Last week, our VP of Marketing had the opportunity to attend Google’s ThinkB2B conference, which was a summit for senior-level B2B marketers.
In addition to hearing presentations from such speakers as the Oakland Athletic’s Billy Beane (My first question was not about the presentation itself, but whether or not he looked like Brad Pitt. Priorities.), she also got to see first-hand what sort of promotional products a company like Google uses at their conferences.
This morning at 7 a.m., the lottery opened to run the 43rd annual Peachtree Road Race. The Peachtree, as it’s referred to, is the largest 10K in the world, with 60,000 runners participating on the morning of July 4th.
Promotional products are available in a limitless array of shapes, colors, sizes, and varieties, but Mercedes-Benz is going out on a “limb” with their latest promotional automotive item– literally! Fourteen year old British Formula One fan Matthew James was born without a left hand and reached out to the automaker’s racing division in hopes of securing funds to receive a high-tech prosthetic arm. Mercedes agreed to shell out about $57,000 for the prosthesis, provided that their logo be prominently featured on the device.
A few weeks ago, the President & CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) put out the following video blog about the association’s new initiative to develop and implement a system of generally accepted brand valuation standards – a system that, he says, our economy currently lacks.
In the video, Bob Liodice discusses the relationship between marketing and brand value. He is a firm believer that investing in the former is essential for the growth of the latter “If we don’t invest in marketing activities,” he says, “we could be damaging our brand value.”
The video comes in the midst of efforts from the Obama administration and the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children to cut back on the amount of junk food marketing and advertising initiatives specifically geared toward kids. Strict new guidelines have been proposed that could potentially cut current food & beverage advertising expenditures by 20%, reducing total sales by businesses in this industry by $30 billion in as little as a year. Of course, there would be job losses to go along with that dollar amount – 378,000 jobs over a four-year period, according to the ANA.
However, these brands won’t only be losing money and manpower. As Liodice notes in his video, marketing efforts directly relate to brand power, so if marketing initiatives are cut, brand value will also take a hit. He says that “we know empirically that strong brands means strong operating results, which means higher shareholder equity…organizations that have strong brands have a higher stock market value than those that do not.” Putting restrictions on how and to whom members of the food & beverage industry can advertise might not just affect these companies’ employees and profits, but our economy as a whole.
Springtime is yard sale season, but don’t put your Ronald McDonald promotional products up for sale just yet – they could soon become collector’s items, as the McDonald’s corporation is feeling the pressure from childhood obesity activist groups to retire its fast-food-loving mascot.
A group of pediatricians, physicians, parents, and other concerned citizens – many of whom helped put Joe Camel back in his stable in the 1990s – have asked McDonald’s to stop marketing its food to children by eliminating the 43-year-old Ronald from its campaigns, including television commercials, digital and print advertisements, and promotional products. The group, which calls itself Corporate Accountability International, argues in an open letter to McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner that “contributors to today’s health epidemic are manifold and a broad societal response is required. But marketing can no longer be ignored as a significant part of this massive problem.”
Today’s blog is in honor of Oscar F. Mayer, and his branding brilliance, on the week before the anniversary of his birth.
Oscar Mayer was born on March 29, 1859 in Kösingen, Germany. Mayer emigrated to the states as a teenaged and began working at a meat market in Detroit, Michigan, eventually starting a butcher and sandwich-making shop of his own in Chicago. In the early 1900s, Mayer began branding his meats to capitalize on their popularity, a move that helped the company grow to become the American meat and cold cut production company – and billion-dollar brand – it is today. Among his most notable branding efforts is the Wienermobile – this promotional automotive item is a hotdog shaped automobile that has been touring the United States for more than 70 years to promote and advertise Oscar Mayer products.
Department store operator jcpenney unveiled a new logo this week, offering the most significant change to the brand’s identity in 40 years. The design features all lower-case text with a two-tone backdrop to emphasize this alteration from “JCPenney” to “jcpenney.” They better start distributing their promotional products customized with the old logo quickly before the official debut of the new one this weekend during the broadcast of the Academy Awards. (jcpenney happens to be the exclusive retail sponsor of the Oscars.)
“Our new logo reflects the modern retailer we’ve become while continuing to honor our rich legacy,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer for jcpenney. “We’ve made significant progress transforming our Company over the last several years by infusing great style into our assortments, delivering world-class customer service, and introducing new and innovative retail technologies that have made jcpenney a retail leader in the digital age.”
As more and more people invest in gadgets such as Kindles, iPads, and blackberries it is important to have the right promotional media storage cases to store, charge, and protect them.
Just last Friday, Mashable reported that Kindle books were now outselling paperbacks on Amazon, just six months after e-books outsold hardcovers. Now, Amazon can say e-books are responsible for their $10 billion earnings in a single quarter.
As portable electronics grow in popularity companies should consider using promotional media storage cases to promote their brand or service. Whether a person uses there iPad in a coffee shop or a trade-show, people pay attention to the device and the case they store it in. Continue reading →
Many companies use promotional products when re-branding their corporate logo, as they are an effective, inexpensive way to show off one’s new identity. Maybe people would have been more receptive to Gap’s new logo unveiled this week if they got some free stuff promoting the new design. Maybe not…
In Israel, teenage visitors to the Coca-Cola Village can take advantage of brand new technology that allows them to automatically update their Facebook status by scanning a promotional wristband across a digital reader. In order to win a three day trip to the Village, teenage consumers must sign up through Faceook in small groups and collect a specified number of bottle tops, as well as pay a $50 fee to take care of all accommodation, food and activities. The Village, which opened five years ago, plays host to 600 to 800 teenagers at a time, offering them access to amenities like horse-back riding, massages, rock concerts and sports. To learn more about the Coca-Cola Village and how these high-tech wristbands enhance guests’ experiences, keep reading…
Daily musings on promotional products in our world and media.