Jets over Sex?

The largest pure single domain name transaction belonged to which was sold in October 2010 for a record breaking $13M. Now it appears will have to a back row seat to which has more than doubled the previous benchmark for a pure single domain name sale.

Nations Luxury Transportation, LLC (Nations) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Nations has acquired the domain name, from privately held Don’t Look, a leading intellectual property holding company, for $30.18 million in cash and stock. PR Web

Branding and Buying: Is One Colour Better Than Another?

As a bit of an obsessive when it comes to product packaging, I often speculate about which colours and colour combinations are most effective on everything from branding to packaging to in-store promotions. I recently discovered this insightful graphic from Kissmetrics that delves into the psychology of colour. Regional and cultural nuances would factor in significantly but it is an interesting infographic nonetheless.


It’s Green To Be Square

I love design. I love packaging. I love Earth. So when I see something cool that intertwines all three of those tenets, I have to pass along. Maybe there’s a little guilt involved here too as I just noticed how long it has been since I last blogged 🙂


Ever wonder why soda bottles/cans are round? I had thought it was primarily because of vending machines and the need for the bottles to roll. However, it turns out the main reason for a round shaped bottle has little to do with rolling, and more to do with the physics of pressurization.

“The cylindrical shape of soda cans is not for hand comfort. The sides of a rectangular container of carbonated soda would either bulge out or have to be made too strong and stiff to be cost-effective. The cylindrical shape resists bulging with much less material.

Soda cans and bottles are marvels of engineering. Over time, they have managed to use less and less raw material to make each one while still being able to contain a pressurized beverage without bulging or rupturing. If you think about a cylinder, the top and the bottom are both flat, and not as efficient at resisting bulging as the cylindrical part. Now you can understand why soda cans all taper a bit at the top (a smaller flat area resists bulging better than a large flat area) and why the bottoms are built bulging inwards (takes much less force to bulge a flat area outward than it takes to turn an inward bulge into and outward bulge).” via RID

However, plastic technology has come a long way since the industry-wide design choice to go round was made decades ago. Andrew Kim, a design student from the College for Creative Studies has released a set of images from his mid-term design project that takes dead aim at revolutionizing the soda bottle. Simple, ambitious, brilliant and very square.

I love it.






McDonald’s attempting brand makeover


McDonald’s is really going for the gusto in an effort to shift their brand image. This billboard which ran near Chicago is an interesting concept. It literally grew into an ad. Check out the time-lapse ‘making of’ video.

In the United Kingdom, McDonald’s has just launched a $10M campaign to project an image of freshness, family and local food sourcing. Here’s the UK 60-second spot done by Leo Burnett called ‘Planting’ as part of this new campaign.  

Can McDonald’s successfully morph their brand into a cozier, healthier, fresher new image? I don’t know, but this approach, if genuine, can only help…

“We have grown in confidence and we have to be visible and transparent about who we are and what we do,” she said. “Part of that is putting our head above the parapet, and I would be surprised if someone didn’t say something [negative].”

Jill McDonald, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s northern Europe

In association with the campaign they also flexed some social media marketing muscles. An example of this would be their hiring of Vox Pops to hit the streets and get some reaction to their new campaign spot from the public.

image adrants

Tastes great, more filling – Miller ‘gets’ blogging

Miller Brewing Company started blogging in July 2007 on a blog called ‘Brew Blog’. My first reaction when I read about this was ‘just another corporate blog’. 95% of the time, I’d probably be right in that assumption. But in this case, Miller did something different and I believe we are going to be seeing more and more companies follow their lead. Instead of blogging about all things Miller, they started a beer industry blog that covers everything, including their competitors and their products. And if you think they just slam their competition all day, think again. Their coverage is industry-wide and their reportage tone comes across as unbiased, and if there is bias, at least you know where it is coming from.

Brew Blog is the brainchild of Paul Pendergrass and Pete Marino, communications consultants for Miller who wanted the brewer to have more influence over what’s covered in the industry. In 2006, they recruited Mr. Arndorfer from Advertising Age and told him to cover the sector like a beat reporter would.

Miller has now become a publisher and they are filling up their industry niche with meaningful content. Miller is using the blog platform to enhance brand awareness in a much more powerful way than just an extension of their PR messaging. Cheers to Miller for thinking outside the corporate blog box. And hey, if you really get good at being a publisher, your competition will come to you…

The blog has enough influence that a staffer at a PR agency for Anheuser pitched a story to Mr. Arndorfer (Brew Blog) about Budweiser’s Superbowl ads. A representative for Tecate, a Mexican beer, inquired about running an ad on the site.

via WSJ

Without a brand, you’ve got nothing

How important is it to build a brand? I’d argue, without a brand, you’ve got nothing. Interbrand’s most recent report shows that Google is the most improved brand over the past year, up 44%. I’m willing to bet that some of the brand juice they have working for them is a direct result of their acquisition of YouTube. Consciously or sub-consciously, YouTube has helped mature and morph Google’s brand into more of an all-purpose media brand.

Google still has a long ways to go before it can rival the leading global brands ie, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE etc. Mind you, those brands have been festering in the marketplace much, much longer than Google.