Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ellen DeGeneres Builds Laughs and Brand Recognition on Oscar Night

Why do you think consumers resonate with brands shown through film, television and celebrities? 

During the Academy Awards as Hollywood celebrated the art of cinema, jcpenney launched its new commercials starring their spokesperson Ellen DeGeneres. The commercials brought in positive brand awareness and were marked as the "most effective spots to air during the Hollywood telecast," says Stacy Schilling from the Examiner.

I became a fan myself of the commercials for its sense of humor and also for its clear delivery of the message. The commercials successfully informed the viewers of the new jcpenney shopping experience in a humorous tone that was not obnoxious nor irrelevant. 

Does entertainment promote the message of a brand or product in a clearer and less monotone style? Do you believe celebrities add success to a companies brand recognition? Are media consumers more willing to watch an ad rather than read one? 

I am interested to hear what you think! 


Celebrities Get Beat By Their Own Tweets

Social media is a powerful promotion tool for all users--those looking for a job, businesses striving to increase brand recognition, and celebrities connecting with fans and fellow celebs to mold their brand image.

I want to direct our attention to celebrities and their uses of social media. In my previous blogs, I have mentioned that celebrities are a brand. As a celebrity, one must be aware of his or her actions and think twice about statements they make, for it can make or break a career. I read an article by Jenni Maier from The headline of the article is Dear PR People: Please Stop Letting Celebrities Tweet...need I say more?
The headline brings up a great question--should celebrities be forbidden to write their own tweets? And if so, does that mean celebrities should not even own a Twitter account? Recently, we are constantly hearing about a celebrity writing a controversial tweet that created negative hype. Maier states that "within 24 hours the tweets are deleted and replaced with a vague apology tweet that you just know was quickly crafted by an anxious PR person."

I believe in freedom of speech. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and diverse perspective which is an individual's greatest strength. If a celebrity makes an ignorant, racist, sexist comment then that is their fault. Of course, the statements tend to lead towards enormous stress and embarrassment from not only the celebrity but the publicist as well. Cases of Twitter-misuse is the celebrity's problem. In other cases, some celebrities use Twitter in a beneficial way to promote a cause. We should not generalize the celebrity misuse of social media; thus, we should not punish all celebrities from using social media sites.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Walt Disney Brand


That word is how I define Disney. My first vacation trip took place at the Most Magical Place on Earth--Disneyland.  I was four years-old and I was hooked. Let's just say that my family and I have a brick placed at the Disneyland Park, where we insist on visiting it every year.

The Walt Disney Company has built a brand that is recognized all over the world. The company ranges in four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, and consumer products. The Walt Disney brand principles resides within each segment, and therefore, grows each year with increasing success.

I came across this video from the Disney Institute. Matt Ryan, Senior Vice President of Brand Management for the Walt Disney Company describes how successful companies, like Disney, leverage brand identity.

Ryan states that having a brand means having a clear proposition in the market so that people know what you stand for. Your identity is what can make your brand stand out from all the clutter in a competitive market base. He also talks about the importance of customer relationships. A company that understands the essence of universal principles that stand the test of time, will remain successful for eternity. The impact of our actions also defines a brand. "It's not what we make, but how we make it," says Ryan. This short clip provides the values of a company brand but also emulates the Walt Disney identity that has distinguished itself from competitors decade after decade.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Gatorade Finds A New Face

Emmett Jones from Sports Business Digest wrote an article referring to Gatorade's recent multi-year partnership with 2012 NFL Pro Bowler, Cam Newton. The company is working with Newton to not only add a face to the sports drink brand, but is also using his athleticism for scientific research to study how Gatorade increases his on-field performance.
To read the article go to:

Now why would anyone want to make Cam Newton a representative of their brand? Alright, I am a little biased considering I am from the University of Oregon. I am still bitter from the loss of the 2011 BCS Championship game.

In all seriousness, Newton is an impeccable athlete. Not only did he lead the Auburn Tigers to win the 2011 BCS Championship (grrrr), he is also the third player to win the Heisman Trophy and be the first overall pick in the NFL draft all in one year. Newton now plays as a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers where he became the first rookie quarterback to throw 400 yards in his NFL regular-season opener.

Regardless of his athleticism, Newton is also a loyal consumer of Gatorade products. It is important to find a celebrity that uses the company's brand as well as one that fits the values of the brand. As a face for a company, one must believe in the product and represent it with a substantial amount of knowledge. Just placing a popular, pretty face on Gatorade's brand would not be ethical. The fact that Newton is and has been a longtime consumer of the Gatorade products makes him the perfect face for Gatorade.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Product Placement: Effective and/or Annoying?

According to the World English Dictionary, product placement is the practice of a company paying for its product to be placed in a prominent position in a film or television program as a form of advertising.

I came across a blog published in 2008 that list The 10 Most Shameless Product Placements in Movie History. The blog, written by Jeff Steinbrunner from, describes a handful of past films that “disastrously stepped over the line” when it came down to product placements practically starring as a character. 

One of my personal favorite films mentioned on the list is Steven Spielberg’s 1982 science-fiction flick E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.  The product used was Hershey Reese’s Pieces.

For those who have not seen the film or for the who have forgotten, the main character, Elliot, coaxes the abandon alien to his house by strategically arranging a trail of Reese’s Pieces candy.  According to, the choice of candy was made months prior to production when Spielberg looked for a partnership with a candy company that would guarantee promotion for his film. Hershey made an agreement to produce a million dollars’ worth of film advertisements and they placed E.T.’s face on the candy’s packaging.
Here's a Reese's commercial celebrating the 20th anniversary release of the film. Twenty years later, and the candy still has an association with the film!

This brings me to some questions: Do you think product placement makes or breaks a movie? Does product placement annoy you or do you tend to not even notice the product advertised in a film? 


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let Me Be The Judge Of That!

If you are anything like me when it comes to watching sports, you most likely yell at the television and scold an athlete for not making that goal, home run, tackle, hole-in-one...well, you get my drift. But who am I to criticize a professional athlete when I am sitting on the couch eating an unhealthy amount of oh-so-good sea salt and vinegar chips?

I like to feel knowledgable. I like to pretend that my words are valuable and sense no one of professional athletic expertise is around to put me in my place, I proceed to coach the players on television. It is a tough job but someone has to do it.

For NBA fans who are passionate about basketball, this year's annual All-Star Weekend was one of the best yet! For the first time, fans were the sole dunk contest judges via Twitter, SMS and website-based voting, according to Sam Laird from Mashable.
Big kudos to the NBA for wisely using social media to interact with fans in a strategic fashion. Although social media is a major tool in marketing, public relations and advertising, the strategy behind the use of social media sites is what makes or breaks a plan. The number of "likes" on Facebook is not a substantial measurement of success/awareness. The NBA's strategy of an interactive approach to reaching fans through social media will possibly become the influencer for other professional sporting associations in terms of connecting with fans.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Night Live, Can You Help Me?

One of my secretly long-lived dreams is to work on Saturday Night Live (SNL). A fan for years, I have been slightly disappointed with the show's recent seasons. Unfortunately, the show does not consume the spark that it used to have but I still watch it because of the brand. SNL has aired on television every year since 1975! It's a classic. Even Ben and Jerry's ice cream company came out with a new flavor called Schweddy Balls, named after a SNL skit featuring Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy.

I recently finished former SNL writer/cast member, Tina Fey's book Bossypants. In her book, she talks about the hectic-fun-stressful-memorable environment when working for SNL. One of the highlights of her career was portraying Sarah Palin, who was running for Republican Vice President at the time. During one of the late-night episodes, Palin was featured in one of the sketches. You would wonder why someone like Palin who got mocked so frequently on the show would want to show her face around the writers and crew  after all the things they said about her.

The answer: publicity. This is the reason for every SNL host. They are usually coming out with a movie or they are "what's hot" in the tabloids. Not only is SNL helping the celebrity promote his or her movie/brand and in some cases giving the host an opportunity to clear the air over public scandals, SNL is also crossing fingers hoping that ratings will go up based on the choice of host. It is all strategic.