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Showing posts from June, 2010

Sprint hits another homer showing the evolution of innovation

I've been meaning to post this for a while. This Sprint ad is well done. By illustrating the evolutionary history of technology the ad inspires as well it makes you trust in Sprints intent.  Notice how simple the message was conveyed? That's good branding. It should never take too much to tell your story.

-Beyond Urban Branding

Great Moments in Urban Branding: The Beastie Boys

Long before Harold and Kumar, the Beastie Boys made White Castle and Fat Burger hot on the block!!

I chill at White Castle 'cause it's the best
But I'm fly at Fat Burger when I way out west
-Beastie Boys, New Style

Great Moments in Urban Branding: Notorious B.I.G

I miss B.I.G., I miss the Twin Towers....

So, what's it gonna be? him or me?
We can cruise the world with pearls, gator boots for girls
The envy of all women, crush linen
Cartier wrist-wear with diamonds in em
-Biggie Smalls, One More Chance

Great World Cup ads part. 2!!

This might be my favorite World Cup for a ton of reasons. I've loved soccer since I was a kid, but, this year the World Cup is just lovely. One of the reasons is I'm having fun watching a lot of the ads. I always like it when corporations get comfortable pushing themes of world unity, fun and the power of diversity. It'd be great if these kinds of themes were more common in ad campaigns in general. Even the Olympics don't produce ads as strong as World Cup ads when it comes to multicultural themes.

As excited as I was to see all these great ads, Comedy Central did a very funny piece on how most South African independent business folks were boxed out of money making opportunities by FIFA. I'll put that clip at the bottom (its funny and informative, too bad CNN and FOXNews missed this story). But the thing I wonder is: How many of these ads were made by African or African American owned ad agencies? If you know the answer email me at . 



Mike Relm reaches far beyond Hip-Hop

Mike Relm,(wicked DJ on huge tours for the iconic Blue Man Group, Tony Hawk and others)  has been doing some very cool things remixing film. In the next few weeks Beyond Urban Branding will be doing profiles on various people who make things happen. Mike Relm will be one of the first interviews we drop. Take a look at the edge this guy gives things that are for all intents and purposes- already cool. But Mike Relm makes them cooler.

Branding the power of unity in diversity ring loud in world cup ads Pt. 1

I've been watching so much soccer, I have not been posting. Then, I saw all these amazing ads that promoted global unity and the beauty of diversity. The ads also push the power of owning the moment, right now and making the world better with your expression.These ads are so honest and so fun, it'd be a crime if we did not enjoy them together. Lets look at 'em...

Nike Scores Big with this one

ESPN Reminds You What The Game is About

Then Visa tells you what its REALLY About

EA Sports and K'Naan team up for an amazing game trailer

A game aint a game if you're not drinking a Coke

-Beyond Urban Branding

Speaking of Cognac: T.I. named global spokesman for Remy Martin

Just in from:
 Rapper T.I. is jumping in to the liquor business after striking a deal with Remy Martin.

The rapper appeared on Atlanta’s V-103 during Ryan Cameron show and revealed he had just returned from France, where he entered into a deal as the spokesman for Remy Martin.

“I’m now the official endorser and global spokesman for Remy Martin cognac,” T.I. said on the radio and labeled the experience “mind blowing.”

T.I. was on the air promoting his upcoming movie Takers, which also stars Chris Brown, Idris Elba, Michael Ealy and others. The rapper also revealed he is in talks to star in the follow up to the hit movie ATL. T.I.’s upcoming album King Uncaged is due in stores August 17th.


Wow! We were just talking about the impact of rap on the cognac industry. I guess its still going strong. Rappers + alcohol brands have almost always added up to big dollars.

-Beyond Urban Branding

T-Pains Teams With Swagger Like Us Clothing, Contest

This just in from: HipHopDX

This July, west coast-based clothing retailer Anchor Blue and fashion line Swagger Like Us, Inc. are teaming up with singer/songwriter T-Pain for their upcoming "Can You Rock?" campaign. "Can You Rock?" will allow up-and-coming musicians looking for their big break into the industry to remake one song to win the chance to record a song written and produced by the Grammy-winning Atlanta crooner.

"This is a great opportunity for me to work with some up-and-coming talent, while giving someone a head start in the music business,” T-Pain said. "I’m glad to be partnering up with Anchor Blue and Swagger Like Us to make it happen. Who knows what next big artist we’ll uncover!"

In conjunction with the campaign, Anchor Blue and Swagger Like Us will be releasing a line of apparel that bridges the gap between music and fashion. And as an added bonus, beginning July 22, Anchor Blue will be providing a free download from their website …

Great moments in urban branding: Public Enemy

It's the reason I'm ahead of the pack/It's the reason I left them back/It's the reason all the people say/My 98-O blows 'em all away

My 98 Oldsmobile is...

My 98 Oldsmobile's so...

My 98 Oldsmobile is...

My 98 Oldsmobile's like...

Even the most revolutionary rap group in the history of the game did a little branding. Oldsmobile branding was all in the hood because of Chuck D and Flavor Flav's lyrics. Big shout out to my man Chris T who used to drive the charcoal grey Olds. The first time I heard Public Enemy, it was in a 98. Ironic? I think not. Nedless to say, despite the advertsing on this classic album, no deal was offered to PE for this great moment in urban branding. With the car industry in! the hole, somebody might wanna holla at 'em. For real boyeeeeee.

Great moments in urban branding: Run DMC

We never wear the pants they call the Calvin Klein's/Cause Calvin Klein's no friend of mine/Don't want nobody's name on my behind/Lee on my legs, sneakers on my feet/D by my side and Jay with the beat!! Run DMC, Rock Box

This was easily the first rap protest against the dreaded skinny jeans!! People forget that rap was coming out of the Disco era. It was a rebellion against that pop'ish lifestyle. All the Dicso dudes wore super tight jeans. Rev Run and Deacon DMC were not having it. Now that I think about it, this was the first time I remember a jeans company getting a shout out from rappers. Lee jeans won big on that one. I wonder why they never tried to get in good like Adidas? I'm pretty sure this came out a few years before "My Adidas"...Lee could have taken full advantage. Maybe the "advantage" was free branding in a demographic they never advertised in...

Bing brings second ad in Spanish with English subtitles...Its still funny

The Microsoft serch engine Bing dropped their second "Los Links" ad entirely in Spanish with English subtitles. They've been pushing the "Telemundo" soap opera thing and its still working. Just like Telemundo I have no idea what they are saying, but I still watch! Seriously though, these ads are good and I'm glad they're still riding the wave.

Great Moments in Urban Branding: Mary J and Grand Puba

Well, I be Puba on this here/The nigga from last year/Girbaud's hanging baggy Tommy Hilfiger top gear/Take no shorts/I'm doin lovely in all sports- Grand Puba, Whats the 411?

Those brands have been getting solid rotation since 1992!! Thats brand penetration and longevity!

-Beyond Urban Branding

When Rap Rebuilt an Industry: Pass the Courvoisier

Some of you may too busy to understand the financial impact of Hip-Hop. But this one song validates any discussion on the economic power of rap. The Cognac industry was dying out. It was almost entirely done. Until Busta Rhymes dropped this jam right here.

The big question: Why didn't these guys call Courvoiser and cut an equity deal BEFORE they dropped the song? The world may never know. But I don't think Diddy and Ciroc would have ever happened if he had not missed the opportunity to maximize with Courvoiser.


The song changed all that, according to Courvoisier's marketing manager, Jennifer Szersnovicz.
"Well, it was huge for the brand," she says. "Because it went on all the big hit lists. And the truth of the matter is that it really showed us what the importance of what having that particular status in the African-American market was all about."

NPR News on how one rap song changed Cognac industry

PS. If you dont …

Great moments in urban branding: Jay Z

In rappin' I am whatever is happenin', Rock-a-wear I am the
young Black Ralph Lauren. - Jay Z, Guns & Roses

Great moments in urban branding: Tupac Shakur

Now it's all about Versace,You copied my style/Five shots couldn't drop me, I took it and smiled.- Tupac, "Hit Em Up"

 I didn't call Versace he called me to come to his show and to wear his close and to "Please wear my shoes!" Please wear my shit you are the image of Versace.- Tupac Shakur interview

One of the biggest gangsta classics branded Gucci eternally

It was 1985. Most people did not even recognize rap as an art. Nevertheless, Gucci was getting branding via rapper Schoolly D. You may not know this song. But every person who knows Hip-Hop history knows this song, had this song and wanted a Gucci watch because of it. Schoolly D also did the college campus cult classic intro for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Cartoon Network. Gotta love Schoolly School!!! It pays to use old school raps and rappers in new school branding.

Great moments in urban branding: Lil Kim

Now you wanna buy me diamonds and Armani suits
Adrienne Vittadini and Chanel Nine boots
Things to make up for all the games and the lies
Hallmark cards, sayin I apologize - Lil Kim "Get Money"

-Beyond Urban Branding

AT&T blend pulling on heartstrings, and comedy in Rethink Possible campaign

Looking towards an inevitable future AT&T made a great ad here. What I love about this ad is that its courageous enough to suggest a Latino President of the United States of America is possible. To run this ad during the tense state of political current events is pretty cool. Obviously it touches on so many things at once: The power of taking a chance, love, and the makers of the technology that allows you to make it happen.

Once more pulling on the heartstrings, AT&T really gets the consumer to embrace their childhood through technology. Its paced well with warm and fuzzy creatures keeping you reminiscing until the final frame. I notice kids actually enjoy this ad a lot as well. My one year old daughter stops what shes doing and giggles at this ad every time it runs.

This ad is quick and funny. The main thing is, you really don't know how its going to end- until it does.

You can't have the urban crowd if young African American males aren't rocking your stuff. Th…