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Methodology

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Advertising Age's megabrand concept builds on multiple products marketed under the same name.

Ad Age's megabranding procedure begins with brands established by industry subclass, looking at the top 250 advertisers as reported by Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Brand names are then edited to create catchalls. For example, Ford Focus, Ford Taurus and Ford trucks, listed separately by CMR, become the Ford vehicles megabrand.

As per last year, WorldCom's various dialing operations-1-800-Collect, 10-10-220 and 10-10-321-weren't consolidated because they bear their own identities apart from WorldCom's MCI telephone services megabrand. The minimally advertised direct dial 10-10-345 from AT&T Corp. was omitted from its megabrand totals as well.

CHANGES IN ACCOUNTING

Fine-tuning is a byproduct of this report. In the first brand issue 12 years ago, the working definition for a megabrand was a line of products or services bearing the same name within an industry subclass. It was shortsighted for brands that crossed several subclasses like Alka-Seltzer, then expanding from antacids to cold remedies. Megabranding now gathers spending across subclasses.

Companies become their own megabrand when corporate promotion dollars are poured into media coffers. General Motors Corp. and Philip Morris Cos. made the Top 100 MegaBrands in 2000 by virtue of their corporate promotion spending. At PM, public service and minority vendor programs comprised the total.

The GM promo tally encompassed the Detroit Symphony, GM recruitment, United Auto Workers and unspecified GM cars and trucks.

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