It seems my old mate Spencer Baim is kickin’ ass down at Virtue (the company he founded with Vice Magazine). The idea was to create a company that would add credible Vice-like mojo to brands and activate through Vice’s various media and experience channels. I just came across this article about “How Vice, and Virtue, Are Helping to Sell Brands” – seems they have picked up an AoR assignment …!
“Starting in January 2010, Virtue will serve as the agency of record for Palladium’s global creative and media accounts as the boot expands its relaunch campaign into countries like the U.K., Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, the Phillippines and Taiwan in the coming months, all markets where Vice has a presence.”
Virtual world Second Life has just introduced a beta designed specifically for businesses that will open up new opportunities for companies to hold virtual meetings and trade virtual goods – especially products based on business collaboration needs. The new corporate option, “Second Life Enterprise,” will enable companies to run the site on their own network behind their own firewall, adding an extra layer of security to encourage such trading and more use in general.
Twinity – The Berlin Wall
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Twinity has reconstructed a true-to-scale section of the wall in virtual Berlin.
Newcastle Brown Ale to move oot of Toon
In the same year that Newcastle United FC lost its top flight status, the Geordie Nation has suffered another blow with the announcement that the production of Newcastle Brown Ale is moving away from Tyneside after 82 years. Heineken, the Dutch brewer and owner of the iconic brew — affectionately nicknamed Dog — is shifting operations from Gateshead to the John Smith’s brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, as part of a cost-cutting exercise that will save between £13-£14m. While the brand is synonymous with Tyneside, sales in the US now eclipse those in the UK. Exports of the distinctive 550ml bottles with the blue star logo account for about 105m pints a year, while around 55m pints are sold in the UK.
Kellogg’s to laser-brand individual Corn Flakes in fight against fakes
Kellogg’s is to start branding individual Corn Flakes with the company logo in a bid to protect against imitation products. The food giant plans to burn the Kellogg’s signature on to individual flakes using a laser and will then insert a proportion of these branded flakes into each box. If the system proves successful, it could be used on Kellogg’s other cereal products, including Frosties, Special K and Crunchy Nut.
“No one really grasps how dysfunctional Microsoft has become,” the source continues. “Yes Microsoft did spend half a billion dollars for, as near as anyone can tell, absolutely nothing [ie, Danger]. Not exactly the first time. Asserting that it’s a ridiculous supposition is in no way disproving it.”
On Nov. 9, Germans will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and many of them will be raising a glass of the country’s most popular sparkling wine, Rotkaeppchen, as they toast the achievements of 1989. The name means Little Red Riding Hood, and the brand is one of many former German Democratic Republic products that have survived and thrived in a unified Germany, helped along by a wave of nostalgia — or “ostalgie” — for all things associated with its communist past, but maintained in the long term by good old-fashioned capitalist marketing principles.
Regretsy catalogs some of the worst pieces to found on Etsy.com, the online marketplace for would-be craft mavens. Etsy has created an online marketplace for crafty geniuses–small-time makers of beautiful objects who’d otherwise remain unknown. But not everything on Etsy is great. Not by a long-shot. And that’s why there’s Regretsy. Tagline: “Handmade? Looks like you made it with your feet.” Here’s just three of the gems they dug up, and their comments, in italics.
“Our goal of rapidly increasing our volume in a mature market requires the Volkswagen brand to evolve into a more relevant mainstream choice,” Tim Ellis, VP-marketing at Volkswagen of America, said in a statement. “The Volkswagen brand needs to inspire our base of enthusiasts as well as reach out and captivate those in mainstream America. Therefore, we are re-evaluating all areas of our business and after careful considerations have decided to take the necessary steps to ensure we have the right agency partner in place.”
There’s long been talk among insiders of senior management in Germany preferring the idea of a global agency, which Crispin cannot yet claim to be, despite having established some overseas outposts. Secondly, there’s the marketer’s outsize ambition — to triple U.S. sales within the next 10 years. “Our goal of rapidly increasing our volume in a mature market requires the Volkswagen brand to evolve into a more relevant mainstream choice,” said VW’s Tim Ellis. And mainstream is one thing Crispin isn’t. Stir in persistent business problems at VW, a major acquisition and a recent round of marketing-department musical chairs, and you have a classic recipe for a review.
Kerri Martin to Head Marketing at Electric-Car Maker Coda
Kerri Martin, once a high-profile marketer who did stints at BMW Mini and Volkswagen, will join electric-car maker Coda Automotive next week as its first chief marketing officer. Industry observers will be watching Ms. Martin, 39, to see whether she can make marketing lightning strike again. She and Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, created non-traditional blitz for the U.S. launch of the Mini small car in 2002 that was unique for the auto category, received rave reviews from industry pundits and created the concept of “motoring” for the brand. This time Ms. Martin will be working on the launch of the Coda sedan, the Santa Monica, Calif., company’s first car, next year.
Electric cars could comprise 64-86% of US light vehicle sales by 2030, provided that consumers don’t have to buy the high-priced batteries themselves and an infrastructure can be built to maintain and manage them, according to a new study from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at University of California, Berkeley. To build the infrastructure for battery charging and swapping systems over the next few decades, the cost may exceed $320 billion, the study (pdf) found. However, that cost could be offset by societal health-related savings of $205 billion, as less vehicle pollution reduces the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases, writes Environmental Leader.
Ford’s Next Experiment With Sustainable Materials: Liquid Wood
Recently, scientists have been touting “liquid wood,” a bizarre pikecrete-like new material which some think could become as ubiquitous as plastic. Ford, eager to burnish its green credentials, took notice: One of its research wings in Germany has just inaugurated a three-year, $1.4 million program to figure out if liquid wood can be used in their car interiors and engines.
Crispin Porter + Bogusky Intern Auction: Summer 2009 – eBay (item 270392380113)
Crispin Porter & Bogusky has put 40 of its interns up for auction on eBay. Interested parties can bid for them , with all of the money going to the interns themselves to augment their wages. At the time of writing, the bidding, which started at $1, stood at $4,250. The winning bidder will receive a creative presentation from the intern, consisting of strategies, concepts and recommended brand positionings, but not finished ads or production materials.
American Apparel has settled with director Woody Allen for $5m (£3.2m) over the unauthorised use of the star’s image in a 2007 poster campaign. Allen sued the fashion retailer for $10m accusing it of “blatant misappropriation and commercial use of his image” and of damaging his reputation. The image was a still from the film ‘Annie Hall‘ featuring Allen as a hasidic jew.
If you want your brand to be associated with young people, then image isn’t everything, at least not according to a study by MTV Networks, the long-time arbiter of cool—and what’s hot—among young audiences. For the study, Internet users ages 12 to 24 in five countries—Germany, India, Japan, the UK and the US—were surveyed. According to respondents ages 18 to 24, the most popular features of a brand were good quality, trustworthiness and workability—three traits not usually associated with the stereotypical image of free-wheeling youth.