Here's an excerpt from How Brands Become Icons (yet another post about this book!), some Monday morning thoughts on what strategically intelligent branding might be look like:
For brand owners that seek to build iconic brands, the challenge is to develop a cultural activist organization: a company organized around developing identity myths that address emerging cultural contradictions in society; a company organized to collaborate with creative partners to perform myths that have the charisma and authenticity necessary to attract followers; a company that is organized to understand society and culture, not just consumers; and a company that is staffed with managers who have ability and training in these areas.
According to the results of (magazine ElleGirl's) latest poll, which can be found in the new "Cool" issue, Rose, at the ripe age of 43, is one of the world's coolest old people. He ranked second in the survey (that's 10,000 girls worldwide, with about 4,000 of them U.S. citizens), right behind top vote-getter "grandparents." Whose grandparents? Everyone's grandparents, it seems.
Forbes mag. on accessible fashion, mass marketing and the ten most influential designers (via agendainc.com)
Designers, like Isaac Mizrahi, who has a collection at Target Stores as well as at Bergdorf Goodman, and Karl Lagerfeld, who has created clothes for Swedish chain H&M in addition to being the fashion genius behind Chanel, now sell in mass-market outlets for which only the likes of Jaclyn Smith once dared to design. Their straddling of the stratospherically expensive and the giddily cheap means they understand the power of mass marketing; Today, good design is within everyone's reach.
"Fashion is getting more accessible," says Nandini D'Souza, senior fashion features editor at Women's Wear Daily, the trade newspaper of the women's apparel industry, and its sister publication, W. "It is entertainment and it is fun. It is incredible business and incredible entertainment."
Marshal Cohen, NPD's chief analyst, says that the presence of high-end designers in lower-end stores shows that retailers are finally responding to what the consumer wants: cheap but fun fashion. (continue reading...)
Entertainment Tonight mentioned the average age of viewers of various popular TV shows, and the good people over at Fimoculous made the effort to jot them down. These averages are much older than I thought they would be.
AGESHOW 29.0 The Simpsons 30.5 The O.C. 31.3 Veronica Mars 32.0 Everybody Hates Chris 35.6 Prison Break 42.6 Desperate Housewives 43.3 Lost 43.7 ER 45.0 Survivor 46.4 House 48.7 Medium 49.1 CSI 49.6 Two and a Half Men 51.8 Without Trace 53.0 Ghost Whisperer 54.0 Commander In Chief
Interesting article in The Boston Globe on college buzz marketing campaigns. It's been a while since I've been a student on a college campus, but I'm pretty sure if some dorky buzz marketing guy approached me with a Microsoft T-shirt promoting some new product I'd tell him to screw himself. Some of these word-of-mouth campaigns sound pretty damn seedy, they just don't sit well with me.
Microsoft is among a growing number of companies seeking to reach the elusive but critical college market by hiring students to be ambassadors -- or, in more traditional terms, door-to-door salesmen.
In an age when the college demographic is no longer easily reached via television, radio, or newspapers -- as TiVo, satellite radio, iPods, and the Internet crowd out the traditional advertising venues -- a microindustry of campus marketing has emerged. Niche firms have sprung to act as recruiters of students, who then market products on campus for companies such as Microsoft, JetBlue Airways, The Cartoon Network, and Victoria's Secret. (link via Agenda)
MIT prof. Henry Jenkins with some thoughts on the future of in-game ads:
Advertisers have started to buy billboards in racing, sports, and action games, but these aren't the only branding opportunities, said Henry Jenkins, a comparative media studies professor at MIT. He pointed out that characters in the "Grand Theft Auto" series interact with different media.
For example, fake magazines are sprinkled in offices throughout its virtual cities; players also interact with different radio stations when driving a car. In fact, Jenkins noted that a few record labels have used these radio channels to promote new artists to "Grand Theft Auto"'s predominantly male 18-34 crowd. Many games, like Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell," have TV monitors in the backgrounds of their virtual department stores and office buildings--and Jenkins said there's no reason these couldn't be showing commercials.
"We live in a branded universe," Jenkins said, adding that gamers appreciate it when their virtual worlds feel more authentic. Anything that adds to the immersiveness of a game is welcome by gamers, but he said the responsibility is on marketers to advertise tactfully. (via adverlab)