In this article, CNBC writer Darren Rovell uses convoluted logic to ask what consumers, in their childlike naivete, are supposed to extract from relationships between athletes and the brands that sponsor them. (And their trainers. And their trainers' websites.)
Here's the puzzle the column poses: say you're a kid, and you want to be the next LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson is part of Nike's SPARQ training program. He also wears Nikes on the field. But Todd Durkin, Tomlinson's trainer, has a website sponsored by Under Armour.
Assuming you're wack enough to think this will fundamentally alter your destiny, what do you BUY? Nike trainers or Under Armour's? The author's so stuck on this that he's even taking a poll. (Who would you follow: athlete or trainer?)
We'd laugh this whole thing off, because it really is ridiculous, but then we got to thinking. Do sponsored associations between people and products really mean something?
Tabasco's Chipotle Sauce, Weber Grill Creations seasonings, Royal Oak charcoal and Chinet tableware have joined forces with the Kansas City Barbeque Society to launch the first-ever Great American BBQ Tour.
The sample- and recipe-packed bus will start its slow journey in Rio Rancho, New Mexico during the Pork 'n' Brew BBQ Cookoff from March 28-29. It'll visit 25 cities before coming to a stop at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, TN (October 24-25).
See tour info and schedule.
We are hungry for rib of animal drowning in spicy sauce. And maybe apple pie with Kraft Singles on top.
DegreeRookie.com's hosting a sweat-inducing six-part mini-series based on 24. It won't have any of your favourite characters, and indeed has nothing to do with the show's primary plotline, but we're sure nobody'll notice as long as 24 is visibly associated with whatever's streaming.
But that's not all Degree Rookie's serving up. Try balance. And freshness. It's Degree Absolute Protection.
Story Worldwide helped input GPS capabilities, imaging and nav in the site. The Unilever-sponsored series is part of a collabo between Fox and Brightline.
Wanna see Sarah Chalke of Scrubs shake out a wedgie in public? Click on "See Sarah Shake It" at WedgieFree.com. Superfluous body-bends and orgasm faces come stock.
This isn't the first time an underwear company has used an ass-shake to push panties. See itchy actors jiggle for Jockey.
But if watching a celeb channel Shakira doesn't do it for you, WedgieFree also includes Wedgie Stories (where you can contribute and rate tales with a blush-o-meter) and Wedgie-Free Wednesdays, a contst you can enter for free undyroos.
This is part of Hanes' effort to promote its new wedgie-free panties, which look suspiciously similar to the underpants we were forced to wear before Gwen Stefani introduced us to the subtle magic of thongs. And neckties without shirts.
Honda Fit is sponsoring Evite's new Party Personalities, a section which allows people to create custom user profiles to make their Evites more customized with party avatars to match either their personality or the theme of the created party invitation.Oddcast's Voki powers the feature which also allows for the inclusion of voice messages within an invitation.
Come on send us one. Even a fake one.
Possibly because he proved such a smashing success in San Diego, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has brought a man dressed like GEICO's Gecko to the Houston Zoo along with a live gecko exhibit.
Houston Zoo director Rick Barongi called GEICO "a great partner for zoos and aquariums." What?! GEICO on best behaviour amongst wee kiddies and disgruntled animals? We believe it. If we were the most visible insurance option at a zoo, we would be too.
To promote its hot new Ariake running shoe, K-Swiss enlisted the face of Sebastien Foucan, the founder of free running. ("Free running" is when you go jogging and, instead of hauling ass around an obstacle, you do an impressive Ranma-style aerial flip over it. Seriously.)
The print ads are very Zen. There's no copy, just images of Foucan being Foucan and a small K-Swiss logo at bottom. They were put together by Perfect Fools which is based in Sweden and the US. The ads will be accompanied by a wannabe-viral (which we haven't yet seen) and a website.
See Foucan variant. We're not really sure whether people will put two and two together and go, "Okay, Ariake = running! Got it." Because we were all, "Acrobatic skater gear?"
"Stomping Grounds" is a half-hour romp through the childhood of Biz Markie. Crawling the streets in a Scion, Biz explores his apartment in Harlem, favourite restaurants, old friends, and the place where he first started recording.
We like it. Oddly though, it made us nostalgic for Cribs. Maybe it's the exit scene.
The vid was produced by Inform Ventures, which promised the tour would lend an "authentic perspective into the artist's back-story."
Well, "Stomping Grounds" is definitely more authentic than the Nelly storybook for Panraven.
For the record, we've never felt a compulsion to watch Joss Stone wrap her lips around a chocolate shaft. But don't mind us, Cadbury (you saucy chocolate peddlers, you!). We just work here.
This ad for Cadbury's Flake is part of an effort to "reference the old adverts but bring a new feel to them," said a company rep to The Sunday Mirror.
The "feel" we got hovers somewhere between a puberty reel and a '50s girl gang smut film.
TBWA\CHIAT\DAY sent us a :15 ad for the Grammys and this thing called the Disruptunes. Watch it here.
The ad, scheduled to air during the event, is for Grammy-fan promotional material. Coffee table books, CDs, that sort of thing.
It also features music from The Generators, a band participating in TBWA's Disruptunes, an internal TBWA thing where artists can upload songs that in turn are used for ads. (The agency describes it thus: "[helping] agency talent express their creativity and bring brilliant music to the world.")