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.
Arthur is among the few kid shows I still feel okay watching. It's wholesome, square and enriched with feel-good lessons.
Anywho, CVS and Hefty licensed Arthur's name and likeness to promote products, like the charming paper plate at left, to kids (and possibly nostalgic quarter-lifers). One plate by itself is friendly enough, but check out this disembodied constellation of Arthur characters, all ready to bear slices of cake on their noses. It's unsettling.
You know how Stamps.com lets you turn photos into stamps? I bet one day Hefty'll do that with paper dishware. Why eat off a fictional acquaintance when you could be scooping peanut butter out of Kid Sister's right earlobe?
In partnership with modeling firm IMG, Bebo's launching yet another web series called Model.Live, whose tagline, "Reality TV just got real," rings a little, well, hollow. (In its defense, episode 1 -- which consisted mainly of serious, sleepy conversation between the people representing these models -- was just dull enough to convince me it's real shit.)
The show aims to reveal the truth about how professional models live. And it's not all coke and parties. These girls field degrading commentary and make dramatic, career-altering decisions every day. Sadly, no Mama Tyra can stand over their shoulders and guide them gently to a Victoria's Secret contract.
The 12-episode series follows three wannabe-supermodels from NYC's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to Milan, Paris and Elsewhere. It went live yesterday on Bebo and Vogue.tv. Clothing company EXPRESS -- a brand that's long affiliated itself with the runway by sole merit of its Muzak -- is sponsoring. Every week, it will air the models' responses to featured questions from fans.
For client Little Debbie, Marcos Ambrose joins forces with a talking koala. They're so cute together, it's oddly gratifying to see them draw housewives' attention at the supermarket or co-pilot a race while koala eats Zebra Cakes.
"I thought you only ate eucalyptus leaves?" Ambrose demands, slightly miffed, right before he peels out onto the track.
Collective awwwwwwwww. Don't you just want to rub their tummies and feed them a Devil Square?
The spots went live in tandem with racing season. So far Ambrose isn't doing too terribly, no thanks to his choice of snack food, but a talking marsupial riding shotgun (think of the crumbs!) probably keeps things interesting.
See more of their routine on Little Debbie's Miles of Smiles website, put together by Luckie & Co., which also did the creative.
So I woke up this morning and heard on the radio that John McCain's getting sued for using Running on Empty, a song by Jackson Browne, in one of his anti-Obama ads without permission. That McCain, what a maverick.
I doubt he's losing sleep over it though, because another artist, John Rich, actually digs McCain enough to give him his own song. It's called Raisin' McCain, and while it bears a slight satirical resemblance to Raining McCain in name and subject matter, Rich's effort is actually not a joke.
That's some catchy shit right thar. And is it just me, or do sequins give our star-spangled banner a little more oomph?
On Visa's behalf, Morgan Freeman congratulates US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps "on having won more gold medals than anybody EVAR." The ad started airing hours after Phelps exceeded his own expectations of winning eight gold medals -- seizing his 10th on Tuesday. (He is now up to 11.)
Don't tell me they didn't have this bad-boy lying in wait, because I seriously doubt Freeman looked up from his gardening or whatever to go, "Oh! Phelps delivered the goods, I think I'll put together another sepia montage and say 'Good job' all over the world."
A recent Nielsen Online buzz tracking study found Phelps is the most-discussed Olympian athlete online. And on TV last night, I found out Phelps' wingspan is 6'7" -- THREE INCHES WIDER than he is tall. Also, his feet bend 15 degrees more than the average swimmer, making them more flippery or something.
UPDATE: Everyone seems to think I hate this ad. I don't. I think it was crafty of Visa to have it on the pipeline, I think it was a lovely way to fist-bump Phelps, and I think the campaign as a whole is a positive step away from the mediocre "Life Takes Visa" stuff we've been seeing. There. Please feel free to untwist your underpants.
Got a problem? What you need is a NASCAR driver who knows nothing about you and talks in metaphors. Try not to go racing out to buy Tylenol all at once.
Bravo, except not, to Deutsch/NY.
And by "understanding," that is to say "We'll buy your ad space, you write us up nice and pretty."
A funner statistic: one in five senior-level marketers admit their organizations have purchased advertising in exchange for an online news story, likely even favorable. These figures are up slightly from last year (17 percent versus this year's 19 percent), when five percent admitted to either paying editors or giving them gifts in exchange for upbeat coverage. It's all here, sugar booger.
And just so you know? Yeah, presents, particularly of a monetary or vice-oriented variety, work a lot better than lengthy pitches that start with "I am such a fan!" Products work too. That's what's called "market research."*
Image credit: Delightful Deliveries, which has yet to surprise us with gift-wrapped gratitude in exchange for pushing its logo in this piece.
MTV and Nokia are partnering for a documentary about the 2008 Cannes Young Lion Film Competition. 26 teams from all over the world will be followed; the four that get top views on YouTube will be featured in the documentary.
Get a glimpse of Team USA. Then do yourself a favour and close the window at 1:00 or so, because 6:20 is a loooooong time unless you're friends with these guys, or their moms.
What ruined it for me was that feeble Spartans leotard action at the beginning. "Hey, guys, come on. I didn't agree to wear this, even though I'm wearing it. You cheated. I win. Grumble grumble."
To promote Infiniti's Cirque de Soleil sponsorship, TBWA/Toronto created "Double Lines," which smoothly integrates mid-air performance with roadside performance.
Apt tagline: "Let the performance begin." I've got no complaints.