John and Sherry Petersik built a cult following with their website, Young House Love. Then they tried to walk away. The couple behind Young House Love on the process of falling down the rabbit hole from lifestyle bloggers, to full time "brand," and the burnout that resulted. Related, Heather Armstrong (a.k.a. Dooce) on "Why the 'Queen of the Mommy Bloggers' had to quit." [more inside]
It's cool when a corporation tweets like a teenager. It makes me want to buy the corporation's products. Brands Saying Bae.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become increasingly crowded with branded accounts seeking their attention. Every few seconds, your favorite brands are tweeting at you. But what most people don't know is how much time and effort goes into curating these accounts, writing tweets, and filling your news feed with content people actually want to see. For instance, it can take a team of 13 social media and advertising specialists up to 45 days to plan, create, approve, and publish a corporate social media post. The story of Huge Inc. and President Cheese.
Western firms have piled into emerging markets in the past 20 years. Now comes the reckoning
Although the average company has prospered, there have been disasters; plenty of firms and some whole industries need a rethink. The emerging-market rush may end up like a giant version of the first internet boom 15 years ago. The broad thrust was right but some big mistakes were made.
For non-anglophones, the English names of worldwide brands, music bands and other cultural items are both ubiquitous and slightly mysterious. Here what the English (plus some German, Spanish and Japanese) names of 52 brands/logotypes and 30 musicians/records look like when very loosely and somewhat lazily translated in French. Some extras can be found in the comments (note: annoying pop-up at the start).
After years of severe setbacks, plans gone awry, limited backdoor entry, millions of dollars spent lobbying and a truculent audience, Wal-Mart finally gets a green signal for the Indian market. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in India's retail and aviation sectors as an economic boost. Many are sceptical. The truculence remains. What happens next?
How America Is Making the Whole World Fat and Unhealthy It is hardly news that the United States faces epidemic health problems linked to poor diets. Nearly two out of every five Americans are obese. But according to a press release from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, "The West is now exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets. By 2030, more than 5 million people will die each year before the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases linked to diets." [...] De Schutter, whose work usually focuses on ending hunger, just published a new report saying, "The right to food cannot be reduced to a right not to starve. It is an inclusive right to an adequate diet providing all the nutritional elements an individual requires to live a healthy and active life, and the means to access them."
“I’m Scott Sternberg. And I make clothes.” Scott Sternberg designs for Band of Outsiders, which shares a name with a 1964 French New Wave film. Based in Los Angeles Sternberg worked previously as a Hollywood agent. Debra Scherer’s The Little Squares created a short film about Sternberg called Being There. [more inside]
After possibly inspiring Nathan Barley with his Shoreditch Tw*t magazine, editing a semi-iconic lifestyle mag and then burning all his worldly branded goods, Neil Boorman has turned his brain to Baby Boomers and their relation to the current woes of the world. There's a website too...
Redesigning Valentine's Day. Brand New - a site dedicated to analysis of corporate brand identity - was asked to redesign VDay by Studio 360. [more inside]
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese will be the official sponsor of A Cheddar Explosion: The Demolition of Texas Stadium.
The world's next Coca-Cola or Starbucks is more likely to emerge from Asia, the Middle East or South America They comprise Juan Valdez Café, a Colombian coffee chain; Almarai, a Saudi dairy and fruit-juice company based in Riyadh; Patchi, a Lebanese boutique chocolate chain; ChangYu, China's biggest wine producer; and United Spirits, India's largest liquor group, which owns Scotch whisky Whyte and Mackay.
Say goodbye to Blockbuster, Sbarro's, Rite Aid, Krispy Kreme and Chrysler. 15 US companies that probably won't make it through 2009.
Remember the days of ACME products and cans that simply said BEER? Product placement in television and film is so commonplace that "product integration" is where the money is now. Some writers are getting very good at it while others wonder if it will be possible to survive without it.
Brand Tags Tag a brand/logo and see what others have tagged it. Because "whatever it is they say a brand is, is what it is", depending on what your meaning of is is, I guess. Or play the reverse tag game and identify brands by their tags. And now, there's Celeb Tags! This will not wendell. [more inside]
Lacoste. No, Lacoste. Lacoste. Austrian art collective Monochrom asked 25 people to draw famous corporate marks from memory.
No meisterwerk, but in aggregate, they have a certain kind of poetry.
No meisterwerk, but in aggregate, they have a certain kind of poetry.
"Drove my Chevy to the levee..."? That's a lawsuit. "Pass the Courvoisier"? Yup. Lawsuit too. Artwork using Barbie Dolls? Lawsuit again... It's all part of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act, which would eliminate the non-commercial "fair use" protections of trademarks in art, literature, and speech-- To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 with respect to dilution by blurring or tarnishment. It goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the 16th, and there's a large roster of groups fighting it, including the American Library Association, EFF, and more, saying that consumers as well as artists would be preventing from exercising their free speech rights unless it's amended.
davos 2006: Is Red the new blue? GAP, NIKE, American Express and Bono get together to save Africa from Aids. Bono, asked if he was being used by big business, replied that he was not a "cheap date."
" Jim's ghost was in my ear, and I felt terrible". Like all top classic-rock franchises, The Doors can exploit a lucrative afterlife in television commercials. Offers keep coming in, such as the $15 million dangled by Cadillac last year to lease the song "Break On Through (to the Other Side)" to hawk its luxury SUVs. To the surprise of the corporation and the chagrin of his former bandmates, drummer John Densmore vetoed the idea. He said he did the same when Apple Computer called with a $4-million offer, and every time "some deodorant company wants to use 'Light My Fire.' "
American Brandstand tracks mentions of consumer brands in songs in the Billboard Hot 100. It's interesting to see which products get mentioned the most; Mercedes is currently on top with 29 mentions so far in 2003. (This week, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Li'l Kim all give props to the Benz.) Burberry and Puma round out the top three. Question: is this typically admiration of the product, projecting an image, or product placement? (Via Slate.)
Beyond Benetton and Betty Crocker: This Boston Globe article suggests a new age of multicultural marketing is upon us, with ethnically cagey Vin Diesel at the forefront. Instead of "United Nations"-style ads in which each actor is selected to represent a different group, the new style is towards ambiguity, as in the nonspecifically "ethnic" Barbies, or more casual, offhanded reference to race, as in the "Whassup?" Budweiser ads. Does this new "color-blindness" say anything about real social change, or is it just trendy hucksterism? Meanwhile, some very tired sexist chestnuts continue to appear in ads: despite her full time job and gleaming SUV, Mom still relies on classic brands to keep house and make dinner, still solely her responsibilities in TV-land. What gives?
American brands PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Western Union are advertising on Hezbollah television. The Iranian-backed and funded group has been implicated in the attacks against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans in 1982.
The Brand And Burger Concerto: Luxury And Poverty For All In The U.S.A. Is luxury becoming democratized? Are ostentation and conspicuous consumption not only tolerated now but demanded of anyone but the poorest and least ambitious? As James B.Twitchell, whose well-off father drove a Plymouth, pithily puts it in this adaptation of his book Living It Up: Our Love Affair With Luxury, would you go to a doctor who drove a Plymouth? Well, he confesses he wouldn't. His essay is full of interesting (though perhaps too easily answered) questions. Are time and philantropy really the two remaining luxuries for the truly wealthy? And is it really true almost anyone can now be king for a day or an hour? [I'd add that what he says about the U.S. is even truer of present-day Western Europe, where the stigma previously attached to ostentation was much more powerful among the middle and upper classes than ever it was with rich American WASPs.]
Oldsmobile succumbs. Another auto nameplate goes the way of the dodo... and Plymouth... ending up nowhere but in memories. While corporations seem to want brand above everything else, doesn't reducing the number of brands equal a contradiction?
Scientific American has an interesting article on brand loyalty on the web. Researchers at MIT are concluding that people stick with familiar commerce sites. Even though the web is supposed to enable shoppers to choose from any site, they instead stay with their favorite, even paying more for the security and familiarity. The researchers also concluded that $20 off coupons and bargain deals aren't going to bankrupt top sites, because it's a considerable investment (from a user's prospective) to shop at a new commerce site, and the offers offset that cost accordingly.