Design: London’s New Bus

When it comes to mayors of London, I was and am a fan of Ken Livingstone, and think Boris Johnson is a loveable buffoon. That said, I am a fan of the Routemaster, and not fond of the “bendy bus”.  I was therefore relieved to hear that British transport chiefs have announced the design of the new double-decker bus which is inspired by the decommissioned Routemaster. With its rounded corners and hop-on hop-off-door, Routemasters became a British icon over the 50 years of service it gave after its launch in the 1950s.
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Social/ Advertising: Hovis “Buzz”

Hovis embarks on first ‘buzz marketing’ drive
Hovis is launching its first marketing advocacy programme, to promote its recently launched Hearty Oats product. The Premier Foods bread brand is mirroring initiatives undertaken by Procter & Gamble, which has also used word-of-mouth programmes to raise awareness of its products. The aim of the campaign is to recruit 8000 advocates to help support the launch of the product, as Hovis introduces a greater word-of-mouth element to its marketing activity. Hovis Hearty Oats is the UK’s first loaf baked with 50% wholegrain oats and 50% wheat flour. Premier Foods claims that it can help to maintain normal cholesterol; the company has received the backing of charity Heart UK. Meh. For me Hovis is still about the Hovis ‘Bike’ advert from 1973 (Britain’s favourite TV ad apparently)

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People: The Mozza Stays On

Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Lévy has put on hold plans to retire at the end of next year, after the resignation of David Kenny, managing partner of the holding company’s Vivaki unit and a possible successor for Lévy’s job. Lévy, in a statement said he would “stay on board as long as needed,” at the request of the Publicis’ supervisory board. M. Levy has always been a supporter of Connections and I applaud his move.
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Road Warriors: A-Team v Google Earth, Darth Vader v Tom Tom

Hit the road
The first experience will put you in the seat of B.A. Baracus driving the iconic van throughout the maps of some world’s main cities.
It’s on YouTube, with the 3D Google Earth plug-in, and it is aimed at promoting the upcoming movie The A-Team..

Tom Tom has introduced a new feature letting users customizing their GPS device with some voices from Star Wars characters:
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Partnerships: Foursquare v Starbucks, Courvoisier v Daily Show

Foursquare Lands New Partnership With Starbucks
Starbucks is partnering with location-based social network Foursquare to offer discounts to its most loyal customers, Mashable reports. The “mayor” of each Starbucks location — the person who has checked-in there on Foursquare the most — is entitled to $1 off of any Frappuccino. It’s a one-time offer, lasting only for the next month, but Foursquare says it is confident that it will continue working with Starbucks on more offers in the future.

Courvoisier, the UK’s number one selling cognac, is to become the first sponsor of More4’s The Daily Show. The deal, brokered by ZenithOptimedia, forms part of a £15m investment in Courvoisier in the UK this year by its owner Maxxium. It will comprise a series of idents screened from 2 June for a whole year, aimed at promoting Courvoisier as a mixable and versatile drink for cocktails and punch. The move follows its 3D advertising campaign on Channel 4 in November.
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Sponsor Logos: Marlboro v F1, Liverpool turns Chinese

How a Barcode Could Make F-1 Racing Illegal on UK TV
In the UK it is illegal to show tobacco advertisements on certain television programs, like sporting events. Today, a bar code painted on the spine of a Formula-1 race car is causing problems for Marlboro and the Ferrari F1 cars sponsored by the cigarette maker. This story is worth reading if for this quote alone: “The bar code looks like the bottom half of a packet of Marlboro cigarettes. I was stunned when I saw it. This is pushing at the limits. If you look at how the bar code has evolved over the last four years, it looks like creeping branding.” -prominent English physician John Britton.

Carlsberg is bidding to increase its brand awareness in China with a novel one-off marketing ploy which will see its logo on Liverpool football kit written in Chinese. The specially designed kit will appear in Liverpool’s match against Chelsea on 2 May and marks the first time the logo on the kit has changed in 18 years. The lager brand is using the shirt sponsorship to capitalise on the interest of football fans in China. The move also ties in with the brewer’s role as partner of the Danish Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 event in Shanghai.

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Pringles says “Thanks for Oversharing”

Pringles lampoons social media addicts
Pringles is promoting its ‘sharing’ positioning with a light-hearted campaign that pokes fun at social media fanatics. The activity, created by Wunderman and called ‘The Oversharers’, appeals to consumers to name and shame their friends who share things online that are ‘totally ridiculous’. The push centres on the accusation that people who overuse Facebook and Twitter are boring their friends and urges them to share things ‘really worth sharing, like Pringles’. Central to the activity is a website with a Twitter feed showcasing the most banal tweets, such as: ‘Just eaten a sausage roll!!!’ Visitors to the site can download a Facebook ‘Overshare’ button, which adds to the existing options to ‘like’ and comment on friends’ status updates. When users click on ‘Overshare’, the author of the update will receive a message advising them to seek help at the Pringles website.

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Beverage: Glen Rossie Rossi, Fucking Hell Beer, Coca Colla

“Glen Rossie has a tremendous whisky heritage and as we approach its 200th anniversary in 2014 we want to turn it into a global brand,” said David Birchall, chief executive of The Brand Cellar. Rossi signed up to become the face of the brand earlier this year, with Birchall claiming the rock legend can improve Glen Rossie’s success in overseas markets: “As ‘front man’ for the Glen Rossie brand, we believe he can help us reinvigorate sales not just in the UK but, as someone who has sold 118m records worldwide, overseas too.”

German Execs Win Rights to Best Beer Name Ever
An Upper Austrian village called Fucking, is the inspiration for a new beer called Fucking Hell. Yes, the common English term for surprise and/or frustration is now a brand name thanks to a German firm which has been granted permission by the European Union’s Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office to brew beer and produce clothing under the name.

A certain US soft drinks giant may disagree, but Bolivia has come up with a fizzy beverage it says is the real thing: Coca Colla. The drink, made from the coca leaf and named after the indigenous Colla people from Bolivia’s highlands, went on sale this week across the South American country. It is black, sweet and comes in a bottle with a red label – but similarities to Coca-Cola end there. One is a symbol of US-led globalisation and corporate might; the other could be considered a socialist-tinged affront to western imperialism. The first batch of 12,000 bottles, priced about $1.50 (96p) for half a litre, were distributed in the capital, La Paz, as well as Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. The familiar-sounding name and packaging may rile the Atlanta-based soft drinks manufacturer, but Coca Colla could also cause groans in Washington.
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Roadside Americana, Metropolitan Etiquette

For 30 years John Margolies has been documenting the diners, drive-ins and motor lodges that remain along our highways as box stores and strip malls slowly erase the quirk and character of consumerism. His book Roadside America collects nearly 400 photographs of this vanishing vision of over-the-top architecture, automotive freedom and the American dream.
The Metropolitan Etiquette Authority
Artist Jason Shelowitz has created a series of subtle posters that explain common courtesy to New York City subway riders. Using the format of MTA announcement signs, Shelowitz’s “Metropolitan Etiquette Authority” posters spell out the finer points of not being a rude public transportation passenger.
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