Brands: Google ousts Coke, BK serves Starbucks, Coronation Street extensions

Google Ousts Coke as World’s Second-Most Valuable Brand
Google has become the world’s second-most valuable brand, just behind Wal-Mart, having ousted Coca-Cola from the No. 2 spot, according to analysts Brand Finance. Google jumped from No. 5 last year to No. 2 in this year’s Brand Finance evaluation.
Coca-Cola lost to Google, falling to the No. 3 spot, in part because the soft drink is not as powerful in developing countries as it used to be, writes Metro. “Coke is on a long term decline unless it can reinvent itself,” David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, says.Wal-Mart has a brand value of $41.4 billion, followed by Google with $36.2 billion and Coca-Cola with $34.8 billion, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.

By September, Seattle’s Best coffee (owned by Starbucks) will be served at 7,250 Burger King restaurants in the US. (OK so not actually Starbucks, but I had a headline to think about. Well done for makimg it this far down the page). The 100% Arabica bean coffee will replace the current BK Joe offerings, and will range in price from $1 to $2.79 with the option to add vanilla, mocha flavors or whipped toppings. BK’s move recognizes the importance of coffee to restaurant menus of every kind, including fast food’s, particularly in light of McDonald’s McCafe concept. It also signals expansion of the Seattle’s Best brand as one part of Starbucks’ future growth strategy – in light of its advantageous mass appeal. Seattle’s Best also inked a deal this past September with Subway, serving its coffee at 9,000 Subway restaurants in the US and Canada.

Burger King To Partner With Starbucks’ (BKC, SBUX, MCD) (benzinga.com)
Burger King Revamps Coffee, Eyes Menu Rehab (abcnews.go.com)
Seattle’s Best Coffee Coming to Burger King (friendseat.com)
Burger King to team up with Seattle’s Best (money.cnn.com)
Starbucks’ Seattle’s Best Coffee brand partners with Burger King (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King to start offering Seattle’s Best Coffee drinks (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King revamps coffee, eyes menu rehab (sfgate.com)
New Burger King Menu Features Starbucks Coffee, More Breakfast Options (huffingtonpost.com)

Retailers will be stocking Cor onation Street-branded products to mark the 50th anniversary of the ITV soap. From next month, fans will be able to play a Nintendo Wii game featuring their favourite characters. They will also be able to tuck in to Corrie-branded food. Holland’s Pies is launching Betty’s Hot Pots, named after veteran barmaid character Betty Turpin‘s pies, which will be sold in supermarkets.
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Metaverse: Virtual World vs Real Goods, Second Life vs Counterfeit

An interesting juxtaposition in the metaverse today. Real-life goods are being showcased in Roiworld (nothing new there … American Apparel did this in 2006) … and at the same time a virtual Chinatown has grown up in Second Life … and resident Stroker Serpentine is suing the Lindens for allowing copyright infringement.
Norma Kamali is marketing her Wal-Mart collection through Roiworld.com, a virtual space where users can try on Kamali’s clothes on their avatars and click through to purchase them. The Web site owned by Lifetime says it’s a first for the company, and it’s one of the few cases in which retailers are using virtual worlds to sell real-life goods.
roiworld karen namali

Second Life slapped with counterfeit suit
A pair of Second Life entrepreneurs are suing the game’s creator, Linden Lab, for allowing other players to sell “knockoffs” of their virtual sex organs, erotic poses, designer clothing, and other trademarked items. Kevin Alderman (known in Second Life as “Stroker Serpentine”) alleges that Linden facilitates and profits from in-game pirates copying his IP-protected line of adult-themed virtual goods. Alderman claims his SexGen branded items and animations are among the most popular virtual products sold within Second Life, making his US trademark a valuable resource to distinguish himself amongst competitors selling alternative methods of bumping ugly online.

second life chinatown

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IP: Anomaly Getting It (Lauren Luke), WalMart Stealing It (Girl Scouts)

YouTube star Lauren Luke launched a make-up range launched her new line of products last week in the stores of Sephora. The beauty chain now stocks 5 ‘palette’ boxes that she spoke to PSFK about in an interview in May. Supporting her all the way has the creative agency Anomaly and her manager Duncan Bird (who until recently headed up Another Anomaly). As co-owners in the By Lauren Luke brand Anomaly has been involved with the careful development of the By Lauren Luke brand, its promotion through PR and the web plus product development and packaging design. It’s part of the move towards intellectual property that was always part of the plan by the founding partner Carl Johnson. Johnson spoke in March at PSFK Conference 2009 about the work behind the By Lauren Luke brand and even admitted that they hadn’t spent a penny on advertising to support it.”
“The exclusivity of Girl Scout cookies is what makes the cookies really sell,” Ms. Harquail writes. “But now, Walmart is shoving itself in front of these little girls, and knocking on your door to sell you their almost-as-good fake Thin Mints and fake Tagalongs, whenever you want them.”
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Microsoft Stores, Black Cats, Pakistan Ads, Seth’s Ideas

Playing on the fear and paranoia, surrounding Warner Bros. has apparently sent out “individually trained black cats onto the streets of London wearing branded cat clothing bearing the title of the video game.” Blimey.
The Foreign Office is to fund a television advertising campaign in Pakistan to get across the message that Britain is not “anti-Islamic.” According to the Guardian, the £400,000 campaign, titled ‘I am the west’, will feature a number of prominent British Muslims including communities minister Sadiq Khan and run for three months.
Seth Godin is running an alternative MBA program that has, at its heart, a new vision of learning about being a businessperson. Nine participants are currently learning about entrepreneurship, freelancing and marketing in a practical, real world apprenticeship with Godin rather than going the traditional business school route. You can follow the group at the excellent SAMBA (Six Month MBA) blog, where they’ve recently come up with 999 new business ideas. The list is a testament to creative thinking that can act as a great catalyst for developing your own brilliant new ideas.
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Links

Pound World shop forced out of business by 99p store
Price-conscious customers deserted Pound World in Poole, Dorset when they realised that the same products were available 1p cheaper on the other side of the street. The discount shop did a brisk trade when it started business in June but sales fell by 70 per cent after 99p Stores opened last month. Now bosses have decided that they cannot compete, and the store shut down on Saturday. “It’s amazing we had to close because of a difference of just a penny,” Pound World manager Jamie Lang said.

Honda is bringing out three short films — a k a long commercials — to be watched online. The so-called webisodes, each about seven minutes, will be available, starting on Monday, at a Honda Web site (dreams.honda.com), under the rubric of the “Dream the Impossible documentary series.” Commercials that will serve as trailers for the short films, meant to drive traffic to the Web site, are to appear on ABC.com, CBS.com, hulu.com and NBC.com. There will also be ads on sites devoted to news, technology and other topics; they include CNN.com, time.com, wired.com and yahoo.com.
A vertical farm design modeled after the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles features a prominent renewable energy source: a rotating solar panel that, like a sunflower, gyrates to face the sun.
Naomi Klein is advocating a boycott on Israel. In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.” The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions–BDS for short–was born. Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause, and talk of cease-fires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is even emerging among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. It calls for “the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions” and draws a clear parallel with the antiapartheid struggle. “The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves…. This international backing must stop.”
Consumers, particularly younger ones, who are seriously cutting back spending during the current economic downturn may be establishing new patterns of frugality that will live on after the recovery. That was one of the concerns of Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott, who yesterday kicked off the National Retail Federation’s annual convention in Manhattan. His candid comments come just weeks before he is scheduled to step down as CEO.

Pantless Subway Riders Turn Heads
Improv Everywhere, the guys that organized hundreds of people inside of Grand Central Terminal to freeze in their tracks at rush-hour, were behind the latest public display of confusion. They’re guessing they had between 1,200 and 1,500 participants for the 8th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride, some of which reported the overheard comments on Improv Everywhere’s site. Gothamist picks out two choice quotes: One heard an onlooker openly declare: “This is why I go on the subway; this would never happen on the bus.” While another was asked “Are you guys protesting Madoff?”

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At least no one ever died of Marketing

… well, until now …

Security should have been better, but advertising also helped kill a temporary worker at Wal-Mart, according to a lawsuit filed by the estate and relatives of the 34-year-old man trampled by a pre-dawn Black Friday crowd at a Valley Stream, N.Y., store.At least one local police official and one retail marketing consultant also argue that Black Friday marketing and merchandising practices need to change in the wake of the incident.

Wal Mart Death

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