Earlier this year, we contemplated a suitable, accurate, and efficient generic name for the service category created by the highly-disruptive Uber brand: App-Based Ride Service.

A visit to Chicago this past weekend, left me thinking that Ride-Share Service or Ride Sharing are suitable alternatives, that appear to be gaining some traction, as seen

If you’re not first, you’re last. Rick’s Cabaret was the first to open a restaurant with the name Ricky Bobby – but will Sony Pictures have the last laugh?

Let’s get the background first. In the movie Talladega Nights, Will Ferrell played Ricky Bobby, a successful race car driver who just “wants to go

– John Reinan, Senior Director, Media Relations, Fast Horse

Steve Baird recently wrote about the use of real brand names on fictional products in entertainment. Branching off from that thought, I began wondering about the future of product placement in TV, movies and online entertainment (also known as embedded marketing).

Product placement has been around

– Anjali Shankar, Attorney –

As someone fascinated by the movie industry, I am always curious about product placement in movies. I wonder how strategic the placement of a product is. Sometimes product placements can be rather ostentatious, as in “The Devil Wears Prada,” where fashion is central to the movie’s plot, and other times

DVR is a wonderful thing. I’m not always home to catch my favorite television shows, and DVR has the added bonus of the ability to fast-forward through the commercials. Except nowadays clever advertisers have gotten “around” DVRs by strategically (or blatantly) placing their products between commercials. As in the TV shows, themselves. This has been

Absorbing all the television commercials in between football action on the field can be as much fun on Super Bowl Sunday as the actual game itself, at least for trademark and marketing types, especially when your favorite team isn’t even on the field.

One of my personal favorites from this past weekend’s Super

by David Mitchel, Vice President of Marketing at Norton Mitchel Marketing

Branding is an intricate and complicated process. Every aspect of the marketing mix must be handled with care. Brand managers watch their brands in the same manner that most parents care for a newborn child. However, there is an element of marketing communications that brand management teams are unable to directly control: pop culture references about the brands in what appear to be non product placement contexts. These pop culture references can come from both old and new media. They are often found in music, and frequently occur in the hip hop genre. In recent years, brands have been prominent parts of popular YouTube videos. As social media evolves, it has the potential to present new threats for brands. With regard to pop culture references, it is a challenging minefield that brands must negotiate carefully in order to prevent them from detracting from marketing strategy.

In 2003, hip hop artist 50 Cent became a huge sensation with the album “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”. One of the many hit songs from that album was “In Da Club”. Near the beginning of the song, the lyric “we gon’ sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday” appears. This is not the only time that the Bacardi brand has been mentioned in song lyrics, but it is certainly one of the more prominent references. In its advertising over the years, Bacardi has crafted an image of being a fun brand, as their ads often feature a party scene. This may have inspired 50 Cent to write the lyric in the way that he did. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Bacardi featured a “Bacardi By Night” print advertising campaign. These ads clearly targeted individuals with serious jobs and emphasized that Bacardi was a part of their work-life balance.   Additionally, Bacardi has also used their long standing and rich history as a selling proposition in advertising. Bacardi’s association with fun and partying may have attracted the hip hop element, as extravagant partying is a common theme of hip hop imagery. However, this association is tenuous at best and does not appear to be widely perceived. Bacardi has strongly withstood unsolicited pop culture references and its well refined marketing communication messages have helped to ensure that they remain the world’s largest spirits brand.


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For the record, I love music, lots of different artists and musical styles: Bob Dylan to Aerosmith, Otis Redding to ElvisMontgomery Gentry to Santana, Climax Blues Band to Bill Withers, Jack Johnson to Jamey Johnson, Michael Jackson to Alan Jackson, James Taylor to Taylor Swift, Pink Floyd to