Latest dispatch from the cola war

2/25/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Marc Jacobs-designed Coke cans
brandchannel provides a report on the latest dueling videos from Coca-Cola and Pepsi, as well as previews the new Marc Jacobs-designed Coke cans.

(Historical note: CCNY alum David Finn and his partner, Bill Ruder, created the their first company, Art and Industry, Inc., (later to become Ruder Finn, Inc.)  to provide a link between well-known artists and designers with commercial product manufacturers to -- well, to do what Coke and Marc Jacobs are doing 60+ years later.)

Best practices for branded content

2/22/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer, GroupM
Rob Norman, GroupM Chief Digital Officer and long-time friend and supporter of CCNY Media & Communication Arts (Tumbler: On Demand), recently provided some great, succinct insights in an interview on Beet.TV about "best practices for branded content."   (Full disclosure: The American Miniature Schnauzer Club is not a client.)

BIC Summit BIG success

2/18/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

On January 23, 2013, The City College of New York new Master's program in Branding + Integrated Communications was launched with a Curriculum Summit that was attended by over 70 guests from Manhattan advertising, branding, digital, PR, and research firms along with academics.

It wasn't just great to see new faces and good friends, but to hear the buzz of exciting ideas. After getting caffeinated and hearing a brief presentation on the BIC launch, working groups got together in ten tables of six to explore the big challenges facing the communications industry today and what types of leaders will shape the future. 

Also check out the BIC Summit Gallery on the navigation bar, above.

L to R: Eric Weitz, Dean of Humanities & the Arts, CCNY;
Nancy R. Tag, Chair, Media & Communication Arts, CCNY;
Donna Rennella, President, ABW Solutions, Inc.

Belle Frank, EVP, Global Director
of Strategy and Research, Young & Rubicam
welcomed guests at the BIC Curriculum Summit

Barri Rafferty, CEO North America, Ketchum;
Bill Murray, COO, Public Relations Society of America

Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer, GroupM Global (center)

Janice Rotchstein, Chief Quality Officer, Edelman PR;
Prof. Lynn Appelbaum, Director, Advertising/PR Program, CCNY

Hayes Roth (center), Chief Marketing Office of Landor,
leads a BIC curriculum discussion.

CCNY Media and Communication Arts faculty members,
Gerardo Blumenkrantz (center) and
Lynne Scott Jackson (right)

Social Media Week begins -- globally -- today

2/17/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Social Media Week, February 2013, begins Monday, February 18 -- from Copenhagen, Hamburg, Lagos, Miami, Milan, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington DC and . . .

Check out the schedules, get the mobile app, watch live streaming from around the world, get the hashtags and FB pages, etc. all at the SMW website "How to Follow & Share SMW13" page.

Follow the New York news feed / blog here.

The case for a "fluid brand"

2/17/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Jose Martinez-Salmeron
Executive Creative Director
Jose Martinez Salmeron, Executive Creative Director at Social@Ogilvy, blogs at about "the practice of branding . . . undergoing a deep transformation."

Salmeron makes the case -- perhaps counter-intuitively for the some -- against brand consistency. He quotes from a 2012 HBR blog by Grant McCracken: "'The consumer now appears to believe that the brand should earn its public attention the way all of us must. Say boring, repetitive stuff and you suffer the punishment that every bad conversationalist faces. First, we ignore you. Then, we exclude you.'"

Salmeron makes the case, variously, for "fluid brands," "dynamic rebranding," and, in general, a bit of playfulness -- or "the brand as an ecosystem of interactions . . . brand identity definition is no longer a one-way street."  He shows with several recent re-branding efforts that "Beyond formal considerations, a brand is also defined by experiential parameters (and now more than ever): how and where do customers interact with a given brand, online and offline."

Challenges of a mobile-only audience

2/17/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Cory Bergman, General Manager,
Breaking News
Cory Bergman, GM of Breaking News, a mobile-first start-up owned by NBC News Digital, last week posted on about the business -- and, by extension, branding -- concerns of news organizations facing an increasingly mobile user. Check out the full post, here.

A few of Bergman's insights:

"There’s a huge gap in advertising yield between desktop and mobile experiences: $3.50 versus $0.75 in average CPMs, according to Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker. Mobile is growing so quickly, the explosion in available inventory is depressing advertising rates. Ad agencies typically lag demand, which means this gap won’t be bridged anytime soon.

"As audiences shift, the industry will be faced with more revenue pressure unless news organizations can create new mobile revenue streams to compensate. In many ways, this is similar to the shift from print to the Web. Just porting one business model to the other isn’t the solution. Traditional display advertising on mobile devices makes up a very small, declining fraction of total revenue

" . . . simply extending a news organizations’ current coverage into mobile isn’t enough. We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility. Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.

"'When the Web was new, many of us went online with creativity and energy,” says Regina McCombs, who teaches mobile at Poynter. “Now, faced with even bigger potential and pitfalls for developing — or losing — our audience, most of us are getting by with as little investment as we can. That’s scary.'"

The consequences of inventing "frappuccino"

2/15/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Fast Company looks this week at how brands manage new terminology into existence -- and thereby dominate the mindspace for whole product categories. Mark Quinn, VP of Marketing with Leggett & Platt, blogs about how brands can create hybrid language and terminology to own a concept and hold market share.

"The new American could be a dream come true if it chooses to take the actions that'll make it real."

2/15/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton (L) and
US Airways CEO Doug Parker
at the airline merger announcement
at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
(Photo: Los Angeles Times)
Forbes contributor Jonathan Salem Baskin jumps on the American Airlines - US Airways merger story and its branding challenges.  We presume (?) that Futurebrand's recently unveiled work for American will stay on track.  (Nice review of Futurebrand's "reboot" of American at FastCompany Design by Mark Wilson, here.)  Baskin at Forbes asserts, "The creative opportunity is immense, almost bordering on a dream," but goes on to provide a wish list of behaviors that it would like to see in the new merged airline to "operationalize the new American brand."

Baskin concludes with this: "Past experience is that big mergers end up being nightmares for most everyone involved, except those profiting from their implementation."  Some of us have a long memory: the Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz in 1996 to create Novartis was not only a success corporate merger, fairly universally recognized as good for everyone, but also spurred an industry re-branding away from drug or pharmaceutical companies to a "healthcare" industry.  Exxon-Mobil in 1999 didn't do badly for itself either. Even, for all the mishegas of the recession, the JPMorganChase merger of 2005 still looks pretty good -- as a brand as well as an enterprise. The question of what makes a big-merger brand success needs a bit more exploration and evidence.

Blogging at New York Fashion Week

2/12/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Emily Weiss
Into the Gloss fashion / beauty blogger
Nice New York Times video clip about Emily Weiss,  young blogger writing about fashion since 2010. A great example of a new integrated communications enterprise -- age 27, running a five-person operation, posting 4 times per week and getting 6 million page views per month.