In the UK, Pepsi is said to be in talks with former child opera star and current tabloid queen, Charlotte Church along with Oasis band member Liam Gallagher to appear in a Pepsi commercial promoting the drinks' use as a cocktail mixer. In the ad, it is said, Gallagher will teach Church how to smash up a hotel room while sucking down drinks mixed with Pepsi. Now there's a brand image worth fighting for. A Pepsi source explains, "We've always got safe, family friendly stars to endorse Pepsi in the past, like Britney Spears, Beyonce Knowles, Cindy Crawford and Blue. But Pepsi is becoming more and more popular as a cocktail mixer at parties, so we want a wilder, more controversial image to go with that, and Liam and Charlotte are ideal. They both love their booze and between them they cover the gender demographics we're trying to target. Charlotte is young, sexy and fun-loving, while Liam is an older, cool rock star." Now there's a brand manager that doesn't gloss over the truth of his company's marketing goals.
Almost three years ago, we proudly predicted Charlotte Church would rise to a level of celebrity on par with Britney Spears. While she might not quite have reached Spears' level, if Spears continues to head in her current direction, it won't be too difficult for Church to overtake.
The first of a series of five videos, which will have ads sold in them trough a deal with MSN, Jib Jab has created Big Box Mart, a short that skewers big box retailers poking fun at merchandise created with cheap labor oversees, stores full of crap no one needs, Americans losing manufacturing jobs and the kicker: the same company that eliminated those jobs is scooping up the unemployed it displaced to work for low wages in its own big box stores.
Other videos will be created and sponsored by brands which will be place ads within the video as well as be features, perhaps no always positively, in the video. Jib Jab Co-Founder says it's all in good fun. "If you have a sense of humor about your own brand, and poke a little fun at it, then people appreciate that. It's a more honest approach, maybe." Yes, maybe.
While we're not quite what the draw is about watching television on a 2.5 inch screen in a world of 50 inch televisions, we can't complain about Walt Disney's deal with Apple to provide next-day downloads for $1.99 via iTunes to the new video iPod of ABC's popular series Lost and Desperate Housewives, among others. With dwindling television viewership and, hence, dwindling ad revenue for networks, providing mobile, commercial-free, pay-per-view programming makes a tremendous amount of sense for the nets. If this takes off, networks will run with glee to the bank. Marketers, with an ad medium pulled out from under their feet, may not be so happy.
For some inexplicable reason, some marketers and their agencies still think it's OK to create a website, in this case, an advergame, that only works with Internet Explorer on a PC. Given the horrid user experience Internet Explorer provides with it's gaping holes through which scumware of all forms permeates to the proliferation of far superior browsers such as Firefox, let alone a cadre of Mac users, it's just plain shortsighted idiocy to create anything limited only to IE.
This time the idiocy comes courtesy of VISA and its agency Wild Tangent who created some kind of promotional advergame for the Torino 2006 Olympic Games. That's all we can tell you about the game because, yes, we gave up IE years ago and have avidly used Firefox ever since. And this time, we aren't even going to fire up our stale copy of IE so we can perform our journalistic duty and describe the game's merits or demerits to you. Suffice to say, based on the marketer's ignorance of a huge audience segment, it's safe to say all the effort is worthy of is a giant pile of demerits.
PuppetVision points out New Zealand charity, CanTeen, an organization supporting young people living with cancer has launched a spot featuring the Muppets singing their famed "Mahna Mahna" song to promote National Bandanna Week and the group's green CanTeen bandanna. FCB created the commercial and got Disney in LA to quickly approved character usage and then shot the spot just two days later with the Muppets cast.
Burger King has scored a branding coup. It's Burger "King" has been Farked. After being posted to Fark October 4, there are hundreds of images of the "King" taking on all sorts of personas such as the Army's "I Want You" guy, Bush's Supreme Court pick, Santa, Jesus, Larry King, Colonel Sanders and even Ronald McDonald himself. Not to be one-upped by it all, Crispin Porter + Bogusky is capitalizing on mask mania with the launch of BK Masks, a site where visitors can buy masks of the King himself and the famed Subservient Chicken. Wouldn't it just be sweet for Burger King and CP + B if this actually took off and kids across the country appeared at your doorstep wearing these masks? That would be successful marketing.
Here's a fun little time-waster from McDonald's. Pick a character, listen to the beat, whack a few numbers keys on your keyboard and, homey, you're breakdancin'. After practicing, visitors can log in and compare their dance move scores with others. That's it. Simple. No overbearing marketing crap. Just plain fun.
Advertising and design agency 72andSunny has launched a campaign called "I Have A Secret" for DC Shoes' new girls division. The centerpiece of the campaign is a 44-page book, called Girls Who Have Secrets Are Sexy, showcasing the DC Girls snowboarding team and the Holiday 05-06 line of apparel, footwear, outerwear and snowboard boots. The book will be available at retailers and poly-bagged with fashion and lifestyle magazines. Other components of the campaign include a 12-page teaser book, print ads in ELLEGirl and SG magazines, and a website slated to launch soon.
The book is a collection of sassy, hip and slightly rebellious girls with attitude who snowboard. Each page features photography of DC-sponsored pro snowboarders outfitted in DC Shoes gear, including Priscilla Levac, the top-ranked female rider in the world, as well as Erin Valverde, Jacqui Berg, Drea Russell and DC Girls' skateboard team rider Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins.
The book is quite beautiful looking and we particularly like the image with the headline, "I am Rumpalicious, Trunktastic, Assmerizing, the Caboosiest."
To introduce its new Peach flavored vodka, Absolut has come up with a series of quirky videos that reveal how Absolut APeach, as they call it, was created. The first episode reveals it was created by accident after the company had planned to introduce Absolut Cinnamon Roll only to find out Wyrskybogg Vodka had already release the same flavor. So, it was back to the drawing board with the company's top secret development team, originally formed in 1982, pulled back into action to create a new flavor. Dry wit ensues.
Our tipsters are telling us cosmetics company Rimmel, the last Kate Moss holdout, may, after all, drop Moss as spokesmodel. The company is getting pressure form number two distributor Walgreens who, apparently, has said "She goes or we go." Not wanting to risk a serious distribution channel, Rimmel is seriously considering eradicating themselves from association with Moss. Also looming in Rimmel's rear view mirror is retail colossus Wal-Mart who may also a "Moss or us" edict essentially putting Rimmel out of business. It's a fair bet Rimmel will be saying goodbye to Kate Moss very soon.