Hot in '07: Google, Vegas. Not: Paris, Britney

Annual Newsmakers Brands survey predicts the search-engine powerhouse, Sin City and NFL will be the hottest brands this year.

By Parija B. Kavilanz, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Google, Las Vegas, Yahoo! and Target - take a bow. These four are expected to be among the top 10 brands in 2007, according to a latest brand ranking report from Landor Associates.

Not so lucky are Hollywood's reigning "brat pack" of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Britney Spears. All three were relegated to the predicted 2007 "losers" list.


The fourth annual list of brand winners and losers from marketing firms Landor Associates and Penn Schoen & Berland was based on a Newsmaker Brands survey that asked 2,017 consumers to rank 92 brands familiar to them - products and celebrities - on their performance last year and prospects in the year ahead, the report said.

The survey was conducted from Dec. 11 to 15.

Google (Charts) topped the most-powerful brands ranking last year in terms of its impact on consumers. The report said Google is arguably the strongest and most-powerful search engine on the planet and continues to increase its offerings to users.

Google "has extended the brand to offer book searches, blog searches, views of the Earth and with the recent purchase of YouTube, now offers users the ability to distribute their own video content, anywhere on the Internet," the report said.

Las Vegas followed Google at No. 2 in the projected winners list. As a brand, Vegas has benefited from the "what happens here, stays here" advertising campaign wave.

"Las Vegas has taken the cake as THE destination for people of all ages and parts of the country to vacation and beaten out such stiff competition as New York City and Miami," the report said.

While baseball is considered America's favorite pastime, the league has yet to be a winner on the Newsmakers brand survey. However, the NFL is expected to be the third most-powerful brand in 2007.

"Whether it's a positive resurrection since the 2005 Super Bowl, an increased focus on what the NFL brand means, or a revamped game schedule and partnership with ESPN, [NFL] came in No. 10 on the 2006 winners list and is expected to rise to the No. 3 spot this year," the report said.

Meanwhile, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Britney Spears scored the top three slots on the losers list.

"The secret to being a successful celebrity brand is to define what you stand for, for example, environmental well-being or advocate to the ailing. Merely being in the spotlight does not position you for success, standard branding tenants must apply: as exemplified by the clueless Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Britney Spears, who are expected to continue on their downward spiral in 2007," the report said.

Social networking sites such as and and high-end boutique hotels like the W Hotel also got a thumbs-down from consumers.

"The survey tells us that brands who successfully vary their appeal across customer segments were most favored by consumers," said Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor Associates, told

For instance, he said retailer Target (Charts) caters to customers across different income levels and to entire families as well as to single-individual households.

"Also, the most successful brands today have a simple and clear message. These brands appeal to the masses rather than to a niche consumer market," Adamson said.

Fortune's 100 best companies to work for

Mild weather melts profits at clothing sellers

Online surprise: Penney, Sears gain on Amazon  Top of page