From the Successful Marketing Ideas Cross Borders Department: Adidas advertised Bayern M?nchen, a German soccer team the company sponsors, as a brand last year with a TV campaign. It raised the team-and Adidas'-profile so high that Adidas will repeat the strategy next month in Argentina with Buenos Aires' team River Plate. Other markets are likely to follow.
Sponsorship, Russian-style. To sponsor a movie premiere in Moscow, Bob Crozier, president of Time's Atlantic edition, had to personally carry the reels of the Warner Brothers' film "Outbreak" to Russia. One Russian actor simultaneously translated all the dialogue.
Benetton advertising guru Oliviero Toscani hates TV, so now he has his own weekly talk show in northern Italy. He critiques advertising with the help of the public on "Camera Oscura" (or "Dark Room")-taped, pretentiously, in b&w. Still, Mr. Toscani advises, "Five minutes of television a month is all one needs to know what is going on." Benetton scion Alessandro, 31, happens to own a controlling stake in the TV channel, called SeiMilano.
Angola is setting up its own local advertising association. A very small one. Angola only has one ad agency and one TV channel.
What can we impose a quota on next, the French ask? Not only do French radio stations have to play a minimum of 40% French music since last month, but half the French songs must be by musicians who have sold hardly any records. Listeners "will simply turn their radios off and do something else," says Benoit Sillard, president of youth-oriented Fun Radio. Radio executives fear advertisers will too.
Why pay less when you can pay twice as much? Coca-Cola is launching the first canned soft drink in India, exclusively a bottle market until now. A can of Coke is 42 cents, compared to just 20 cents for a bottle. To reassure suspicious consumers, the new can features a picture of the Coke bottle.
More creatively, Coke is inventing new soft drinks in China. Heaven & Earth, a fruit-flavored drink, sounds interesting.
Levi-Strauss breaks its seediest commercial yet Feb. 23 in Europe with a woman escaping pursuit by whipping off a disguise in a men's toilet and donning her Levi's 501s in front of a man who she thinks is blind, but is merely holding a friend's white cane.
We got a direct mail shot from U.S. bookseller Barnes & Noble, offering for sale a list of their free-spending Canadian customers. They're not your average Canadians; Barnes & Noble says 52% are men and 25% women.
Barcelona, one of the world's trendiest places, is going Hollywood. The city will be the first European venue for moviemaker Steven Spielberg's Dive, opening in April, and Fashion Cafe, owned by several top models. Planet Hollywood has just premiered a Barcelona branch, and the Hard Rock Cafe is looking.
Contributing to this column: Mir Maqbool Alam Khan, Bombay; Amy Barone, Milan; Bruce Crumley, Paris; Geoffrey Lee Martin, Sydney; Dagmar Mussey, Dusseldorf.