept up. Seems young, shirtless models don't sell denim and T-shirts like they used to. Said Allen Adamson, a managing director at brand consultancy Landor Associates, "The trick for fashion brands is how to keep the core edgy and hot."
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