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Disney and Playboy: Branding Tycoons

Disney Playboy

Image courtesy of freakingnews.com

It all started with a mouse…and a bunny. Two men started with nothing and ended up with palaces – one as a castle, the other as a mansion. How did these men make millions in media? Brilliant branding.

Walt Disney started with a dream and an animation featuring a mouse by the name of Mickey. He went from one hit, Steamboat Willie (1928), to being the star of a theme park just a couple of decades later. Disney knew he was on to something and started aggressively branding the likeable mouse. Mickey had his own cartoons, merchandise, and even a club featuring promising actors and musical talent (cue Justin Timberlake). Throughout the entire growth of Mickey Mouse, Disney always reinforced the brand with his classic phrase, “It all started with a mouse.” Mickey went from a cartoon character to an iconic symbol of childhood across the globe.
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Hello Kitty In Fact Not a Kitty?

Hello Kitty 1974Hello Kitty fans around the world received some shocking news today. According to Sanrio, Hello Kitty’s parent company, Hello Kitty is in fact not a cat, but a little girl. For individuals who have grown up loving the adorable little character, this announcement came as a bit of a shock.

Upon the horizon of the first ever Hello Kitty Con and the Hello Kitty retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum of Art in Los Angeles, Kitty fans don’t know what to believe. An anthropologist who has studied the Hello Kitty phenomenon for years was preparing texts for an exhibit when she was firmly corrected by Sanrio as to the cat status of Hello Kitty. Sanrio representatives stated that Hello Kitty is not a cat, she is a cartoon character depicting a cat, she is a little girl who is a friend. She is never depicted on all fours, and in fact, has a cat as a pet.
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NFL’s New UXD Strategy: Touchdown or Penalty?

ChargersAs this season’s football season “kicks-off,” the NFL is trying new and interesting ways to get more people into the stands. As technology advances, NFL fans are become more and more inclined to stay home to watch the game. And why wouldn’t they? For free, they can have the best seats in the house, pause the game when needed, and keep track of their Fantasy Football stats, all while lounging in pajamas.
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Social Marketing vs Cultural Marketing: A look into the strategies of two coffee giants

Starbucks vs DunkinChances are, if you’re a coffee drinker you have a preference for where you buy your coffee in order to kick start your day. Within the past few years there has been a rise in third party shops like McDonalds and Keurig cups that make the coffee consumer market extremely competitive. But even with all of this competition, there is a big chance that you either buy your morning brew from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. These two coffee giants control well over half the coffee market in the U.S. and have been successfully doing so for years. And, as an innocent consumer, every time you buy a Coolatta or a Frappuccino, you’re basically picking a side.
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Starbucks’ Drive-Thru Random Acts of Kindness or Guilt?

Starbucks drive through

A happy customer of the “Pay it Forward” phenomenon. Image courtesy of ksdk.com.

Do you ever pay it forward? Many of us were introduced to the idea in the famous Pay It Forward movie from the year 2000, staring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment. If you haven’t watched the tear jerker, here is the main idea: A young child wanted to find a way to help people for a school project. His idea was to get people to “pay it forward.” In order to do so, people who received help from another person would help someone else in need, thus propagating the energy forward to someone else. However, the idea didn’t die with Haley Joel Osment’s acting career.
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SoundCloud Ads Are Making (Sound)Waves

SoundCloud Advertising

Image courtesy of soundcloud.com

SoundCloud is a social media platform that specializes in the distribution of music. Musicians around the world can create a profile and upload their music, which others can listen to, comment on, and even download if the musician permits it. Musicians love SoundCloud because it allows them to get their music out to the general public without needing to go through a big distributor. After all, if people don’t know your music, you can’t expect to make any money. SoundCloud is also unique because the social media platform is a popular hub for musicians to interact with one another.
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How to Instabrand on Instagram

Instagram analytics example

Image courtesy of instagram.com.

Like any other website or application, once there is enough foot traffic, marketers will find ways to profit off of the captive audience. What would make Instagram any different? Nothing. Advertisers have been creating paid advertisements for a while now, but with very little ability to analyze the results. Fortunately, Instagram is now giving advertisers instant access to data on how their posts are doing. And yes, this means paid and unpaid posts.

Why is this so important?
Not all brands see Instagram as a way to advertise to social media users, in part, because the website and application was not set up for more conventional advertising tactics. With these new features, advertisers will now be able to see more detailed information, including which time of day is best for their post. Now that advertisers can see a report of their success, or lack thereof, they can choose to make adjustments to optimize their messages to users.
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Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Worthy of Criticism?

Bill Gates Ice Bucket Challenge

Bill Gates doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

More likely than not, you have seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge spreading like wildfire across social media and news outlets. The Challenge is a prime example of how something can go viral online. It seems everyone is doing the Challenge, from A-list celebrities to your next-door neighbor, and the action is getting a lot of attention. With any widespread action, there is bound to be criticism, and there is no shortage of Ice Bucket Challenge criticism. It may seem insane for individuals to criticize a fundraising campaign. However, the best opportunity for evolvement is to recognize areas for improvement. In this instance, we can use the example of the Ice Bucket Challenge to recognize areas for improvement so that similar techniques may be applied to marketing and branding on social media.
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The Sweet “Share a Coke” Campaign Turns Sour

Coke bottle with blurred text

Image courtesy of designtaxi.com

If you have walked down the soda aisle at your local store in the past few months, you have probably noticed the new campaign that Coca-Cola has been running. Their campaign, which we discussed in a previous blog post, offers customers the opportunity to find names of their friends and family on Coke bottles and cans. Here is one of Coke’s commercials to launch the campaign.
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Commercials Gone Wrong

McDonald's Big Mac on an Olympic Podium

Image courtesy of youtube.com.

Commercials can bring in the big bucks when done properly, and cost major bucks when done improperly. When they are produced with a lack of preparation, research, or logic, they can damage a company’s brand image. Here are some commercials that hurt sales, brand image, or were a complete waste of marketing budget.

McDonald’s: The Giveaway Gold Medal Finalist

During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, McDonald’s ran a promotion offering customers free items based on the U.S. teams’ performance. When customers would eat at McDonald’s, they would peel a sticker which would name a random Olympic event off the side of their food boxes and drinks . If the United States medaled in that event, consumers would win free food depending on the medal. For gold, silver, and bronze, consumers would will a Big Mac, French Fries, and a Coke respectively.
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