2014 - Mid Year Global Ranking

2014 - Mid-Year Rankings: US Top Buzz Improvers

#1 Carnival No company has made greater strides in perception than Carnival after a series of cruise ship mishaps in the first quarter of 2013. As we noted last February, “Carnival not only brought its consumer perception back in line with the rest of industry this past fall, but their sales potential with consumers has rebounded above the rest of the cruise sector.” Carnival’s gains are nearly double the next brand on the list.

#2 Bank of America, #9 Goldman Sachs, #10 Wells Fargo Three financial brands on the list, marking the continuation of a long bounce back of this much-maligned sector. One year ago, four of them were on the most improved list, and this year, there are three, including two repeaters (BOA and Goldman Sachs). Although the industry is not entirely out of the woods as Citibank is on the verge of paying perhaps a $10 billion dollar penalty related to mortgage backed securities it sold in the run up to the financial crisis, the public continues to forgive and the sector has traveled a very long way back.

#3 Facebook The world’s largest social network made headway in the first half, likely based on offering more privacy controls to their users, its lauded purchase of messaging app WhatsApp, and dropping its controversial “sponsored stories.”

#4 NBC and #5 ABC Two of the four big broadcast television networks make a rare appearance on the perception gainer rankings list, indicating a comeback for each network’s programming and reputation in the first half. Coincidentally, both networks have late night talk shows -- hosted by Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel respectively -- which have produced massively successful viral video segments, which were probably instrumental in this chart’s showings.

#6 Nike The world’s biggest sportswear maker grabbed sponsorship deals with ten of the world's most marketable soccer players prior to this year's World Cup. With the high sales of Nike Free, Lunar, Flyknit and Dri-Fit, as well as leveraging partnerships with leading athletes, such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, Nike was able to build on its considerable perception prowess.

#7 Red Bull Two years ago, the energy drink category was in crisis after fatalities were connected to their ingredients. Fast forward to the past several months, and its marketing machine is full speed ahead – launching a magazine for its fans with five million subscribers, sponsoring jumps from space, getting heavily involved in extreme sports and Formula One racing – and most importantly, no incidents have brought the brand back to life, although it remains in modestly negative territory.

#8 AT&TThe telecom giant shifted its slogan from “Rethink possible” to “Mobilize your world” in early April, signaling what their SVP of brand marketing stated as “making everything mobile-enabled, but that we are also making a complicated world seamless and interoperable.”

AT&T partnered prominently with the streaming music service Beats By Dr. Dre, won the exclusive rights to carry Amazon’s first smart phone, and were able to battle back fierce marketing onslaughts from their rivals. AT&T also seems to have successfully launched their "anti-Flo" in the "Lily, the AT&T store supervisor" series of ads.

US: Buzz Improvers
US: Buzz Improvers
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