Nickelodeon wipes away the slime as the popular kids’ network celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Nickelodeon cleans up

Nickelodeon's identity, before and after

The MTV-owned cable channel has announced a new identity which will debut this fall. Representing its biggest change in 25 years, the new logo marks a departure from the familiar ‘splat’ in favor of a more standardized look. While the new logo has not officially aired, it can already be seen on material for the upcoming Nickelodeon Animation Festival and new merchandise like DVD box sets.

Nickelodeon's new logo, as seen in material for NAF 2009Nickelodeon's new logo, as seen on this Sponge Bob CD

Set in rounded lowercase type, the focal point of the new logo is a stylized dot on the lowercase ‘i’—somewhat resembling the outline of a child (or perhaps one last little splat for old time’s sake). I can't help but feel nostalgic for the much-loved ‘splat’, designed in 1984 by Scott Nash and Tom Corey for Fred/Alan (the company behind the famous MTV logo). The ‘splat’ was notable as one of the first to break away from traditional logo restrictions, morphing into hundreds of variations (as seen in this branding guide). The designers behind the new logo have yet to be identified.

Nickelodeon's previous logos

The network, which originally debuted in 1977 under the name Pinwheel, primarily felt the need to develop the new identity in order to unify itself with its four sister channels: Nick at Nite, Nicktoons,Noggin, and The N. Along with the new logo, The N will be rebranded as TeenNick and Noggin as Nick Jr., bringing the word “Nick” into all of its channels for the first time. “The decision to streamline the network identities came after they started putting all of the channels' logos on the same business card—and decided that it looked like a mess,” reports Variety.

The network's soon-to-be-rebranded sister identities:

Past logos of Nick's sister channels (L-R): Nick at Nite, Nicktoons, Noggin, The N

We wanted to clean it up and allow Nick to be the stamp on all of these channels… In asking ourselves if everything could live under the splat, we decided that the splat was dated. It just couldn't be done in a streamlined way.

-Cyma Zarghami, president

A glimpse of the new TeenNick logo has been spotted in stills from an upcoming ident produced byLifelong Friendship Society, giving an idea of how these sister networks will be streamlined into the new brand:

Stills from an upcoming NickTeen ident

TeenNick logo

Sara's secret: Stop vegetable abuse

Agency: Dieste

Internet banner of the year.... Pringles

Some banners are intended to drive traffic to any place , others being a message/experience by themselves.

the second type, become highly relative to clickthrough and some other metricst.

I just saw this extraordinary banner at Bannerblog. Needless to explain how well executed is that "once you pop you can't stop" motto and also a great demonstration on how important having a great copywriter helps writing ads (click on the image to see it)


COI: Choose A Different Ending

Immagine 1

Choose A Different Ending is an interactive film that allows you to decide what happens next. You can interact with it, choose what to do and decide how it ends. In Choose A Different Ending you decide whether to live or die.

Advertising Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London, United Kingdom
Agency Producer: Ben Catford
Director: Simon Ellis
Production: Mad Cow Films
Post Production: The Mill
Brand: COI

Free buzz monitoring tools


A simple tool that tells you rapidly what people are saying about your brand in the form of moveable widgets. Addictomatic is basically exhaustive, by offering Twitter, Friendfeed, Bing News, Google blog search, Digg, Delicious, Technorati, Twingly, Delicious as sources, along with others. No identification is necessary, all you need to do is copy the URL of your search to your favorites to have access to it at all times.


This RSS feed, in competition with Netvibes, is very well known in the United States. It can be used to begin monitoring sources that you are interested in. Since recently, theBloglines portal is accessible via iPhone.


A free service by Nielsen Buzzmetrics, it easily allows you to search your brand’s name being mentioned on the blogosphere. Blogpulse also allows you to have access to influence statistics of numerous American blogs. Finally, the trend section offers graphs of the most discussed subjects on the blogosphere.

Board Tracker

A little less known than the previous ones, this tool specializes in the monitoring of forums. Boardtracker currently follows more than 66 million topics on more than 37,000 forums. The site mostly monitors English speaking forums.


Commentful is a service that monitors comments left on blogs, Diggs, Flickr photos and other places. After the (free) signing up and set-up, Commentful sends you a notification for every new comment.

Friendfeed Search

The lesser known cousin of Twitter also has an internal search engine. Friendfeed Searchis potentially more interesting than Twitter, as not only does it retrieve text, but also generated content such as photos and videos (and other content) posted by users.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is an essential program for anyone following a brand or company’s occurrences on the Internet. Simple and easy to use and usually relevant, it has evolved a lot over the past year, as you now have the option of transforming the alerts into RSS feeds (which can be integrated in a feed aggregator). A very interesting option when dealing with mailboxes filled over capacity.

How Sociable

How Sociable isn’t a monitoring tool in the classic sense, it is a tool that takes note of your visibility on social networks. You can have your Google Blog Posts score, Twitter score, Flickr score, YouTube, Myspace and etc. on the same page. This tool could be useful in the long run to determine the impact of your actions on social networks.


Icerocket is above all a search engine that specializes in the indexing of blogs, using the "fresh links" concept to identify en vogue topics. It also offers a search module for MySpace, making it the only one of these tools that does so.


As its name suggests, Keotag allows you to make a search based on contents tags. One you have chosen the tag, Keotag lets you choose which websites you want to search. The classics are among the choices: Google, Twitter, Technorati, Reddit, Digg and others. All the results are then posted on the same page.

Monitor This

MonitorThis, like Addictomatic, incorporates the results of 26 different search engines on the same pages. We do however notice, a lack of pertinence in regards to the language of the results. For example, when one searches "iPhone", 2 of the first 5 URLs are Japanese...


With an interface purposely similar to Google’s, Samepoint primarily indexes content on social media. The site sets itself apart from others thank to its results page. Though it may be dense, it offers some very pertinent functions, such as the being able to translate content, tweet the results, follow indexed Twitter accounts and subscribe to the RSS flux.


More than just a buzz monitoring to be used for a brand or sector, Surchur shows the current discussions underway online by the big players such as Yahoo Buzz, CNN Topics, Google Trends, Twitter Search trends topics, and Technorati Popular. With these sources, you are bound to be in the heart of the action almost immediately.


Probably the most well known search engine dedicated to blogs, Technorati also offers its famous rank, as well as its note of authority. These both go to show the influence of the source. You can also search for videos and photos contained in the referenced articles.


Tinker’s main purpose is to index Twitter statuses as well as other content generated on social media (the sources are not pointed out.) You can begin after signing up, after which you can choose a keyword. You are alerted every time the keyword comes up. You can also export a widget that corresponds with the results of your search.


Besides for being one of Twitter’s most popular desktop clients, Tweetdeck allows for the creation of groups within the users you are following. In the spirit of monitoring, you can simply search among the tweets and find out live what people are saying about your brand.

Twitter Search

The Twitter search engine is a very simple tool for those wanting to monitor a brand’s reputation on Twitter. No signing up is necessary, its a tool that can’t be done without.


Soon, UberVu will make it possible to respond to comments generated on Friendfeed, Digg, Picasa, Twitter and Flickr on the same platform. If you add the probable transparency of Facebook statuses, this tool could become the lethal weapon of community managers, as it would compile all conversations on social media in one place. There is even an API...


All the professionals that monitor a large brand know the extent to which the Wikipedia community authors and editors are fast at updating information. As its name suggests,WikiAlarm allows you to be notified every time the page you have marked gets updated.

Yahoo ! Sideline

The Yahoo! Twitter client closely resembles Tweetdeck. Although you can’t tweet from Sideline, you can do your searches over the long terms, and the search parameters ofSideline are more precise than those of Tweetdeck. You can search for precise phrases, and can even appreciate the polarity of tweets by interpreting the smiley faces!

Craig Ferguson: Advertising deifies youth...and stupidity

Vodacom: Single Ladies

A new television commercial featuring dozens of ordinary South Africans dancing to Beyonce’s hit, ‘Single Ladies’, is an extension of Vodacom’s drive to illustrate that the internet is ‘maklik’.
Devised by Draftfcb Johannesburg executive creative director Grant Jacobsen and his team, the 60-second commercial broke late in June after three 15-second teaser ads flighted for a week to prime television viewers to expect another epic from the cellular network.The characters from these teaser ads – two elderly farmers, a couple of gym jocks and a construction site foreman – also feature in the new commercial.
The central character, however, is a goofy-looking, ordinary guy who goes on a whirlwind tour that starts in his bedroom and takes him to the colourful nooks and crannies of South Africa. He executes the dance routine performed by Beyonce Knowles and her troupe and gets all the ordinary South Africans he encounters along the way, including Vodacom favourites Bankole and De Pinna, to perform with him.
The ad concludes with a subtle teaser of its own suggesting that that there is more to come – the final few seconds features show biz-styled text saying ‘connect more’ and ‘live more’ as well as a West End-style logo billing ‘connect for fame’.
Advertising Agency: Draftfcb Johannesburg, South Africa

AXE 2009 TV Commercials

Instant noodle business set to double in China December 4, 2008

SHANGHAI — It is no surprise that instant noodles are big business China, given that many of the country's 1.3 billion people eat them every day.

The noodles - priced a less than a dollar and quick to prepare - are eaten with relish everywhere from offices in Shanghai to construction sites in Shenzhen.

"My husband and son love instant noodles. They eat them as breakfast and as a midnight snack, more than twice each week," said a 41-year-old woman who gave her name as Mrs. Yun, as she wandered down the instant noodle aisle in a Shanghai supermarket, confronted by dozens of brands of instant noodles.

With an estimated value of $6.6 billion, China's instant noodle business is set to double to about $13 billion by 2012, and players are scrambling for market share and brand recognition.

Colorful packaging, tie-ins with the Olympic Games in Beijing in August and new flavors and recipes, like low-fat noodles, are some of the strategies adopted by manufacturers fighting out the "noodle wars" in the aisles.

China is the world's biggest market for instant noodles. Its consumers spend about $5 per capita per year on instant noodles, according to Euromonitor International.

Instant noodle packet prices range from one yuan, or 14 cents, to five yuan, or 70 cents, for the high-end brands, which are gaining in popularity and yield high margins.

So how can noodle manufacturers get a piece of the action? Product development, advertising and distribution appear to be crucial, according to players and experts.

"The core to our business is brand management," said Alex Lo, president of Uni-President Enterprises, Taiwan's largest food conglomerate and the third largest maker of noodles for the Chinese market.

Increasing brand recognition is crucial and total advertising spending promoting instant noodles in China in 2006 amounted to $237.4 million, a 19 percent jump from the previous year, according to Nielsen.

But turning advertising and promotions into additional sales will not be an easy task. Despite the size of the market, the Chinese noodle industry is dominated by one company, Tingyi, founded in Taiwan. Its Master Kong brand commands a lofty 43.3 percent share of the market, according to CIMB-GK Securities. Its closest rival, the Japanese joint venture Nissin Hualong, has 14.2 percent, followed by Uni-President, with 10.5 percent, according to CIMB-GK.

Driven by demand from more affluent and health-conscious eaters, one of the biggest growth areas is in low-fat versions of traditional instant noodles, which are deep fried as part of the production process.

"Healthy positioning of instant noodle brands are the key factor driving consumer buying patterns in Greater China," said Michelle Huang, an analyst at Euromonitor International. "In mainland China, instant noodles manufacturers launched new variants with added nutritional value in an effort to break the traditional perception of the instant noodles as being unhealthy."

Nissin, one of the biggest noodle makers in Japan, has been promoting non-fried variants in China and at home.

Through a 2004 tie-up with Hebei Hualong F&N Industry Group, it has formed Nissin Hualong Food. Its main competitor, Tingyi, owes its success to entering the market early and building up strong brand loyalty with wide distribution.

"Tingyi has been able to garner significant market share due to its distribution network," said Renee Tai, an analyst at CIMB-GK in Hong Kong. "It's not just ads and pushing products through with promotional activities, but it's really getting the products through to customers."

Tingyi has located its manufacturing facilities close to distribution centers, which ensure it gets its products to market quickly and smoothly, Tai added.

To maintain market share and lower the impact of soaring raw material prices, Tingyi is focusing on the high-end noodles where margins are bigger, said Tai in a recent research report.

Noodles in China have a long history. Opinions differ over whether the Chinese, Italians or Arabs invented the food, but a 2005 discovery of a sealed bowl, believed to be 4,000 years old, in northwestern China could swing the debate in China's favor.

Less controversial is the instant noodle, whose origins date to 1958 when Momofuku Ando, founder of Nissin Food Products, created his now famous "Chicken Ramen" noodles to feed the masses in post-war Japan.

Offering instant noodles in a styrofoam container, in which they could be cooked by adding hot water, made the product a worldwide hit with people looking to eat on the run.

Nissin is now poised, along with other market players like Uni-President, to gain from a blitz of retail and marketing promotions leading up to the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Uni-President, a relative latecomer to the market, is one of the event's most likely beneficiaries, after being named as an official sponsor by the Beijing organizing committee in 2006.

Uni-President, whose noodle business has been making a loss, is banking on the games and the recent listing of Uni-President China Holdings in Hong Kong, to build its mainland presence. The company has volunteered to donate one yuan from each sale of instant noodles to a fund to build schools throughout China.

However, analysts say the costs involved with being an official sponsor and the additional marketing expenses could steepen losses and not necessarily translate into to increased sales.

"It will be able to create brand awareness, but will it be able to catapult them into winning market share?" said Jack Chang, an analyst at Yuanta Research Center in Taipei. "That's the biggest question."

Uni-President is also looking at local area marketing in China. It established a research team in Kunshan, near Shanghai, to develop flavors to meet local tastes - no small task considering the sheer size of the country and the diverse range of culinary styles.


The inventor of instant noodles, and founder of
Nissin Food Products has died at the age of 96.

Momofuku Ando was inspired to develop the world's first instant noodle product after coming across a long line of people waiting to buy fresh "ramen" noodles from a black market stall during the food shortages after World War II, according to his company bio.

His Chicken Ramen product became hugely popular in 1958, He introduced Cup Noodle in 1971. Ando opened a museum devoted to instant noodles in Osaka in 1999.

Reuters announced in his obituary that: "Providing the instant noodles in a waterproof styrofoam container that could be used to cook them using just hot water proved a stroke of marketing genius that made the product a hit with time-pressed people around the world."
An inscription at the museum reads: “In 1958, Momofuku Ando invented instant noodles here in Ikeda, and changed the food culture of the world.” With the introduction of Space Ram (space ramen) in July 2005 as a food for space flight, perhaps it can now be said that he changed the food culture of the universe.

Nisshin: Using its noodle on new packaging?


Seeking to take advantage of increased consumer interest in environmental concerns, Nisshin—one of Japan's leading instant noodle companies—last week released something completely new—cup noodle "refills."

Here's how they work. Consumers purchase a starter pack containing a reusable plastic cup and two shrink-wrapped noodle packets. From then on, they need only purchase the noodles, which come in several varieties. Simply open the refill, pop it into the cup, add boiling water and wait until the noodles are ready.

Regular_noodle_pkgsAs far as the environment is concerned, this is a great idea with the potential to massively reduce packaging waste (Japanese consumers—especially the young—consume millions of servings of instant noodles each day). How well it will work in practice, however, remains to be seen.

The concept will certainly appeal to penny-pinching consumers who eat lots of instant noodles at home (these people will probably never buy the starter cup). However, countless servings are consumed at mid-day by students and young office workers who are after a cheap and convenient lunch. Few of them are going to want to go through the effort of carrying around and/or washing out a cup every time.

Cup_noodle_designs_2Nonetheless, trendy young kids and some IT types may get on board. Nisshin is clearly trying to connect with this crowd by tapping into Japan's design consciousness. In a clever touch, Nisshin has made the reusable cup with a double-wall that serves two purposes. First, it prevents the cup from becoming too hot to hold. But more important, it allows users to change designs by sliding in a label of their choosing. So far, eight types can be downloaded in PDF format from the brand's website—with more to come—and a number of consumers will certainly begin creating their own designs using the flash program available on the site. Who knows, if Nisshin is clever, they'll link this designability to consumer contests (think Doritos Superbowl commercial) that could sustain buzz that goes beyond the short term.

One thing they'll have to work on, however. The refill packs need to be rethought. Because they are vacuum-wrapped, they are inconsistent in size and shape—which makes them a nightmare for visual merchandising purposes (most existing products are very cleverly designed to stack at retail—these refills cannot be stacked—big problem!

7 Skills for a Post-Pandemic Marketer

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