McD's Tears 'Barista' Out of Starbucks Playbook

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Brandkeys publishes this thing called the Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. According to this year's index, Starbucks lost serious ground in '07 for forgetting what made it a big name in the first place: the coffee experience.

Who's winning the loyalty of Third Place defectors? McDonald's, which stole ground from Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts last year. To leverage its swell in traffic, the burger-and-clown franchise is opening coffee bars throughout the States, and it'll be pushing lattes, cappuccinos and frappes.

Maybe to prove there's no magic to SBUX that can't be duplicated elsewhere, McD's will be calling its coffee peddlers "baristas" and making coffee machines visible over the bar.

Hrm. We're having trouble picturing ourselves sipping macchiattos over a tile floor that smells like pee. But hey, two apple pies for $0.99? Can't beat that.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Packaging



'Best Ad Ever' is for ... Volvo? Guess So.

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Dave and Eddy claim they've found THE GREATEST AD EVER. (And it's not that damn Volkswagen ad.) In an attic!

Visual fetishists, prepare to be disappointed. It lacks color, imagery or music to boost its emotional cred -- just 1,033 words to paint its picture. It's compelling, clever and persuasive, if you bother to read it. And it's for the Volvo! See the ad, sandwiched somewhere amidst Dave and Eddy's gushy storytelling, right here.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Good, Magazine, Packaging



Zune Goes Silent, Stays Pretty, Over Times Square

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The Zune is getting mighty sexy ad-wise. (Not like Microsoft hasn't got the blow to cash -- er, the cash to blow.)

The brand enlisted TAG, SF to build a silent spot for the 20-foot GeoffreyTron billboard in Times Square. The final product, Zune Tron, made use of work by Stardust, whose job it was to enliven the spot without use of actual sound. That's a tall order considering the product is an MP3 player, but it turned out damn pretty. It must have been gorgeous in person.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-08    




GEICO Gecko Gets Talky with Otter and Jellyfish

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GEICO supports wildlife conservation. Not convinced? Watch the gecko have a heart-to-heart with an otter and a jellyfish, courtesy of the Association of Zoos and Acquariums.

The gecko shtick never gets old. We're glad GEICO didn't lose sight of that in the face of its neurotic caveman's mushroom cloud popularity.

Catch the gecko in the flesh at the San Diego Zoo's Children's Zoo from January 5-February 17. You'll meet a few real geckos, and a big fake one too. (The GEICO mascot, that is.)

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



ABC, Kimberly-Clark Intervene on Rooms in Need of Therapy

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ABC's The View and Kimberly-Clark -- the pretty name behind a bunch of brands lying around your house -- are conducting their second annual Room-a-Day Giveaway. 16 people will get 25 grand for a room makeover from January 12 to March 7.

15 winners will be announced on the show; the 16th will appear on the March 13 episode. Last year (arguably the height of the UGC craze) the contest got about 3.6 million entries.

It's not like there's anything else to watch, right? Damn writers strike.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Promotions, Television



Xerox Unveils Beach Ball As New Logo

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Perhaps they haven't seen ATT's logo. Perhaps they don't care their new logo conjures a lazy Saturday afternoon at the beach. No, Xerox and Omnicom' Interbrand, which just unveiled its new logo today, thinks a red beach ball will do just fine conveying its desire to be known as a company that is "engaging and approachable." Yes, "engaging and approachable" just like small child at the beach who wants you to play beach ball with them.

After 20 years of that big red X, 18 months of research and development has yielded...a beach ball. Yup. When we think of a serious document management company, we think of...a beach ball. Don't you?

Anyway, life goes on and after a month or two, no one will even care about this let alone remember the original red X logo.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-08    
Topic: Brands



Stripping Knight Promotes Budget Pizza. (Huh?)

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This Round Table ad by WONGDOODY has a stripping knight in it. It's not as exciting as it sounds, but it's probably funny as hell when you're high. (Then again, so is this.)

The ad is for Big Vinnie, a New York-style pizza for the budget-conscious. (But who's gonna remember that?!)

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Promotions, Strange, Television



PETA Rides UGC for Big In on Open Apps Craze

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Loath to miss out on the open applications hype but too lazy (or busy hunting?) to build one, PETA is hosting a contest for people keen to develop a Facebook or OpenSocial app promoting PETA or its campaigns. (Does striptease State of the Union mean anything to you?)

"Remember: We're PETA, so don't be afraid to be racy, provocative, shocking, or even controversial if you want to," the contest info reads.

Winners get a $500 Apple gift card, which can get you an iPod touch or one-fifth of a 17-inch Macbook Pro. Entries due Jan 25 so if you're really into animal salvation, or just hate the crap out of KFC (which is as good an incentive as any), you better get crackin'.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Online, Promotions



Lacoste Bullies Dental Firm Over Logo, Gets Bitchslapped with Fine

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Gotta love a logo battle. French firm Lacoste just lost one against a dental practice in UK-based Gloucestershire, which uses the image of a crocodile to promote its service.

The battle raged for four years between the goliathan clothing company and the practice, with Lacoste arguing the use of the crocodile could confuse people into thinking the dentist office is Lacoste-endorsed.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands



Monster (Creepily) Croons, 'Your Calling is Calling!'

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Maybe to boost its reputation beyond "that site where spammers and pyramid schemes score college kids," Monster.com is launching a no-holds-barred campaign called "Your Calling is Calling." So far we've managed to score one spot, which reminds us of a low-impact Creed music video.

The BBDO Worldwide campaign will appear on TV, print, radio and online. The pressie says it's all about getting people to "take an introspective look at their lives by shining a light on the connection between a job and personal fulfillment."

That's all well and good, but JSMN calls the Monster.com selection crappy and cookie-cutter. Burrrrn.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 4-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Television










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