brand

Pop Tarts and Coronets : How brands find rebirth in the Now! Economy

Do we worship celebrities? Maybe. A while ago, a smart wag who was looking for a quick column inch to help promote a book identified a psychological condition: Celebrity Worship Syndrome. An unfortunate malady has developed from this type of homage.     Certainly brands seek the endorsement of the gods of sport and entertainment, and over(…)

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Beckham and the Bounce-Back Brand

David Beckham epitomises the modern celebrity age: in any other era, we wouldn’t have blinked an eyelid at a 38 year old footballer, other than for the sheer amount of time he had managed to stay in the game. Past his prime, we may no longer celebrate his on-pitch prowess in the same way, but(…)

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HMV’s Off to the Pound, But Indie Ain’t Out of the Dog House

As HMV calls in the administrators, spare a thought for the indie retailers who are now more exposed than ever to the wave of internet megafauna that have come to dominate the retail landscape. I’ve been involved with the music retail industry for a number of years, and represented Virgin Megastores for almost a decade(…)

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Selfridge’s Guide to Suprasexual Seduction

AS the January sales wear on urging us to grab our discounts before they end, we should spare a thought for Harry Gordon Selfridge, born 149 years ago today. It is only fitting that the week of Selfridge’s birthday has been marked by the launch of two television series celebrating the rise and rise of(…)

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Brands like Red Bull like Felix

So #Felix is no longer just a brand of cat food or a defunct cartoon character, but embodies a new marque of heroism and maverick adventure.  A stuntman extraordinaire, who last night earned much sort after one word equity. Felix Baumgartner, a 43-year-old Austrian, former military parachutist,  skydived into the record books. Jumping from 23 miles above the earth, Felix(…)

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IKEA: A Storm in a Flatpack

IKEA, the Swedish lifestyle and furniture goliath, suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism on Tuesday after it emerged that the company airbrushed images of women from the Saudi edition of its consumer bible. Not surprisingly this decision has created a mega PR storm in a flat pack. Will the hue and cry harm(…)

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Vladimir Putin and the pitfalls of the personality cult

Vladimir Putin inspired worldwide scorn and a few great photoshops this week when he announced his plans to aid the migration of some unfortunate birds with the help of his trusty hang glider and a superhero-esque costume. In some sense, people are right to laugh- Putin is a crazed autocrat, so mad on his personality(…)

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How do you solve a problem like Frankie? Channel 4 joins the major leagues

Channel 4’s valiant efforts at major sports broadcasting have met two very particular challenges this week, each testing their capacity to cope with the full burden of an excitable, demanding and very very large public. It’s a classic David/Goliath situation. Channel 4, having spent a good deal of promotional budget painting itself as the rising(…)

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Harnessing the crowd, and knowing what they want (what they really really want)

The tremendous response this week to the launch of Viva Forever! The Musical(manhandled by my esteemed colleague Dee McCourt and her team of pixies) probably came as a surprise to many in the higher echelons of the arts and media world. Yet the tremendous outpourings on twitter, not to mention the reams of coverage and(…)

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