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Branding

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Amex to debut international branding campaign

For the first time in six years, American Express is planning to debut an ad campaign that will highlight the brand, as opposed to specific properties.
‘We’ll take it from its historic product focus, where we might have looked at the Air Miles card, into a brand message,’ says president and general manager Beth Horowitz, who joined Markham, Ont.-based Amex Canada this summer from the company’s London, U.K. offices, where she was SVP, product development for International Consumer Card Services. ‘It’s time,’ she adds.

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Addiction a good thing for Dior

So what’s the story?
She’s writhing ecstatically and she’s drenched in sweat. Her gauzy bra is slipping up and her impatient thumb is tugging at her flimsy thong. Looks like she’ll be naked pretty darn quick. Must be Playboy or Penthouse, right? Nope. The open-mouthed, closed-eyed model is appearing in full-page ads in Canadian fashion and entertainment magazines to push next month’s exclusive debut at the Bay of Dior Addict fragrance.

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Women’s toothpaste promises ageless smile

So what’s the story?
You just know there had to be non-stop smiling at Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters when they came up with this one: for-women-only toothpaste. Dubbed ‘Crest Rejuvenating Effects,’ it’s a tingly, teal-coloured, vanilla- and cinnamon-flavoured concoction that comes in chic iridescent packaging. Target demo: 30-44.

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JWT appointment reflects escalating brand stewardship fight

My wife is a speech and language pathologist. Her specialty is in identifying the neurological causes of language problems in children, and recommending the correct therapeutic solutions for them.
As an experienced provider of such a highly professional service, she is of course knowledgeable enough in related areas – behavioural and cognitive psychology, for instance – to recognize when a language difficulty is just a symptom of a much deeper social or psychological problem. But in these instances, she is often professionally constrained from commenting on the deeper issues. The regulations governing her practice do not permit it. In the unregulated world of brand strategy and communications, we are often, if not always, in a very similar position.

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Has Lexus hooligan ad vandalized its brand?

So what’s the story?
OK, class, let’s try a spot of word association. Our words today are ‘Lexus’ and ‘hooligan.’ Quickly now, what scenario pops into your mind the fastest when you put the two together? Are you perchance visualizing a grotty gang of roving thugs?

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Toronto film fest expands, promotes its brand

Sharp marketing has been a cornerstone in the rise of the Toronto International Film Festival from a mid-level alternative player to one of the major stops on the festival calendar. In the last decade alone, TIFF has evolved into a bona fide brand that would make the top brass at Coca-Cola or McDonald’s proud.

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Taco Time cooks up ‘authentic’ marketing plans

Walk into any fast food joint and not much would likely catch your eye. Most have the same stainless steel counters, rigid plastic chairs and non-descript hues, save for the few bright playgrounds for little folk. But Calgary-based Taco Time is aiming to distance itself from the norm, with a new marketing strategy that is designed to paint the 115-unit franchise as more ‘authentic.’

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Baseball’s on, but boys of summer still striking out

So there will be a World Series after all. While the ugliest word in sports – strike – has been averted, this year, to put it lightly, has not been good for professional baseball, especially in Canada. We asked a panel of marketing pros for their suggestions on how to save the game in Canada.

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Everfresh goes slasher in summer campaign

So what’s the story?
You wouldn’t think juice could rip someone’s head off, but in an attempt to connect with the gore-loving, 16- to 20-year-old male demo, a new campaign for Everfresh jokes about doing just that.

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Must-have for marketers

Advanced Brand Management: From Vision to Valuation
By Paul Temporal

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P-O-P requires its own mind-set

We all know how important brand-building advertising is to our marketing strategies. But share of voice seldom correlates with share of SKUs. The retailer is the Keeper of All Brands, but agencies often do not satisfy the retailer’s need to maintain the store’s brand integrity, while still maintaining their client’s.

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Branding in the ‘Sindustry’

For traditional, comfort-based brands, the potential to build long-term competitive differentiation is great. But can the same be said of brands in the categories perceived as more taboo? Can you build brands where either public perception or regulations limit your ability to message directly to the customer?
For ‘sindustry’ brands, such as tobacco, alcohol, gambling and sex, the answer is yes – providing their brand-building initiatives are holistic in nature.

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Brand a signal of value

Within a day of the appearance of my last column in this magazine, I received an e-mail from a reader who was troubled by its lack of a conclusion. It seems that, in the course of critiquing the linguistic mire which envelops the practice of branding these days, I failed to answer the fundamental question, what is a brand?

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Airlines can’t seem to get brand advertising off the ground

It’s funny how whole segments of the economy suddenly seem to jump on the advertising bandwagon, and just as quickly jump off again.
There’ll be a flurry of oil company campaigns, and then a year later, silence.

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Guenette: how Flavour stole back a piece of the branding pie

One Canadian agency that is doing a lot of branding work is Flavour (formerly Wolf Group Advertising) under Rob Guenette, CEO of the Toronto agency since moving from Molson Canada earlier this year.
Guenette says the biggest case study for the agency so far has been its own rebranding.