Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl Telecom Battle

28 Jan , 2018  

The Super Bowl is less than a week away. The football game should be interesting. Can Tom Brady and the Patriots once again take the prize? The advertising should be even more interesting. One category to watch in particular: Telecom. Last year, T-Mobile and Sprint both attacked Verizon. The Sprint ad featured a fellow faking […]

Super Bowl Ads

The 2018 Kellogg Bowl

22 Jan , 2018  

The Super Bowl is fast approaching. On February 4, more than one hundred million people will congregate at Super Bowl parties to watch both the football and the advertising. On the part of advertisers, they will spend $5 million or more for each thirty second spot to reach the huge audience. If history is any […]

Brands in the News

Brands to Watch in 2018

2 Jan , 2018  

Happy New Year! At the start of each year, I like to offer a brand forecast. Like the year that just ended, 2018 will bring opportunities and challenges for many brands. Here are a few in particular to watch. Sears Many old guard, brick and mortar retailers are struggling, and Sears in particular lost its […]

Brands in the News

Looking Back on my 2017 Brands to Watch

27 Dec , 2017  

Each year I highlight a few brands to watch. Let’s take a look at how things worked out for some of my 2017 selections. Amazon My question about Amazon: could the company keep the momentum going despite the lack of significant profits? The answer is pretty clear—absolutely. When I wrote my post last year the stock […]

Brands in the News

BMW Embraces its German Roots

13 Dec , 2017  

BMW is one of the world’s top German brands. For many years, however, the company has intentionally downplayed its German roots, striving to be both German and local.  It was only somewhat German. This strategy was perfectly brought to life in BMW’s 2014 Super Bowl ad, called “Built in America.” The spot featured an earnest […]

Branding Insights

Brand of the Month: Geico

16 Nov , 2017  

Building a great brand today requires a delicate balance: You have to be consistent while also constantly being new and different. Consistency and Change Consistency is the foundation of branding. A strong brand should stand for something and repeatedly reinforce that message. Apple, BMW, Rolex, Emirates and Wal-Mart all have very distinct associations. BMW is […]

Branding Insights

Buying a New Car and the Power of Brands

23 Oct , 2017  

People love to question the power of brands. “With Amazon dominating the world, brands are done for,” some proclaim. “In a digital world, you don’t need brands,” others note. Another group insists, “Social media trumps everything! A referral from a friend is far more important than a brand.” These are all interesting thoughts, and not without […]

Brands in the News

Trouble at Coca-Cola

3 Oct , 2017  

The Coca-Cola Company has come out with a new advertising campaign. You can watch the ad here and read more about it here. My overall assessment? Things aren’t going well at Coke. The new campaign is clearly designed to improve perceptions of Coke. The ad features two employees, Jon and Willie. Jon is a hydrologist, and […]

Branding Insights

Brand of the Month: Cracker Barrel

19 Sep , 2017  

This is a new addition to my blog. Every month I will highlight one notable brand, an example of branding best practices. Expect to see a wide range of brands over the coming year. If you have a nomination, send me an email at t-calkins@northwestern.edu   Perhaps the most important marketing lesson is this: you can’t […]

Career Advice

Back to School: Advice for Students

6 Sep , 2017  

It is back to school time! All around the world, students are organizing school supplies, looking forward to seeing old friends and becoming sleepless with the excitement of a new academic year. It is a universal experience shared by pupils of all ages. My daughter Anna started school yesterday, and my MBA students at Northwestern […]