Doritos Adds Haunted Hotel to Virtual Universe

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Just in time for Halloween, Doritos launches Hotel 626, a haunted virtual hotel that's only open between 6pm and 6am. (You'll literally have to make a reservation if you try to penetrate it before then.)

Users are encouraged to visit the site in the dark with headphones, a camera and a microphone, which can be used to complete challenges. The hotel is 13 rooms big, including a morgue and a dark room (like, for developing photos?).

Part of Doritos' sponsor-heavy online universe, Snack Strong Productions, the effort will be promoted on specially marked bags of Doritos. By Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Promotions



Evian Diversifies Superfluous Product Line

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Each year Evian releases a designer bottle to highlight its commitment to "chic sophistication." 2007's splurge of choice was by Christian Lacroix; now meet Jean Paul Gaultier's Pret-a-Porter 2009 edition. Get it tout seule or in big-ass boxes of 12 for just $118. It's a steal!

Can't afford it? No worries. To maximize the likelihood of cashflow from every frivolous spender alive, Evian's got a slew of other appetite-slicking vessels that will make dehydrated friends writhe with envy, even while smirking under their Botox.

They that brought you $10 facial spray (now sponsor-friendly!) and bottled water for children also debuted the regal Palace bottle, complete with its own metal pourer and coaster. (Comes in packs of 12. Coaster, pourer and self-esteem sold separately.)

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Packaging, Promotions



Wawa Brings Back Twin Peaks' Coffee Vibe

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With a vibe very much like Twin Peaks, Wawa coffee is out with a new website which makes it easy for people to create their own personalized cup of coffee and then have the creation analyzed in terms of what the creation says about the person's personality. The navigation is a bit clumsy and it appears the only way to get the analysis is through email thereby allowing for the possibly undesirable collection of email addresses. Wilmington Delaware interactive agency, The Archer Group, worked with Wawa and Dallas based Richards group on the online campaign.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 6-08    
Topic: Online, Promotions



Come On, Collectibles only Ripen with Sponsorship!

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CollectiblesToday.com is promoting these M&M-sponsored Ashton-Drake dolls as its top Christmas gift this year. Each six-inch "Heavenly Handful" (cringe) sports an M&M's onesie with a matching cap, complete with darling one-liners like "Never let 'em see you melt" and "Sweet on the inside." My favorite, though, has to be "There's a little nut."

Lest anyone try replacing a nearby child's Bratz doll too hastily, this ad takes pains to remind you the collection is to be "enjoyed by adult collectors" only. So keep your grubby paws off, kid; those non-blinking M&M's evangelists are staying behind the glass case, preferably in the living room.

V-v-v-via.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 5-08    
Topic: Brands, Packaging, Promotions, Sponsorship, Strange



Ad Support Used to Raise Value of Oil Painting

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To promote the work of painter brother Marc Dehareng, Belgian 'net junkie Renaud Dehareng launched GrowingBuzz.com. One painting -- and unfortunately, not the most charming one -- was chosen to become "the future most expensive painting in history." To hike up the dollar value, advertisers bid to have their sites represented when users mouse over the art.

Two advertisers have bid since the launch two days ago, bringing the painting's value to ... drumroll, please! ... $11.50. When we clicked on the painting today, it brought us to ProFish-Technology.be, "studies and consulting in aquatic environment."

Neat idea, but the execution lacks charisma.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 3-08    
Topic: Online, Promotions, Sponsorship



Wicked Uncles Break Toys without Breaking a Sweat

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Decapitate bears, blow Barbies to bits and deflate giant orange balls in Teddy Bear's Picnic, a disturbingly engaging game for Wicked Uncle.

Seems like the kind of game Hugh Grant's character would've enjoyed playing in About a Boy, shortly before getting told off by eight scowling mothers. Those good enough to make the leaderboard get a five pound (the currency) voucher and enter a sweepstakes to win an iPod touch. Generous.

Wicked Uncle helps the hapless "buy the perfect present" without busting their balls or getting bent over in shipping costs. But it's only available for UK residents, so you can relegate this convenience to other fun British stuff you can't have, like Cadbury Almond Apple Banana bars.

Game by TAMBA, which also did that Muck About thing for Match.com.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 2-08    
Topic: Games, Good, Online, Promotions



FLY PIZZA Works with the Munchies, Not Against It

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In a stroke of genius, Italy's FLY PIZZA used packages of rolling paper as business cards to promote its night delivery service.

"The initiative was a total hit among FLY PIZZA's customers: they took home smoking paper packages and delivery phone calls increased sensibly," said Publicis/Milan, which hatched the idea after noticing that many FLY customers are young smokers that ostensibly roll cigarettes to "save money." (A cute way of saying the late-night fanbase is probably high off its rocker when the 2am orders start pouring in.)

Research in motion!

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 2-08    
Topic: Brands, Good, Guerilla, Packaging, Promotions



Chevy Plays Taxi Cab Confessions With College Students

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In what is sure to prompt all manner of debauchery, Chevy is bringing back its Aveo Livin' Large promotion to college students. this in time in the form of the Chevy Aveo5 Livin' Large College Cab. Students on six college campuses are filmed in the back of the Aveo5 College Cab as they go to class, the dorms or to parties. They then have seven days to get as many people to view their video as possible. The most viewed video from each school will compete in a final round of competition where the students in the video with the most votes at the end of the five days win brand new Aveo5s of their own.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 2-08    
Topic: Online, Promotions, Social, Video



Don't Be Fooled, It's a 'Super-Tasting Bird.'

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Visit the Chocolate Steam Dream Machine to make your own Cadbury chocolate bar. If the parrot -- yes, there's a parrot -- likes what you made, he might send you the candy bar you created. If you live in the UK, that is.

Cute. I actually feel like having chocolate now, but not because the idea of a free almond/apple/banana bar is particularly appetizing.

It's that rich purple packaging. Something about it just primes me for a Cadbury cream-filled wonder.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 2-08    
Topic: Brands, Online, Promotions



VIFF Turns Camera Eye to Film Festival Audience

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"I was immediately attracted to the idea of turning the movie screen into a kind of mirror to the audience," says Chris Hutsul of Soft Citizen, referring to the spots he directed for the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

They're smart, funny and unexpectedly existential -- but also familiar, because you see yourself in each of these snapshots: your rage at late-coming friends, your perplexity toward abstract cinema, or the way some foreign films turn you into an overthinking, turtleneck-sporting douchebag. With a ponytail.

o The Overanalyzer
o The Foreign Film
o The Seat-Saver
o The Front Row
o The First Question
o The Die Hard

They end neatly -- gratefully, even -- with the words "We're glad you're here." (So glad, in fact, that they -- meaning VIFF -- have also given you a game to play. It's an amusing one-time distraction, enough of an experience to leave you feeling good, post-chortle.)

Agency: TBWA/Vancouver. Soft Citizen produced, Secret Location assisted with interactive production.










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