Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brand Suicide

I came across this brand extension from Special K, a version of the low calorie, weight control breakfast now with added.....chocolate? I find this so bizarre. How can Special K, a brand thats entire purpose for being is to help consumers control their calories, pretend that adding chocolate is not a perversion of the entire brand? 

This screams to me of a company looking to boost SKUs and short term volume by adding ever more extensions, yet not thinking about their brand whatsoever. When brands do this, they are committing suicide. You can not expect consumers to believe in brand when it contradicts itself so fundamentally.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nuggets 25 Years Old

McDonalds is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the nugget. There is a new fan site, here,  that is suitably tongue in cheek about the nugget. (The Nugget pledge anyone?)

What I like about this is simply that McDonalds are creating interest out of nothing. Or put another way, the birthday of the nugget means nada to anyone really, but McDonalds are using the opportunity to create some interest in the product - to make it relevant. This is not rocket science at all, but I am often amazed how companies do not make more of the assets they are sitting on. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sticher, Inc

Sticher is a great little program, available online or as an i-phone app. In a nutshell, it acts like an aggregator for radio content, similar to Google news format. The smart part is it then can recommend other radio content based on a Pandora/Amazon recommendations system.

So if you like the BBC news, it will serve up NPR Market Watch or other relevant radio content. The ease of use is great, but more importantly the service reminds you how powerful radio can be as a medium. Radio has, somewhat deservedly in the US, got a bad rap. Certainly, the medium made so much cash for so long it got lazy. Sticher is a smart move to make the medium relevant and enjoyable again. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Tube

I met with You Tube today. They were showcasing their new sponsored video results function on You Tube. (For the record, it is a smart thing for them to do, and will make some decent money for them). 

More interesting, and just as a wow-fact, You Tube fields more searches in the US than Yahoo. This stat kind of blew my mind. You Tube has more people searching its videos than use Yahoo gets for everything search wise. Amazing! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Burger King Studio

T-shirts are clearly all the rage. Burger King have set up this new site that sells rather cool clothing branded with smart, fun BK elements. Clearly a fun way to connect with young, cool guys and girls. These people will be free adverts and cool ambassadors for the brand. BK will also make money selling this stuff - ads that pay for themselves, nice. Oh, and you can create your own custom looks as well. All very smart and engaging. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

CNN + Obama has created an online app that allows viewers to print a TV shirt with a CNN headline along with the time and date it ran. In this example the moment when CNN called the election for Obama, 11.04pm 11/4/08.

A tiny, but welcome new revenue stream. More importantly though, a smart way to extend the CNN brand, get some free marketing and keep CNN relevant. I like the thought that CNN does not just report and cover the news, but by doing so, CNN is the news. The brand that is the keeper of history.  
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