Brands Brief: Poll Finds Most Americans Haven’t Heard of SXSW

Top Stories

  • Despite its faithful industry following, South by Southwest, which kicks off today, lags behind Sundance in awareness among Americans, according to a recent poll. (Morning Consult)
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is shuttering its Shophouse Asian Kitchen restaurants next week after coming to a lease sale agreement. (Restaurant News)
  • China’s Trademark Office has given the initial go-ahead to some trademarks President Donald Trump applied for last April. In June, he filed another round of trademark applications that would allow him to brand certain lines of clothing. (WWD)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

MarTech Conference in San Francisco 7 a.m.
Brand Innovators Mega Trends in Austin 7:30 a.m.
Brand Marketers Insiders Summit in Austin 7:30 a.m.
ROI Revolution Summit in Orlando, Fla. 8 a.m.
SXSW 2017 in Austin 8 a.m.
Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Diego 8:30 a.m.


Advertising and Marketing

Donald Trump (the Brand) Going to China
Kali Hays, WWD

Donald Trump may have moved from the TV boardroom to the Oval Office, but he still has a branding angle. China recently gave President Trump preliminary approval for a range of trademarks, clearing the way for the ultimate chief executive to put his name on everything from retail shops to vending machines in the country.

Andy Puzder: Carl’s Jr. Racy Ads Saved the Company
Henry Fernandez, Fox News

In an exclusive interview with Neil Cavuto on the FOX Business Network, CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder said the suggestive ad campaigns starring female celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Heidi Klum saved the company.

Viewability or fraud: Marketers are split on which is the bigger issue
Ross Benes, Digiday

Speaking in a dimly lit Hilton conference room in central London at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers annual conference on Wednesday afternoon, marketers hammered home the importance of viewability. “One of the ways we can evolve is to ensure that we only work with vendors who work with our standards of viewability,” said Unilever UK marketing and digital director Alex Tait, whose comments were immediately followed by a graphic from an in-room poll that showed more than 70 percent of the marketers in attendance believed that ads should be traded on viewability.

New influencer marketing guidelines encourage brands and talent to be ‘upfront and clear’
Rebecca Stewart, Digiday

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has issued fresh guidelines for brands working with influencers, urging both parties to protect consumers before they engage with content that is sponsored. The new guidance is focused around affiliate deals – where bloggers, vloggers and Instagram stars are rewarded financially for clicks placed within or underneath their content.

Why Big Brands Couldn’t Stop Chobani From Winning the Yogurt War
Craig Giammona, Bloomberg News

Yoplait is suffering through a Greek crisis. Chobani, which popularized Greek yogurt in America, overtook General Mills Inc.’s Yoplait last year to become the country’s biggest yogurt brand.

Media and Entertainment

TLC To Debut Reality Competition Series ‘Girl Starter’ in April
Mike Shields, The Wall Street Journal

The cable network TLC next month will debut “Girl Starter,” a reality competition series focused on a group of young women looking to launch their own businesses. The show, which co-creator Jeannine Shao Collins described as a blend of reality hits such as “Shark Tank,” “The Apprentice,” “Project Runway” and “American Idol,” is the centerpiece of a new media venture, Girl Starter, aimed at empowering young female entrepreneurs and those interested in supporting them.

Kobe Bryant Lines Up Tribeca Film Festival Triple Double
Richard Horgan, Adweek

It started as a poem, published by Kobe Bryant on The Players’ Tribune Nov. 29. 2015. And this fall, Dear Basketball, an animated short inspired by that poem, will be a centerpiece attraction on the website of Sports Illustrated, complete with behind-the-scenes making-of insights.

Social Media and Technology

YouTube TV and Hulu Aren’t Reinventing the Live TV Ad Model Yet
Jeanine Poggi, AdvertisingAge

Google’s pending distribution of live TV naturally invites dreams of a TV ad model driven by deep data and technology that allows for one-to-one targeting. The company suggested as much last week when it revealed details about its upcoming YouTube TV service. “Over time, YouTube TV will provide network partners with new dynamic advertising opportunities,” a Google spokeswoman said.

WhatsApp tests business chat tools in search for revenue
David Ingram and Stephen Nellis, Reuters

WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service used by more than 1 billion people worldwide, is testing a system that would let businesses talk directly to WhatsApp users for the first time, according to communications about the project seen by Reuters. The tests, which are being conducted with a handful of companies that are part of the Y Combinator startup incubator, are an important signal of how WhatsApp plans to make money from its massively popular service.

A new Google tool actually lets you search videos for specific objects
Karissa Bell, Mashable

Google’s computer vision technology is now so good it’s able to find specific objects within a video or group of videos. During the company’s Cloud Next event in San Francisco Wednesday, Google unveiled its new Cloud Video Intelligence API.

PR and Communications

Exclusive: Chipotle closing ShopHouse chain
Jonathan Maze, Nation’s Restaurant News

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is closing all 15 ShopHouse Asian Kitchen chain next week, the company confirmed to Nation’s Restaurant News on Thursday. Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Denver-based company, said that the company has a deal to sell the leases for the ShopHouse locations and plans to close the restaurants effective March 17.

RadioShack closing 187 stores in latest bankruptcy filing
Mike Snider, USA Today

Electronics retailer RadioShack has filed for its second bankruptcy in two years and will immediately close 187 more stores, about 12 percent of its remaining 1,500 locations. The chain, based in Fort Worth, Texas, previously filed for bankruptcy in 2015, resulting in about 2,400 store closings.

Staples Closing Another 70 Stores as North American Sales Sink
Phil Wahba, Fortune

One of the country’s largest store chains wants to be a bit smaller. Staples said on Thursday it was closing another 70 stores in North America amid sharp sales declines in its top market and a continued pivot to business services and away from brick-and-mortar for the leading office supplies retailer.

Corporate Social Responsibility

A New Era for Movement Brands: 6 Lessons from the Women’s March
Jeff MacDonald, Sustainable Brands

January’s Women’s March was one of the biggest global movements of recent years. An estimated 5 million people marched in 17 different countries to show their support for basic human rights – freedom, equality, justice and personal security – which are increasingly under threat across different areas of people’s lives.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Poll: Majority of American Adults Have Never Heard of SXSW
Laura Nichols, Morning Consult

South by Southwest may be a highly anticipated event for the tech industry, but most Americans aren’t aware of the 10-day event kicking off Friday.

SXSW 2017: Smaller Crowds, Fewer Brands — Will It Actually Be Fun This Year?
Andy langer, Billboard

“It was time to pull back,” affirms a top sponsor. “Ten gallons of manure in a five-gallon bucket”: For years, that was the typically Texan argot used by Don Pitts, the City of Austin’s music and entertainment division manager, to describe the annual South by Southwest Music Festival.

Brands In The Age of Trump: A Survival Guide
Austin Carr, Fast Company

At 7:30 a.m. on January 3, as most workers were just returning to their jobs after the holidays, Donald Trump picked up his phone and fired a virtual cannonball at America’s largest automaker. “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border,” he tweeted. “Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!”

Innocent: Brands have to be ruthless when recruiting to retain challenger status
Charlotte Rogers, Marketing Week

A challenger brand stops being a challenger when it recruits the wrong people, according to Innocent CEO Douglas Lamont, who advises brands to be ruthless about finding people who truly embody the company culture. Speaking yesterday at Marketing Week Live (8 March), Lamont said having a challenger mindset helps Innocent recruit the right people and keep that culture alive.

Brands still don’t fully understand plus-size consumers
Haley Velasco, The Drum

More than half of the women in the US are plus-size, with 67% wearing a size 14 or larger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American woman’s measurements equate to a size 14, while others have it higher than that.