August 19, 2017

AT&T, Not American Express, Will Be Chief Sponsor of Tribeca Film Festival

After 12 years as Tribeca’s presenting sponsor, American Express is stepping back, while ATT steps in, as the primary supporter of a movie conclave that was originally meant to lift a battered downtown following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Jane Rosenthal, who founded the festival with her husband, Craig M. Hatkoff, and with Robert De Niro, her business partner, said the change reflected the evolving strategy of all involved.

“Everybody always shifts their priorities and business plans every 12 years or so,” said Ms. Rosenthal, who spoke by telephone last week.

In 2011, Ms. Rosenthal noted, ATT became the sponsor of the Tribeca Film Institute’s youth screening program. This year, the company joined other sponsors in supporting the festival, which has become more digitally oriented with events like an annual hackathon, which prompts participants to solve storytelling problems and other challenges with tools like their smartphones.

Pointing to ATT’s previous promotional efforts in New York — including free Wi-Fi coverage in many parks, and solar charging stations around the city — Cathy M. Coughlin, the company’s senior executive vice president and global marketing officer, said the festival was another way to connect with things “that are important to New Yorkers, not only the tourists and visitors.”

The company, she said, expects to create a mobile app to track festival news and events. It will also host a day of free public screenings, something that has not been done in the past at Tribeca.

Caitlin Lowie, a spokeswoman for American Express, declined last week to discuss her company’s decision to reduce its role at the festival, of which it will now be one of about 60 sponsors at various levels. Other sponsors have included Bombay Sapphire, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, and PepsiCo.

In a statement sent by e-mail last week, Ms. Lowie said American Express would continue to provide its cardholders with early access to tickets, and expects to remain involved with Tribeca in some capacity for “years to come.”

But ATT, Ms. Rosenthal said, will assume the presenting sponsor’s role under a multiyear contract. She and ATT executives declined to disclose terms.

The partnership with a communications company, she added, seemed natural when so many filmgoers — including the 117,000 or so who pass through the Tribeca festival to see about 100 feature films annually — use digital devices to make themselves a part of the show.

“Audiences have never had more control than they do now,” Ms. Rosenthal said.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/05/business/media/att-not-american-express-will-be-chief-sponsor-of-tribeca-film-festival.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

G.M. and Mountain Dew Pull Ads After Criticism for Racial Insensitivity

The General Motors ad was a promotion for the Chevrolet Trax, a small sport utility vehicle that is sold in countries including Canada, where the ad made its debut on television on March 4. The ad is set in the 1930s and features a modern remix of a song from that era that included references to Chinese people using phrases like “ching ching, chop-suey.”

Advertising Standards Canada questioned General Motors about the ad, prompting the company to change the ad by removing the lyrics from the song while keeping the melody.

Even so, as word of the offensive lyrics spread within the company, G.M. decided to withdraw the ad altogether from Canadian television and on Web sites in Europe, where the vehicle is also sold. The vehicle is not sold or advertised in the United States.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, G.M. apologized for the ad and said, “We are conducting a full review of our advertising approval process to ensure this does not happen again in the future.”

The ad was created by Commonwealth, Chevrolet’s global advertising agency since 2012 and a part of the McCann Worldgroup of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

The second ad withdrawn on Wednesday promoted Mountain Dew, part of the PepsiCo Americas Beverages division of PepsiCo. The ad featured a battered waitress, bandaged and on crutches, trying to identify the person who had hurt her when she ran out of Mountain Dew; the lineup includes African-American men with names like LBoy, Tiny and Beyonte — and a goat.

The waitress, who is white, is stricken with fear as she looks at the men and the goat. A voice-over for the animal says in a menacing tone: “It’s me. You should’ve gave me some more.”

“I don’t think I can do this,” the woman says, visibly frightened. Toward the end, the goat threatens her to “keep your mouth shut.” The woman begins to yell repeatedly, “I can’t do this,” followed by a sequence of shrill “noes” as she hops out of the room. The officer then takes a sip of the beverage.

The ad was created by Tyler Okonma, known as Tyler, the Creator, a hip-hop producer and rap artist. In a statement released Wednesday morning, Mountain Dew apologized for the ad and said it had been removed “from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well.” News of the company’s decision was first reported by Adweek.

Mountain Dew has also come under pressure because of its relationship with another rapper, Lil’ Wayne. The company has an endorsement deal with Wayne, who has been criticized over vulgar lyrics that refer to Emmett Till, the African-American teenager whose 1955 murder helped foment the civil rights movement.

On Wednesday, the rapper issued an apology to Mr. Till’s family, adding, “I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner.”

Mountain Dew is the latest brand to deal with controversial hip-hop lyrics. In April, Reebok dropped the rapper Rick Ross after he performed lyrics on the Rocko song “U.O.E.N.O” that referred to drugging a woman and having sex with her.

In March, another auto company, Ford Motor, apologized for an online advertisement in India that featured three bound and gagged women in the rear of a vehicle driven by an actor in the role of Silvio Berlusconi.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/business/media/gm-and-mountain-dew-pull-ads-after-criticism-for-racial-insensitivity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

GM and Mountain Dew Pull Ads After Criticism for Racial Insensitivity

The General Motors ad was a promotion for the Chevrolet Trax, a small sports utility vehicle that is sold in countries including Canada, where the ad made its debut on television on March 4. The ad takes place in the 1930s and featured a modern remix of a song from that era that included references to Chinese people using of phrases like “ching, ching chop-suey”

Advertising Standards Canada questioned General Motors about the ad, prompting the company to change the ad by removing the lyrics from the song while keeping the melody. Even so, as word of the offensive lyrics spread within the company, General Motors decided to pull the ad altogether from Canadian television and on Web sites in Europe, where the vehicle is also sold. The vehicle is not sold or advertised in the United States.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, General Motors apologized for the ad and said, “We are conducting a full review of our advertising approval process to ensure this does not happen again in the future.”

The ad was created by Commonwealth, Chevrolet’s global advertising agency since 2012, and a part of the McCann Worldgroup of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

The second ad that was pulled on Wednesday promoted Mountain Dew, part of the PepsiCo Americas Beverages division of PepsiCo, which featured a battered woman, bandaged and on crutches trying to identify the person who hurt her; the lineup includes African-American men with names like LBoy, Tiny and Beyonte — and a goat.

The woman, who is white, is stricken with fear as she looks at the men and the goat. A voiceover for the animal says in a menacing tone: “It’s me. You should’ve gave me some more.”

“I don’t think I can do this,” the woman says, visibly frightened. Toward the end, the goat threatens the woman to “Keep your mouth shut.” The woman begins to yell repeatedly, “I can’t do this,” followed by a sequence of shrill “Nos” as she hops out of the room. The officer then takes a sip of the beverage.

The ad was created by Tyler Okonma, known as “Tyler, the Creator,” a hip-hop producer and rapper. In a statement released Wednesday morning, Mountain Dew apologized for the ad and said that it had been removed “from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well.” News of the company’s decision was first reported by Adweek.

Mountain Dew has also come under pressure because of its relationship with another rapper, Lil’ Wayne. The company has an endorsement deal with Wayne, who has been criticized over obscene lyrics that refer to Emmett Till, the African-American teenager whose 1955 murder helped foment the civil rights movement. On Wednesday, the rapper issued an apology to Mr. Till’s family for his lyrics, adding, “I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner.”

Mountain Dew is the latest brand to deal with controversial hip-hop lyrics. In April, Reebok dropped the rapper Rick Ross after he performed lyrics on the Rocko song “U.O.E.N.O” that referred to drugging a woman and having sex with her.

Chevrolet is not alone in its ad woes, either. In March, the Ford Motor Company apologized for an online advertisement that it ran in India that featured three bound and gagged women in the rear of a vehicle driven by Silvio Berlusconi.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/business/media/gm-and-mountain-dew-pull-ads-after-criticism-for-racial-insensitivity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

DealBook: Nelson Peltz Fund Said to Amass Stakes in Food Companies

Oreo is one of the several brands owned by Mondelez International.Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesOreo is one of the several brands owned by Mondelez International.

10:28 a.m. | Updated
Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has taken a $2.7 billion stake in PepsiCo and Mondelez International, according to people briefed on the investment.

The investment by Mr. Peltz, a longtime shareholder activist, has raised speculation that he could be seeking a position on the boards of both companies. The stake also raises questions about whether Mr. Peltz, who has pushed for spinoffs and mergers at other companies that he has pursued, will press Pepsi to spin off its Frito Lay unit and merge it with Mondelez, which was the snack business spun off by Kraft last year.

PepsiCo said Friday that it had held meetings with Trian Fund Management but did not reveal the nature of the discussions, but both companies have many prominent snack food brands, which could make a strategic fit. Mondelez owns several well-known brands worldwide including Ritz, Oreo and Toblerone.

“In recent weeks, we have held meetings with Trian to discuss and consider their ideas and initiatives as part of our ongoing evaluation of all opportunities to drive long term growth and shareholder value,” Pepsi said in a statement. “Trian is a respected investor, and we look forward to continuing constructive discussions with them.”

A Trian spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.

A Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday revealed that Trian Fund had increased its stake in Pepsi to $269 million as of the end of 2012, and that it had taken a $494 million stake in Mondelez. But people briefed on the investment say that the Trian stake in both companies is actually worth $2.7 billion, with $1.4 billion in Pepsi and $1.3 billion in Mondelez.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/pepsi-confirms-talks-with-nelson-peltzs-trian-fund/?partner=rss&emc=rss

PepsiCo’s Chick Pea Plan Includes Taking On Famine

The company’s partners, the World Food Program and the United States Agency for International Development, or Usaid, say the project has the potential to reduce famine in Africa over the long term. “If it works as we believe it will, it will go a long, long way towards improving nutrition and hunger there,” said Nancy E. Roman, director of public policy and private partnerships at the World Food Program.

PepsiCo plans to work with farmers in Ethiopia to increase the production and quality of chick peas, which the company needs to meet demand for its hummus products. Currently, some 100,000 farmers there grow chick peas, but not as a primary crop.

The company wants to invest in better seeds and drip irrigation systems so that farmers can improve yields and grow chick peas twice a year. The increased yield would exceed PepsiCo’s needs. So some of the additional crops will be used to make a new, ready-to-eat food product that the World Food Program has used to address famine in Pakistan.

Local businesses will produce and sell that product and perhaps others based on chick peas. The primary goal is to turn chick peas into a major export crop for the country as demand for them is increasing globally. “This will boost the production of chick peas in Ethiopia, but it will also help local manufacturers produce and develop products using chick peas and supply a steady stream for export,” said Derek Yach, a spokesman for PepsiCo. “The idea is to build value into the chain all the way up to the macroeconomic level.”

Because chick peas get much of the nitrogen they need from the air rather than from the soil, cultivating the crop improves conditions for the country’s other crops. Like PepsiCo, the World Food Program has been looking for a steady supply of chick peas to increase production of a food called Wawa Mum, which means “Good food, Mom,” in Pashto, a language spoken in northwest Pakistan. The organization developed the product in India to address food shortages after a flood in 2008 and began working with local companies in Pakistan to produce it for that country in 2009.

Expanding production to other malnourished regions, however, has proved challenging because of limited amounts of chick peas. When Ms. Roman encountered Mr. Yach at the World Economic Forum in Dubai and heard about PepsiCo’s plans to spur the production of chick peas for the company’s use, they began talking about going beyond that to address malnutrition and famine in a way that also would contribute to economic development.

The program will not, however, have an immediate role in the famine currently devastating the Horn of Africa. “The tough reality is that crops grow as fast as they grow,” Mr. Yach said. “Some 12 million people will remain in need for years after this famine ends, though, and we might have some impact on them.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d2d2e6bdb6a811c84dbc661ba5455435

Advertising: Pepsi Takes Active Role in ‘X Factor’

“The X Factor,” a British export that will make its United States premiere on Fox on Sept. 21, is the long-awaited competitor to “American Idol” and the new home for Mr. Cowell. The show will also be a marketing centerpiece for its lead sponsor, PepsiCo, whose eternal nemesis, Coca-Cola, is the longtime sponsor of “American Idol.”

As with Coke’s branding on “Idol,” Pepsi’s logos will be a regular sight on “The X Factor,” seen on the judges’ drinking cups, in banner ads and elsewhere. But Pepsi, which is spending up to $60 million for the sponsorship, is also playing an unusually active role in the show itself, and its connection to the show will continue even after the season ends in December.

Adding a sweetener of its own to the $5 million recording contract offered as the top prize on “The X Factor,” Pepsi will have the winner star in a commercial to be shown during the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

“It’s been the most collaborative relationship I’ve ever had with a sponsor,” said Mr. Cowell, the show’s creator. “From Day 1, they just bought into what we’d planned for the show, and almost became like producers. As we developed the show, we consulted with them in all the decisions, and they came and presented to us their own marketing ideas.”

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For Pepsi, “The X Factor” represents a dual marketing opportunity. Through its ads on the show and next year’s Super Bowl commercial, the company will return to its tradition of big, splashy pop music commercials, its bread and butter for much of the last three decades. At the same time, it will step up its recent emphasis on digital and social media.

Frank Cooper, the global consumer engagement officer, PepsiCo Beverages, said that using pop stars in commercials worked well for a time but that the company now wants to have a more active role in the projects it sponsors and in the careers of the musicians it works with.

“Historically our approach, from Michael Jackson in the ’80s through Britney Spears in 2001, was really an approach of borrowed equity,” Mr. Cooper said. “The ‘X Factor’ relationship is more about what role a brand can play in an entertainment platform beyond simple sponsorship.”

The Super Bowl ad — for which the winning contestant will not be paid — will be regularly invoked on the show as one of the ultimate prizes, and Pepsi’s presence on the air is also to include features like a “Pepsi Challenge,” in which viewers choose the songs that contestants will sing. After the winner is chosen, customers will be able to vote online for some of the elements in the Super Bowl ad.

Pepsi’s online promotions for “The X Factor” have already started. In each city where auditions were being taped, the company invited in a handful of popular local Twitter users. They were found using Klout, a company that ranks Twitter accounts by their level of influence. Pepsi will also run game promotions, like having viewers take a picture of a can of soda with their smartphones for bonus content, said Shiv Singh, the global head of digital for PepsiCo Beverages.

“You have to have a can in your hand to do that, so it helps our business,” Mr. Singh said.

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Combining a big old-fashioned media campaign with smaller-scale online activity may also be a chance for Pepsi to satisfy analysts who have been skeptical of the company’s unorthodox recent marketing.

Last year, Pepsi did not run a Super Bowl ad, for the first time in 23 years, but instead it put $20 million toward a charitable online campaign, the Pepsi Refresh Project. And its TV ad spending has declined significantly in recent years. In 2006, Pepsi spent $249 million to advertise its carbonated beverages on television, compared with $264 million for Coke. But in 2010, Pepsi’s spending had come down 45 percent to $136 million, while Coke’s had come down only 23 percent to $203 million, according to Nielsen.

The cola war dealt Pepsi a setback this year. Beverage Digest, a trade publication, reported in March that Diet Coke had surpassed Pepsi as the second-most-popular soda in the United States, with Coke at No. 1.

“The results would suggest that swinging the pendulum all the way to nontraditional media has not worked for them,” said Ali Dibadj, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Company who studies beverages and household products.

This year, Pepsi returned to the Super Bowl and said it would increase the television budget for advertising its beverages by 30 percent.

“Our hope, and our intention, is to find the right balance in spending between TV and digital,” said Mr. Cooper, whose other projects have included Green Label Sound, a record label financed by Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo brand, which releases online tracks by underground rock bands and pays for all the recording and marketing expenses.

The goal for the show, Mr. Cooper said, was also to test the boundaries of the role of a sponsor by becoming as closely integrated within the show as possible.

“When people are sitting on the couch looking at the TV,” he said, “you will see that the actual elements of the song they are singing have been filtered by, shaped by and ultimately brought to you by Pepsi.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f1f6970d55bdd0720127bbb6127fff2d

Advertising: Celebrating ‘South Park’ by Bringing It to Life

As part of an extensive promotional campaign, Year of the Fan, to observe the 15th season of the show, Comedy Central, which has been presenting “South Park” since August 1997, is teaming up with the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo to produce 1.5 million packages of Cheesy Poofs to be sold in Wal-Mart stores beginning next month.

Anyone reluctant to pay $2.99 for a 2 3/8-ounce bag of Cheesy Poofs can get a free bag at an exhibit, called the Ultimate “South Park” Fan Experience, that Comedy Central is sponsoring in conjunction with Comic-Con International in San Diego July 21 to 24. The real version of the imaginary snack will be available at a replica of the school cafeteria from “South Park,” which will be near a replica of South Park Avenue, another major feature of the make-believe South Park, Colo.

The exhibit, running 15,000 square feet, will also offer artwork, memorabilia, photo and tattoo booths, trivia contests and a station to create “South Park” avatars that can be uploaded to profile pages in social media like Facebook.

Anne Garefino, who is an executive producer of “South Park” along with its creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, likened the exhibit to the street fairs she attended as a child growing up in New Jersey.

She said she hoped the attractions would offer “silly fun, playful things” as a way to thank viewers.

“To be honest, Matt and Trey said, ‘We don’t want to be celebrated,’ ” Ms. Garefino said. Rather, she added, the concept became “let’s do it” but “let’s make it about the fans.”

It is unusual, but not unprecedented, for fans of a television series to tour the set on which their favorite show is filmed. It is more difficult to do so when the series is animated and the set does not exist, much less the location the set represents.

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But bringing elements of “South Park” to life, in what is known as experiential marketing, is a way for Comedy Central to strengthen connections with viewers. That is increasingly important when competition among entertainment properties for hearts, minds and eyeballs is fiercer than ever.

“Right now is ‘South Park’s’ moment in the sun,” said Michele Ganeless, president of Comedy Central in New York, part of the MTV Networks unit of Viacom. “Fifteen years of a success on television, let alone on cable, is an achievement.”

“Making it about the fans” is a way to counter possible perceptions that the campaign is self-congratulatory, Ms. Ganeless said, and it is appropriate because “South Park” has “such a devoted fan base.”

The budget for the campaign is being estimated at $3 million to $5 million. The equivalent media value of the air time and online inventory being devoted to the campaign — on other MTV Networks properties in addition to Comedy Central — is being estimated at $10 million.

There will also be an hourlong documentary about “South Park” in the fall, on Comedy Central and “some of the other networks as well,” Ms. Ganeless said.

As befits a campaign about a series with a passionate following among men ages 18 to 34, the campaign will have a considerable presence in new media, among them Facebook, at facebook.com/southpark; Twitter, at twitter.com/SouthPark; the “South Park” Web site, southparkstudios.com; and the Comedy Central Web site, comedycentral.com.

Bringing a fictional snack to life also makes sense given the dietary proclivities of that audience.

“It’s fair to say the viewers of programs on Comedy Central overlap well with consumers of our products,” said Chris Kuechenmeister, a spokesman at Frito-Lay in Plano, Tex.

“This is the first time we’ve moved into something like this,” he added. “It seemed like a nice thing to try.”

This is, however, not the first time that cartoon brands have been turned into actual products for flesh-and-blood people. For instance, to promote “The Simpsons Movie” in 2007, products like Frosted KrustyO’s cereal and Buzz Cola were sold in 7-Eleven stores; some stores were even temporarily converted to Kwik-E-Marts, after the inconvenient convenience store in “The Simpsons.”

Being able “to step into an animated world is awesome,” said Eric Murphy, president, chief executive and creative director at Pop2Life in New York, a marketing promotion agency that is building the exhibit for Comedy Central.

“Giving ‘South Park’ fans a chance to physically be part of ‘South Park’ is priceless,” he added.

Comedy Central is presenting the 15th season of “South Park” in two parts. The first part ran from April 27 to June 8 and the second is scheduled from Oct. 15 to Nov. 16. The series is renewed for a 17th season through 2013, Ms. Ganeless said.

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It is coincidental, Ms. Ganeless and Ms. Garefino said, that the campaign will be taking place as Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker bask in the success of their hit Broadway musical, “The Book of Mormon,” on which Ms. Garefino is a lead producer.

“Year of the Fan has been in development for the last 24 months, before we knew when ‘The Book of Mormon’ would launch,” Ms. Ganeless said.

When Ms. Garefino was asked whether the people behind “South Park” had considered a musical version, she replied: “After the third season, someone asked us to consider it. But we couldn’t think of a way to put the characters on Broadway because of their big, blinky eyes.”

Ms. Garefino, who lives in Los Angeles, is in New York “casting for vacation swings,” or replacements, for “The Book of Mormon.”

“It’s a big eye-opener for me,” Ms. Garefino said. “Cartman never takes a day off.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=38ce2bece80fa51538db9f1d878c5a14