Brands & Marketers: Newcastle Brown departure, Kelloggs etchings, Microsoft clueless, DDR Nostalgia, Etsy’s Worst

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.

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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.
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Brands v Content: Bacardi, Pepsi, Kraft, Kellogg’s

Bacardi v Groove Armada
Six weeks before Groove Armada will be releasing their new EP through traditional download stores, the first track appeared Bacardi B-Live, where registered users can download it for free. They can access the second track as soon once they’ve shared the first with 20 friends. The third MP3 can be heard when the first has been shared 200 times, and the fourth when 2,000 ‘friends’ have hear the first track. Sharing is made easy by supplying users with widgets for their websites and Facebook profiles. The sharing application was launched last week and will be available until 2 March 2009.

groove armada bacardi

In a move that some viewers considered shocking, cast and crew from the Peacock Network’s venerable “Saturday Night Live” crafted three ads for Pepsi that essentially grafted mentions, cans and logos of the famous soda into three different executions of “MacGruber,” a long-running spoof of the old “MacGyver” TV series. The ads looked just like “SNL” skits but ran during commercial breaks on the Jan. 31 edition of the show. One of the ads also appeared during the recent Super Bowl. Pepsi’s ad agency, Omnicom Group‘s change-resistant TBWA/Chiat/Day, had little if any involvement in the commercials.
Kraft is “getting the b(r)and back together” and building a campaign for Crystal Light around Estelle and her upbeat song, which is centered on a special Web site (upumpitup.com). Site visitors will be able to download free copies of a full-length version of “Star” before it is available for sale in March on Web sites like Amazon and iTunes.

Kellogg’s drops Phelps after bong controversy
Kellogg’s has become the first major sponsor to end an endorsement deal with swimmer Michael Phelps, calling his behaviour “not consistent” with its image, after the News of the World published photographs of the Olympic gold medallist smoking out of a glass pipe. The US cereal manufacturer said it would not renew its contract with Phelps, which expires at the end of the month.

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