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Early this morning (for us here in the western Colonies, at least), Queen Elizabeth II made royal waves by posting what's reported to be her first tweet.

Delivered from her own gloveless hand, the tweet via @BritishMonarchy was created to celebrate the launch of a new exhibit at London's Science Museum.

In the hours since, it has tallied more than 13,000 retweets and 12,000 favorites, and the message is sure to continue spreading throughout the day.

In the true spirit of the Internet, she was met with an amusing mix of warm welcome, biting sarcasm and outright hostility. Here are a few of our favorite responses:

This guy from the Guardian had one modest request:

This popular parody account is not amused:

This guy gets right down to business:

This Washington Post editor earned a gold star:

This weather man's obviously on #TeamFollowBack:

This guy will probably not be a follower:

This sartorial insight is on point:

This guy from The Wall Street Journal is a total buzzkill, but probably has a point:

This guy knows us well:

Infiniti, in a long-running review that lived up to its name, has selected Crispin Porter + Bogusky to lead its global creative efforts, according to sources.

Crispin, a unit of MDC Partners, succeeds Omnicom Group's TBWA, which had handled the business since 1998. Crispin referred calls to Infiniti, which had no immediate comment. But sources said that the automaker had told the remaining contenders of its decision.

Account revenue is estimated at $30 million and in term of media, the brand spends around $450 million annually, according to Infiniti's initial request for proposals.

In its final stages, the review became a battle among relatively small agencies, some of which have scant or no presence outside the U.S. For example, one contender, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, currently operates only in America and would have opened offices overseas to service the account. Likewise, Crispin is partnering with recently acquired sister shop The House to meet Infiniti's geographical needs.

Sources previously identified the other contenders as Anomaly and Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Infiniti executives briefed Anomaly but the shop exited before final presentations last month, sources said. And after those presentations, the execs narrowed their focus to Crispin and Goodby.

Even before Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan, hired Roth Observatory International to manage its search in the spring, the car company had talked to agencies interested in its business. In fact, sources said that those conversations began late last year.

The stakes are high for Infiniti, which has ambitious growth plans but whose U.S. sales lag far behind brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Through the first nine months of 2015, Infiniti ranked seventh among luxury marks in the U.S., with unit sales of just 84,880, according to Autodata Corp. In the same period, market leader BMW sold 236,591 vehicles, slightly ahead of Mercedes, at 233,210 units, and Lexus, at 220,683 units, Autodata reported.

In its rfp, Infiniti said its goal was to be a "provocateur that owns the future of the premium car category by winning the hearts of young-minded premium consumers [though] seductive styling, attitude, exhilarating performance, emotive design and intuitive technology." Well, now the company has a new agency to take up that charge.

Longtime JCPenney media agency OMD is expected to defend in the retailer's review of its media account, according to sources.

The brand's media spending approached $430 million last year, down from more than $500 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

OMD, a unit of Omnicom Group, has handled media planning and buying since 2000. And while the retailer has changed lead creative agencies four times since then, it has remained with OMD throughout. So, by that measure, this incumbent's odds of hanging on may be better than the usual 10 percent.

OMD referred calls to the Plano, Texas-based Penney, which could not immediately be reached. But sources said that the company plans to distribute initial questionnaires to interested agencies next week.

Not in play are lead creative responsibilities, which remain at Doner in Southfield, Mich. Doner has worked on the brand since last fall.

Penney marketing chief Debra Berman managed the search that led to Doner (as well as digital shop EVP and social media player Victors & Spoils) and will be among the key decision-makers in the media review.

Another key player is Jon Macca, vp of media and customer engagement. Macca joined the retailer in May, after more than 20 years in agency roles at shops like Carat, MindShare and MediaVest.

Late at night, when Wes Craven and David Cronenberg sit around trying to scare each other at the Horror Movie Directors' Spooky Mansion of Fear (look it up, it's a thing), I'm pretty sure the most frightening movie either of them can think of is Disney's disturbing 1940 classic, Pinocchio.

A dark meditation on vice, morality, whale digestion and the human experience, Pinocchio is unsettling and bleak on a level you just don't see in modern movies aimed at kids.

So it makes total sense that the ominous audio from the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer could be reworked seamlessly into a creeptastic teaser for Pinoccio, source of the "I've Got No Strings" tune intoned by James Spader as the villainous Ultron.

Check out Nerd Reactor's sterling work on the mashup below, followed by the real trailer.

Honestly, the mashup merely includes the top scariest moments. They don't even have the bit where the Coachman goes from kindly old weirdo to Satanic monster and his grin fills the frame.

If anyone needs me, I'm under my desk.

A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 33 percent of consumers who purchased a wearable item in the past year either do not use them any more or use them infrequently. The reason consumers are putting down their smartwatches is because the items failed to meet expectations and not becasue they have given up on a wearables future.

In PwC's report, The Wearable Future, more than half of millennials and early adopters said they were excited about where the category will go in the future. To get there, however, manufacturers have to overcome complaints about price, privacy and security. Even so, PwC believes there will be more than 130 million units sold by 2018, with others estimating sales could be as high as 180 million units.

PwC anticipates huge returns for brands. Media companies, in particular, were identified as having a huge amount of potential. "[Wearable technologies are] blank canvases for highly targeted message placements, especially in the form of content with greater relevancy and context to the user," PwC said. "But wearable devices won't just create more ad inventory and unleash more publishing subscription revenue-they'll provide a meaningful opportunity to drive product sales and e-commerce."

PwC sees brands connecting with consumers through richer, more interactive entertainment experiences, tighter integration with social media and rewards for loyalty. Brands could work closely with stores to push content to consumers as they shop and eat at restaurants.

"The media company of the future must combine insights with curated experiences and find new ways of monetization-not merely through conventional advertising and paid content offerings," Deborah Bothun, PwC's U.S. advisory entertainment, media and communications leader, said in a statement. "Wearables offer media companies a huge new frontier of relevance and immersive experiences, helping to engage audiences by providing the most relevant content."

Back in July, Telefónica concluded a six-month review for global media buying and planning on its O2 business, selecting Publicis Groupe, much to the relief of incumbent ZenithMedia, which has handled O2's U.K. account (including its earlier incarnation as BT Cellnet) for over 20 years. But now Telefónica has announced a reversal, moving the business to Havas Media without a review.

Havas Media is among the agencies that competed against Publicis Groupe in the original review, leaving some wondering what exactly happened to spur the change of heart. The decision follows Telefónica's $9.3 billion acquisition of Brazil's GVT broadband operation from Vivendi earlier this year. Vivendi's chairman, Vincent Bolloré, has family ties to Havas, as his son, Yannick Bolloré, is chariman and CEO at Havas. The family owns a 34 percent stake in Havas through its Bolloré Group, which just filed a share exchange offer that would see that number climb past 50 percent.

This has led to much speculation about the nature of Telefónica's decision, with some sources suggesting a deal between Bolloré and Telefónica chairman César Alierta as part of that company's recent acquisition from Vivendi. MarketingEdge remarked that "the U-turn shows an astonishing disregard for the effort-and cost-incurred by pitching agencies," while U.K. publication MediaWeek was among the publications to suggest a deal had been struck between Bolloré and Alierta to hand the €500m O2 media account to Havas. At any rate, the announcement will surely leave a bitter taste in the mouth of Zenith Media, which went from expanding its relationship with O2 to losing a major account.

That O2 was just one of three account wins for Zenith this summer- alongside Electrolux and FX Networks-should help to soften the blow. Havas Media is expected to take control of O2's media buying and planning in January.

Adam&eveDDB and directors Leila and Damien de Blinkk headed to Canada to film this remarkable new spot for Sony's 4K Ultra HD TV. And indeed, not since Jean-Claude Van Damme and Coors Light have we seen such a noteworthy ad about frozen balls.

Those in question here are blown bubbles that freeze in midair in the icy weather. We see natural crystal-like structures form, with no special effects used. It's lovely stuff-and surely that much more mind-blowing when actually viewed on a 4K Sony TV. The soundtrack is Josef Salvat's version of Rihanna's "Diamonds."

"We were blown away by the beauty of the intricate patterns that the freezing of the bubbles' surface was creating at very low temperature. The feather, flower and star ice shapes were so delicate and mesmerizing when they reflected light," says Leila de Blinkk. "To bring out all these details in 4K was to almost discover a new world, that we didn't suspect existed."

"This time we wanted to create something beautiful that truly reflects the experience of watching a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV-being able to put these fleeting moments of natural beauty on film felt like a fitting successor to all we've done before," adds Gildas Pelliet, head of marketing at Sony Europe.

The initial popularity of Wonder Bread came from a fear of food-borne illnesses. Take note, entrepreneurs?

In the early 1900s, Americans were worried about disease related to the cleanliness of their local bakeries, so many opted for factory-made bread, which they saw as clean and healthy. And, as bad as it sounds, the fact that the bread was white seemed to help soothe anxieties-especially when health columnists of the time piled on. Oh, the history of bread. How vast and complicated and racist. Let's not get further into that here.

Instead, let's focus on the interesting way Wonder Bread was marketed! In 1921 in Indianapolis, consumers were teased in a print ad, before the product was even released, that a "wonder" was coming their way. Hmm ... what could it be? The tease piqued interest, and on May 21 of that year, Wonder Bread arrived. A whiter, irresistibly fluffier bread than consumers were used to.

Soon after its arrival on the market, many industrial bakers were adding all sorts of ingredients to white bread, eventually including vitamins and that was reflected in the marketing campaigns, like the spot above from the 1950s.

Social Media Profile (as of 10/23/14)
Facebook Likes: 39,685
Twitter Followers: 2,857
Instagram Followers: 232

Wonder Bread tends to use the same posts and voice across all of its social platforms.

Recent Advertising

Recent spots from Canada have been delightful, with people in voiceovers having conversations with loved ones-chats that are then cleverly mirrored in the prep of a sandwich. The fact that you don't see the people only adds to the universality of the ads.

Fast Facts

The advertising trade parody site Adweak.com made quite a slash when it debuted way back in 2001, even meriting mention in an Adweek column. The site itself hasn't been updated since 2005, but Adweak (pronounced Adwee-YAK, or at least it was by Adweekers back in the day) soldiers on even today through the @Adweak Twitter account, which ridicules the industry's more irritating pretentions with fake headlines in the style of The Onion.

Adweak, which turned out to be a pet project from the guys at G&M Plumbing, has now teamed up with Dissolve, the stock video company-which also likes to make fun of advertising-to bring the Adweak tweets to life in a new video series.

It's called Advertising Insider! Check out the first installment below. And yes, all the stock footage comes from Dissolve. If you like any of it, you can license the clips at dissolve.com/adinsider.

As we learned again recently, professional creatives tend to get prickly when asked to do work for no compensation. But is it always a bad idea to work for free?

Jessica Hische's handy flowchart should help you decide. It's divided into four main types of jobs, and from there you snake around answering various pertinent questions-and hopefully reaching a satisfactory conclusion to your particular situation.

Notably, the "Is it for a legitimate business" section yields only "No" answers. That's debatable, but Dan Cassaro would be proud.

Click here to see the full flowchart.

Boom and boom. Anheuser-Busch InBev and Tiffany each completed big media searches this week, with the brewer hiring MediaCom to handle its U.S. business and the luxury jeweler consolidating its global media account at MEC.

Another big global review, however, continues to linger. Luxury automaker Infiniti, which first started talking to agencies late last year, still hasn't concluded its process, though the brand remains in advanced negotiations with Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, according to sources. The grand prize is huge: an estimated $30 million in revenue.

Don't you hate it when you're just trying to get your car washed and some freaking weirdo with a wood axe pounces on your hood and starts banging on your windshield?

Ford jumps on the prankvertising bandwagon with this new Halloween ad featuring people who thought they were on their way to a test drive. Instead, they get ambushed by creepy Halloween masks among the squeegees.

As a commercial, it's more cute than scary, and even the drivers and passengers seem at least as amused as disturbed. Thankfully, the car brand doesn't appear to have put any kids through the wringer-a surprise haunted house is all in good fun, but it would totally not be cool to ruin one of the few entertaining parts of getting shuttled around in the backseat all the time.

Fresh off the hunt for a new creative shop, Tiffany now has a new agency for media, as well.

The luxury brand has hired MEC to handle its global media business, eight months after tapping Ogilvy & Mather as its lead creative agency, according to sources. Global media spending approaches $100 million annually.

The media hire came after a review in which there were two other finalists: MediaCom and a team of executives within Omnicom Media Group, sources said. Ark Advisors in New York helped manage the search, which began during the summer.

Previously, Tiffany's media planning and buying had been split regionally among several agencies. For example, Merkle handled the business in North America; UM had it in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Carat, in the Asia-Pacific region; and PHD and Media 8 shared responsibilities in Latin America.

MEC, a unit of WPP Group's GroupM, referred calls to Tiffany in New York, which could not immediately be reached. But sources said that Tiffany executives had notified the contenders of their decision.

Five major brands from five different product categories battle it out this week in the race for best commercial. We've got LeBron James and Rob Lowe, a surprisingly lovely spot from Facebook, and a pair of Halloween ads to scare your pants off.

Vote for your favorite below.

The wizards at Air New Zealand have conjured up their third J.R.R. Tolkien-themed video in as many years, ahead of the final installment of Peter Jackson's second Middle-Earth trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Directed by Taika Waititi, the new clip is modesty titled "The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made," and it features appearances by Elijah Wood, Dean O'Gorman and Sylvester McCoy, all stars of the upcoming movie. No Ian McKellen, though. I guess he took the bus. Jackson also appears quite a bit, and his production company, WETA Workshop, helped develop the spot, along with Kiwi ad agency True.

"This latest offering combines members of our cast and our locations with Air New Zealand's unique personality." says Jackson. "I had a lot of fun on the set with Taika and the team and look forward to seeing the video on board."

Elaborate effects-including one big-ass bird-and pointy-eared pageantry propel demonstrations of life vests, oxygen masks, aircraft exit procedures and the like. There's plenty to savor, but one of the coolest elements is among the simplest: wood-carved tablet-type devices that perfectly capture the "magic mirror" ambiance of modern technology. MGM should market them as movie tie-ins. I want one!

"May your path always be guided by the light of the stars," Wood says near the end, once that ginormous eagle has, presumably, landed. It's a fitting way to round out the sublime spell woven by the four-minute-plus presentation.

Air NZ's first Hobbit-inspired flight-safety foray, "An Unexpected Briefing," took off in 2012. A second spot, "Just Another Day in Middle Earth"-a fanciful long-form commercial sans safety message-taxied down the runway a year ago.

Apart from its elvish travels, the carrier's taken off on other flights of fancy through the years. Far from the Shire, Air NZ visited a different land of enchantment in this Sports Illustrated safety collaboration, made its cabin attendants' clothing disappear for no good reason, and let Richard Simmons exercise his own strange magic.

Brands generally understand the most engaging lengths for billboard headlines, print copy and TV spots. But what about tweets, Facebook posts and online videos?

The infographic below crunches some data to suggest the ideal length of everything online. Rules are made to be broken, of course, and this isn't to say other lengths can't work. A lot depends on the type of content, and audience.

But it's a decent primer on how not drone on too long with your content.

Top photo via Flickr.

Click the image to enlarge.

In early October, the Buffalo Bills and Independent Health issued a six-week competitive diet and exercise challenge for the football team's fans. Housed on a custom SparkPeople website, the contest home lets people monitor their results, connects them with others online who were participating and helps them get information with experts. Videos featuring star Bills players acted as extra motivation, and prizes ranged from a Fred Jackson autographed helmet to an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Super Bowl.

Perhaps what was most interesting about the campaign is that you didn't have to live in the Buffalo area to participate. While the campaign is focused on the Buffalo community, promotion for the campaign wasn't geotargeted to that area. The contest was open to all Bills fans, regardless of where they live-and thanks to the growth of fantasy football, that fan base now spans more of the U.S. than ever before.

"Fans in Western New York used to have one favorite team," Buffalo Bills cmo Marc Honan explained. "Now they have three favorite teams: Their team and their two fantasy teams."

Instead of just focusing on a local demographic, the Buffalo Bills now have an opportunity to attract fans across the country due to digital marketing and the ubiquity of social media. When Honan joined the organization in 1997, being active online for an NFL team meant having a website. But, as the Bills enter a new era with owner Terry Pegula, times have changed. NFL teams have to be active on multiple platforms, not just for delivering information but engaging fans.

Honan said that the Bills have always been digitally minded. It was the first team to create a fantasy football league among season ticket holders three years ago, something that has become a league-wide initiative.

And, as fantasy football players outside of Buffalo began to add Sammy Watkins or Kyle Orton to their starting lineups, it's using online means to connect with them. Its free mobile app, Buffalo Bills Touch, delivers a second-screen experience where users can connect with others through various social media platforms and see up-to-date stats. It includes the digital Bills Fan Playbook, which provides a game preview, a countdown clock, an animated depth chart and opponent info-all relevant information for fantasy football players. The team also creates original video content, like the Wired For Sounds clips, where at least one player a week is miked up so fans can hear what they are talking about on the field.

"There's a lot of different avenues to get news about the NFL and Buffalo Bills, but we're the one source [where] you can get behind-the-scenes information you can't get anywhere else," Honan explained.

The industry is rapidly changing, but one thing remains the same: Literally the only thing that gets agency people to fill out their timesheets consistently is free beer.

The latest example comes from Minneapolis, where Colle+McVoy has built a wondrous machine called the TapServer-a "multi-keg beer deployment system" that uses RFID and custom-written software to verify whether you've stopped being a lazy git, finished your timesheets and earned your free pint. (According to the agency, the technology used includes "several Arduinos, a Node-based server, solenoids and a Raspberry Pi." For all we know, so could the beer.)

Check out more pics below. And yes, similar things have been done before, including the beer fridge at JWT agency Casa in Brazil that unlocks only when timesheets are done.

IDEA: Lumber Liquidators isn't exactly known for beautiful, romantic advertising. The hardwood flooring specialty retailer is much more versed in transactional, price-focused messaging. (Just look at the website, which is a smorgasbord of sale pricing.)

A new spot for its high-end Bellawood brand, though, is a revelation-a gorgeous, nuanced, ethereal ad showing everything a floor endures over the years. It's a very different look from the client, though according to CMO Marco Pescara, it's still all about value.

"Bellawood as a product stands for the highest-quality hardwood flooring. Lumber Liquidators as a retailer delivers the lowest prices. They work together to support our brand position of value: getting the best hardwood flooring at the lowest price possible," he said.

Bellawood is about beauty and durability, and the new ad, from Richmond, Va., agency Big River, communicates both to the company's female target.

"We didn't want to simply explain the science," said Pescara. "Our objective was to appeal to our core customer by making her feel and see how Bellawood can be a part of her everyday life. Showing instead of explaining. Big River did a great job of making that happen."

COPYWRITING: The ad presents a series of slow-motion scenes, showing how much a floor has to withstand from a busy family-tricycle wheels, roller blades, smashed bowls, dropped food, high heels, skateboards, chair scrapes, candle wax and more.

There is no dialogue or voiceover.

Inspired by a recent viral NPR video, the agency envisioned that the storytelling would be percussive and driven by sound design. "The script was called 'Beats,' " said Big River chief creative officer Kai Fang. "We wanted to look at all the different things that hit the floor in the life of a family, and that would create a musical score and a beat."

But director Ruben Latre helped evolve the concept, going for a more emotional rather than technical execution. "People don't necessarily buy the facts. It has to awaken something in them emotionally," Fang said of a high-end product like Bellawood.

Text at the end reads, "Bellawood. Prefinished hardwood flooring." There is no tagline.

FILMING/ART DIRECTION: Latre shot for four days, mostly in a home outside Richmond but also in a studio to get certain close-ups. The home was large, perfect for the camera to roam, and was entirely relaid in Bellawood flooring (to the owners' delight, presumably).

The agency loved Latre's reel. "He specializes in this overcranked, slow-motion kind of look. It's very cinematic, romantic and moody," Fang said.

The director, meanwhile, said he was drawn to the open-ended plot. "I thought of it as a great chance to play, to bring all the mischief I used to create as a kid onto the screen," he said. "The agency gave me a lot of freedom on the shots, which is not always the case. I really appreciated that, and I think it allowed me to push myself even more."

TALENT/SOUND: The budget was limited, so the agency cast local, non-union talent-and the lack of speaking roles eased the burden. Still, the characters manage to feel timeless. "It's a little bit of the family we all wish we had," said Fang.

There is some sound design to punctuate thing like the breaking objects, but the soundtrack-a piano-based orchestral piece-is very much on top.

MEDIA: The spot has been cut into 60-, 30- and 15-second executions. (There is also an 80-second director's cut.) "The media buy is a smaller subset of our overall spend as an added layer of branding," said Pescara.


Client: Lumber Liquidators
Chief Marketing Officer: Marco Pescara
Creative Director: Angel Gonzalez
Director of Marketing and E-Commerce: Colby Walker
Marketing Traffic Manager: Katie Allen
Agency: Big River, Richmond, Va.
President and CEO: Fred Moore
Chief Creative Officer: Kai Fang
Broadcast Producers: Dee Briggs
Design Director: Geoff Stone
Account Director: Daniel Riddick
Copywriter: Elizabeth Daniel
Production Company: TradeMarky Films
Production Company: Hostage Films
Director: Ruben Latre
Executive Producer: Mark Meyers
Line Producer: Amanda Ricks
Executive Producer: Melissa Beth
Editor: Ruben Latre

In a nice symmetry with its San Francisco parent, Goodby Silverstein & Partners' Manhattan office has landed The New York Post as one of its first clients, reminiscent of the West Coast agency starting out with the San Francisco Examiner in the late 1980s.

The agency prevailed in a creative review for a new campaign over competitors like The Martin Agency and the New York offices of McCann Erickson, Young & Rubicam and Deutsch, sources said. The New York Post hasn't had a creative lead agency in recent years but has worked with agencies like the former Kirshenbaum, Bond + Partners and McCann.

"It's our first big win in New York, and it doesn't get any more New York than this," said Nancy Reyes, the managing director of GSP N.Y., which opened in January 2013. Along with the New York Post, it works for Comcast's Xfinity and pro-bono account Rock the Vote.

GSP's new work is expected to break in the next couple of weeks and will include digital, out-of-home and experiential elements.

The win follows GSP N.Y.'s hire in May of executive creative director Paul Caiozzo, who helped lead the New York Post pitch. The addition of Caiozzo, who has done stints at twofifteenmccann, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Cliff Freeman, follows the departure of GSP N.Y.'s founding creative head Christian Haas. In bolstering GSP N.Y.'s creative ranks, the agency also hired Caiozzo's former partner Nathan Frank as creative director. Most recently he was chief creative officer at design-driven pharma company Help Remedies and has also worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH, Taxi and Cliff Freeman.

GSP N.Y. also just brought on Conner Huber, the former global director of strategy on Chevrolet at Commonwealth, as head of brand strategy. (GSP was a partner, along with McCann Worldgroup, in Commonwealth until March 2013, when the Interpublic agency took over from GSP.)

Being a little kid is the best. Everything is new and different, the world is your oyster, and you don't even know it. And your first snow day ... wow, words can barely express the magical bliss for a toddler.

GoPro does it again, this time with a perfect vignette of a California brother and sister's first snow day in Vermont. First, we see Quincy rollicking around having an amazing time, and then Stella, who looks to be just old enough to talk, gets on a camera-mounted sled, and we experience her mind being blown on her first ride down a hill. Her reaction is truly priceless.

You'll want to watch it "again."

The underwear brand Dear Kate, a big proponent of using real people instead of models, has a new plan to empower women: It's putting inspiring female faces right on its panties.

Its League of Ladies Collection features illustrations of four historical women-Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo-reimagined as superheroes.

Additionally, Dear Kate has called on real-life influencers to model the collection, including science communicator Kelly Carnes, actor and playwright Zoe Travis, Golly Magazine editor Roxanne Fequiere, and comedian Jackie Zebrowski.

With names like "Supermarie" and "Superfrida," the panties feature a cartoon depiction of each woman's face on the front and a design on the back. Which begs the question, are women even wearing panties with cartoons on them? I asked Twitter, where reactions varied from a resounding no to an open-minded maybe:

I love the idea of celebrating extraordinary women, but I wonder if this is an idea best suited for a (much) younger crowd.

I highly respect and admire Amelia Earhart, but I don't know if I want to see her face every time I pull off a pair of jeans. I would, however, absolutely buy an 8-year-old girl a cute camisole and panties set featuring Marie Curie with a little hang tag that gives her a short lesson on Curie's scientific accomplishments. (Business idea, Dear Kate, if you want to come out with a Dear McKenna line.)

We've seen how people react to brands that empower women, and I'm reulctant to criticize any effort to promote strong women. So allow me to soften the blow by saying that while I wouldn't buy superhero panties for myself (and I am the target market), Dear Kate's Sporty Bralets are off the chain.

text Coca-Cola Names New CMO as Profit Tumbles
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:36:19 PDT

The Coca-Cola Co. has reached within its Spanish-Portuguese operations and named Marcos de Quinto as chief marketing officer, replacing Joseph Tripodi following lagging sales. The news comes after Atlanta-based Coca-Cola's inadequate third quarter results on Tuesday, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Tripodi, who has served as CMO for seven years, will retire at the end of February 2015. Tripodi joined from Allstate in 2007 and was able to bring stability to a role that had been a revolving door.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, commended Tripodi for his leadership and dedication in a statement.

Based in Madrid, de Quinto has worked for Coca-Cola in various regional marketing director roles since 1982. He is currently the president of the Iberia business unit and vice president of the European group.

"[De Quinto] will bring a global view with strong operational experience to this key role," said Kent in a statement. Kent also noted de Quinto's passion for Coca-Cola's brands, business and system.

Coca-Cola will not hit its long-term profit growth targets for 2014 or 2015, feeling the pain as many consumers cut back on soda. Early reports of rising global sales thanks to the "Share a Coke" campaign stoked anticipation of this week's report. But the small uptick in volume wasn't enough to keep profit from tumbling 14 percent.

Americans are losing their appetites for Big Macs chased down by Cokes, forcing two megabrands to re-think how to gain market share.

This week McDonald's reported a 3.3 percent quarterly profit decline, marking its worst performance in years, while Coke's profit dropped 14 percent with a continuing decline in North American sales during the same period.

What's going on? That's the question on the minds of those running both companies who are under pressure to turn things around fast.

McDonald's execs might take a cue from rival Chipotle Mexican Grill, which posted 20 percent growth in the third quarter. Chipotle restaurants feature a Fresh Mex menu that offers customers a choice of ingredients to customize their orders as well as organic beans and tofu in its Sofritas for vegans.

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson told Bloomberg the world's biggest fast food chain may start offering organic food and letting its local franchises customize their menus to cater to regional tastes. The fast food chain already sells organic milk and juice in Germany and France. But its $2 jalapeno burgers and chorizo burritos haven't taken off at U.S. locations where they've been offered.

Thompson also told The Wall Street Journal the chain will simplify its menu, offer digital payment systems and increase staffing so customers don't have to wait as long for their orders.

"Customers want to personalize their meals with locally relevant ingredients," he said. "They also want to enjoy eating in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere. And they want choices in how they order, choices in what they order and how they're served."

For Coca-Cola, its recent acquisition of Monster Beverage Corp. underscores a strategy to diversify into the market of highly caffeinated drinks for youth. But to achieve profitability targets, the Atlanta company is planning cost-cutting moves according to Forbes and Reuters. Those moves may include restructuring its global supply chain and refranchising its U.S. bottling operations.

Sales of carbonated soft drinks in the U.S. have been declining for almost a decade.

The great thing about video games is you can do all kinds of cool, crazy, dangerous and impossible things without actually having to do them.

Instead, you just sit on your couch with your buddy pretending that NBA star Kevin Durant is on your basketball team, or that you're a capable rock climber and base jumper, or you are racing an all-terrain-vehicle past some kind of very angry elephant, or you are on some distant desert planet having a Star Wars style laser fight with a bunch of robots.

So continues PlayStation's "Greatness Awaits" campaign, which has previously shown a man in a purple suit waxing philosophical before diving into a battle royal; other men trying to kill each other with medieval weapons while singing Lou Reed's "Perfect Day"; and an oil painter recreating "Washington Crossing the Delaware" with a relatively famous gamer and in-game heroes as the characters.

Sony created the new ad, "Friendly Competition," with the help of creative crowd-sourcing company MOFILM (also behind such charming commercials as Chevy's low-budget Oscar flick). Hollywood producer Jon Landau, whose credits include Titanic and Avatar, executive produced the new spot, which certainly delivers plenty of epic special effects (created with L.A.-and-Vancouver-based Zoic Studios).

And that's important. Without the flashy explosions, you might realize you won't actually find yourself riding a land speeder a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and that really would ruin all the fun.

Client: PlayStation
Agency: MOFILM
Executive Producer: Jon Landau
Executive Agency Producer: Kristen Roland
Executive Creative Director: Tim Roper
CEO: Jeffrey Merrihue
Senior Account Director: Gabriela Merrihue
Account Director: Carter Hahn
VFX Company: Zoic Studios
VFX CCO: Chris Jones
Head of Broadcast Production: Ian Unterreiner
Executive Producer: Matt Thunell
VFX Producer: Nate Occhipinti
Editor: Dmitri Gueer
Production Company: Don't Panic Productions
Producer: Melissa Panzer
Director: Jonathan Barenboim
Writer: Michael Zunic
Audio House: Eleven Studios
Sound Design: Henry Boy
Color: Dave Hussey @ CO3
Media Buying Agency: Carat