Brand Jacking – Is It Serious And How To Handle It?

A successful brand is not just about its power in the market, it’s about shellresponsibility in our community and society. Brand jacking is a barometer of that responsibility or lack there of as was demonstrated by Greenpeace’s imaginative, ambitious, audacious brand jacking campaign sundering Lego’s long-standing relationship with Shell.

Brand jacking is perfect for the digital age because consumers want to connect and want that connection to be intense and to move them and when brand jackers push hard enough they evidently can get someplace. With regards the future, social media players are turning to a pay for play model working closely with advertisers so there will be acute pressure to ensure there is no fake paid advertising with the threat of revenue being lost. Omnicom has recently undertaken a $230M mobile marketing partnership with Twitter who will be held accountable. Is this enough to stop brand jacking or is there emerging trouble in the future where we can expect to see more brand jacking that’s well funded? And are big brands in the spot light worried that this trendy new type of activist brand jacking will sow instability?

We’re in a copycat society where Twitter and Facebook are a petri dish for brand jacking. twitterIt’s difficult for brands to control the fall out and one big question remains, what happens when you’re brand jacked? Customers take fright, brand jackers gain ground, revenue and credibility are lost and the brand collapses to demands. Here’s how brands can take the necessary steps to identify and counter the threats of brand jacking in this digital world:

Constant online monitoring
Avoid ignoring the brand jacking
Regularly communicate with user, fan and consumer sites
Bake social media deep into crisis management strategy
View the brand through the eyes of your detractors
Open all lines of communication
Use social media as the main platform for your response
Actively engage with the brand jackers

MoneyThere’s nothing more valuable to a business than its reputation and the ability to secure it so the last point jangles nerves for most brands because it’s typically a burning platform. Plus they’re scared of becoming embroiled in the enmities because the brand is not entitled to its own facts the detractor is.

Brands are supposed to be a promise to consumers and an insurance policy against difficulties so when brand jacked they need to find a tone between adamantine rebut and abject prostration, one that bolsters the brands sincerity rather than forfeiting it. The truth has consequences and with brand jacking there are two things for certain: you don’t make peace with your friends and brand jacking’s got legs and those legs dance.

Facebook needs to ‘Face’ the reality of it’s ‘Book’ of business


Zuckerberg rightly said yesterday “The best type of advertising is a message from a friend” but in light of FB’s stock decline, the message from his friend (CFO Ebersman) stating that “the important thing for us is to stay focused that we’re the same company now as we were before” is down right wrong and dangerous.

Facebook was a privately held sexy, social media start up with a web site that captured the hearts and keyboards of millions: Different, heroic, with principles that made tem known for being remarkable and fresh, joined by millions for being a challenger of the rule and above all, shareable. Today it is a massive ‘transparent’ public company, that misfired with an advertising platform that’s not delivering results and subscriber usage in decline partly due to the rapacious increase in smartphone usage likely to reduce its revenues even more. Like it’s namesake, Facebook, this entirely different company now needs to ‘face’ the reality of it’s ‘book’ of business.


Disney stole Ted Turner’s “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way” line. Here’s my POV broadcast on Nightly Business Report

Disney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Was it bird, was it a plane, was it a government body, no, last week’s super hero was Disney’s CEO, Bob Igor, stealing Ted Turner’s line, “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way” with the announcement that the Disney network will slim down access to brands deemed unhealthy and become the world’s brand champion for healthy kids – along with a “Mickey Mark” that endorses appropriate products.

What more could an investor and a mum share in common than Disney (NYSE:DIS), a game changing brand we all trust, with channels free of unhealthy product advertising, garnishing world applause, increased ratings and a Mickey Mark that provides mum the short-cut to decide if a product is a good choice for her children whether on 4-screens or down the aisle.

Disney’s ability to focus on efficiencies that can create and capture demand make any competition irrelevant from being able to usurp Disney’s lead due to its arsenal of assets for ‘healthy kids’ brand endorsement deals. Creating a new revenue stream for Disney and a new business model by taking an ethical stance whilst being a boon for business – and not just Disney’s – in the $2.5 Trillion combined media and CPG categories.

By cracking the world’s toughest brief: making it easy for mum, Disney has unleashed a game changer, taking a page right out of the book, Blue Ocean Strategy (by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne). Disney has set its sights on creating a giant footprint in a fiercely contested health category. Mum neither knows what to give her children or what to allow them to innocently watch; she is confused by the endless cacophony of messages and icons embedded in a frivolous sea of promotions on screen and down the aisles filled with their gleaming category cues.

Image representing The Walt Disney Company as ...
Image via CrunchBase

Disney’s Big Idea is made more brilliant by the limited impact on their return on capital employed (ROCE) as the bulk of the new investment effort will no doubt be shared with brand partners and from marketing and licensing deals. Alongside the ‘Mickey Mark’ strategy that will eventually offer up its advertisers, the inevitable foray down the grocery aisle with their own Disney portfolios and licensing with those brands Disney endorses as ‘healthy’.

In an industry that thrives on exciting customers with new products, innovation
is key and Disney’s treasure chest represents a gargantuan brand and licensing opportunity for targeted health & wellness programs. Many pundits currently eye greater value in splitting up CPG companies like P&G and PepsiCo. As for media, finding growth past the election and the Olympics is foreseen as tough and networks are in flux. Just last week during Dish Network’s announcement of its new ad-skipping device, CEO, Charlie Ergon, was vocal about the need for better advertising strategies from the networks whilst warning that Internet video threatens the pay-tv ecosystem.

Let’s face it if you don’t like change, you’ll enjoy irrelevance even less. The last time a business reinvented more than one industry simultaneously was Apple – and they had a big idea also. The ‘shock and awe’ of this audacious move by Disney has mammoth implications for all media players, especially Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, who will have to lead a path or follow suit – Disney has ‘the con’ as they say in the movies.

Growth begets growth and major brand and media owners are going to be forced to be good at what they do and take an holistic view of the customer and create new methods of engagement and seamless experience that can give customers what they want with the products and services they offer. So after a week or two of navel gazing, they need to look to Disney’s initiative and aim to create either new products for licensing, bundled portfolios of existing ‘good for you’ products for Disney endorsement strategies or review what they have in their portfolio that could be modified to satisfy the stringent criteria of Disney (NYSE:DIS): acting as an industry seal of approval.

In risk there is opportunity and Disney has masterfully leapfrogged an entire category to become the voice of health and wellness for kids around the world. By simply staying on brand, this win-win business strategy alone reinvents Disney’s franchise as it broadens its ‘Masterbrand’ role beyond the boundaries of entertainment, products and hospitality services. There will be a progression and it might be sluggish, but done well, it’s hugely likely that publicity and demand will create a successful pull through strategy. Ultimately this is a ‘show me’ industry that survives by exciting customers with new products. Now the magic’s started, it’s show time folks.

FaceBook ads ‘They Yield No Real Value, And No Profits.’

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Way before pundits took the wheel from GM last week slamming the brakes on advertising with Facebook as an advertising platform, pundits have argued that whereas Google is a search platform that’s psychologically right for the user as they’re open to advertising messages, Facebook is a social platform that’s not due to the user being focused on social interaction.

Apparently those who have advertised on Facebook comment that the giant promotes big returns on ad spending, but many feel like they were burning money and delivered nothing. Worse yet, there’s rumor of a “pattern of generosity” occurring within the pipes of Facebook with some sounding off “ponzi scheme” as if there are odd financial shenanigans going on? Compounding matters further, LinkedIn, Groupon and now Facebook kick started a new trend of investors selling their shares at the IPO. As the WSJ was touting a few days ago, the smart money woke up running, saying that “Goldman Sachs will sell as much as 50%, up from 23% previously. Tiger Global will sell up to 50% of its stake. Previously it planned to sell 7%.”  Clearly it’s like trying to see which side to turn whilst wearing a hoodie.  Oh well, until we know, just kick your agency and blame the advertising, but remember it’s an entirely new territory yet to be tapped. And thus it shall remain until brands, FB and agencies introduce a business model that works in their “Big Idea”  that will get teenagers to pay a monthly fee to host their life stream that is paved with the start-up vanity of bloated relics that promised the holy grail – young loyal spending consumers. The cycle repeats itself.


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