You remember UNIQLO, the Japanese retailer whose quirky UNIQLOCK campaign won raves -- and shelf candy -- at One Show, the Clios and Cannes.
As of this week, UNIQLO's SoHo location will be home to a marketing gimmick that utterly outpaces UNIQLOCK in terms of ambition: Mitsubishi's Wakamaru robot. Originally built as a household helper, Wakamaru can look people in the eye and engage in basic communication. (Kinda reminds me of R2D2, except less willful and more coherent. See it meet and greet.)
In addition to wracking up the oohs and aahs, Tokyo Mango says Wakamaru will also help UNIQLO SoHo shoppers locate products around the store. No word on if Mitsubishi hopes to win business -- or at least interest -- through the collabo.
To draw eyes to the 6.7 million uninsured residents living in California, Blue Shield erected 40 naked statues at a Los Angeles-based event for universal healthcare coverage. Each statue is frozen in a vulnerable position, which reflects the state of people living without healthcare coverage.
I like the effort. It brings a bit of provocation to a public landscape without making it seem cluttered with advertising. See more photos.
To promote his circumcision business on a shoestring budget, Ismet Dural of Istanbul, Turkey prepared the tear sheets at left. More photos here.
It's so deliciously creepy. Not only do you get to casually circumcise, you can carry the fruit of that labor in your pocket all afternoon long.
To promote "Music for Life," whose theme this year was the dearth of drinkable water in some countries, the Red Cross and Studio Brussels let loose a thirsty black kid, who invaded TV studios and stole sips out of TV personalities' glasses.
It's hilarious. He just races onstage, gulps water down, and races off again without a word. Nobody can keep a straight face, and one chick just looks totally lost.
A video montage of the effort was put together and disseminated under the catchy name "Black boy wants water." As the Guerrilla Communications blog points out, it kept people awake -- and better still, got its point across.
The effort purportedly raised 3.3 million euros for drinkable water. It also won two golds, a silver and a titanium award at Cannes this year.
From September to October, Levi's "Live Unbuttoned" campaign invades newsstands and 7-Elevens in Hong Kong.
Agency TBWA\TEQUILA partnered with East Touch Magazine to outfit its next issue in miniature 501s. Mag-lurkers will literally have to unbutton the jeans just to finger a copy. Bonus points if you can fit in them!
There'll also be a guerrilla effort in Causeway Bay, where customers can experience the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign live and, uh, unbuttoned, which I think just means they'll be able to try jeans on in a tent. (I'm hoping there'll also be a lively music component. Chinese gen-yers love free music -- who doesn't? -- so it would make sense if Levi's also promoted its free music downloads there, too.)
- Cops in Scottsdale, Arizona use Twitter to keep the community abreast of what's happening in the city: closed roads, active crime scenes and the like.
- Google cozies up to agencies with evangelism missions and SWAG. Don't be fooled by all those friendly faces! John Battelle isn't.
- Ramadan's got brands in a tizzy. Coke released special packaging; Starbucks is showcasing Arabian blends and Ramadan-inspired pastries at its stores in the Middle East. Observers of Ramadan, which fast! until! sunset!, will undoubtedly be thrilled. (I love SBUX, but after a food-free day it's the last place I'd go. Who says "I'm starving! A tart and some coffee would do me good"?!)
The tireless MoveOn.org is giving free Obama buttons away to anybody willing to part with their email, mobile number and address data. (What a tradeoff!) Packages include:
o One free Obama button.
o Three Obama buttons for a $2 donation. Just think how spiffy your tatty old backpack will look this September.
o 45 BUTTONS for a $20 donation, which, stylewise, would put you in direct in competition with this here little lady.
A moving ticker on MoveOn's site reports over 1,776,804 buttons have been ordered so far. I smell a trend afoot. Don't get left behind!
- Because what the world needs now is a hot blogger calendar.
- The CW's decided to let advertisers see snippets of 90210's content after all. I guess this means the PTC will be throwing itself a self-congratulatory cocktail party.
- OMG, OMG, a Facebook movie? ...by the co-creator of West Wing? Does that mean there's a parity of significance between Mark Zuckerberg and the ruler of the free world?
- MySpace was the top display ad publisher in June; Microsoft the top display advertiser. Most of its ads were for Live Search.
Walking through the Mall of America, there are, no doubt, plenty of distractions. Sound good. Some bad. This new ad technology from Modernistic used by Best Buy to promote their new store in the mall falls into both categories. It's bad because who wants a holographic projection talking to you and youu walk through the mall. It's good becasue al you have to do is walk to the side of it and it disappears. Something for everyone. What's not to like?
To supplement the use of big balloon dolls (dubbed "Fidolls") in its guerrilla campaign, Canadian wireless firm Fido deployed whimsical floating Fidoll-shaped bubbles into the air.
Charming -- even if, after the Bravia bubbles effort, it falls a little on the scant side of sudsy.
In addition to repping Fido to both the earth-bound and the airborne, the campaign -- which invites users to text 411 to 10987 -- invites users to free "Fido Sessions," which cover topics like art and design. Artists involved in the sessions have included The Dark, Nicholas Di Genova and Jamie Campbell.
Nice to see a wireless provider -- whose services are so integral to city-trawlers' daily lives -- engage users in a way that enlivens their own creativity.