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brand mascots

When Hello Kitty Met Pedobear: The Kumamon Craze

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 8, 2013 02:57 PM

While the US struggles with multiple cartoon mascot controversies, Japan's Kumamon is taking the rest of the world by storm.

The mascot of the high speed train of Kumamoto City ("kumamon" means "bear thing" in Japanese) was launched in 2010 and is now a fixture of Japanese culture as well as an increasing number of branding and marketing campaigns. It's only the most popular anthropomorphized mascot in Japan's robust history of anthropomorphized mascots. But don't confuse Kumamon for Pedobear, another of Japan's popular kuma exports.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Google Taps Wallace and Gromit to Promote Google+ in a Holiday Hangout

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2012 03:45 PM

British animator Nick Park brought his Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit to Bristol studio Aardman Animation, and forever changed the world of animation and commercial production. Now Google+ is tapping the stop motion animated duo for a holiday campaign to promote the social network’s Hangouts social video interactive platform.

“We are thrilled to see Wallace and Gromit use a Google+ Hangout to join the rest of the Aardman family for the very first time,” commented Cristian Cussen, Head of Marketing, Google+, Europe, Middle East & Africa. “We would love for families and friends everywhere to easily connect over the holidays. For those who can’t make it home this year, they can still spend the holidays together through Google+ Hangouts.”Continue reading...


Ford Takes a Hard Line on Toyota's Prius with C-Max Cartoon

Posted by Dale Buss on October 5, 2012 05:09 PM

In taking on the Prius brand, king of the hybrid mountain, Ford has launched a daring first TV-advertising campaign for the 2013 C-Max hybrid. But it might even be more clever than it is daring. In TV spots that debuted this week, Ford uses an old school but eye-catching 2-D animation technique (and a character who's familiar at least to the rest of the world) and directly compares the new vehicle to Toyota's Prius v.

The first commercial highights MPB by showing "Mr. Linea," a line-drawn character from a classic Italian TV series, outpacing a Prius v in his zippy new C-Max.

Another of the spots, called "Say Wheeee," plays up horsepower, showing him jumping out of his Prius v, kicking it in frustration after being passed by other traffic, and then hopping into a C-Max newly drawn by the cartoonist — then zipping past the Prius v and other vehicles.

A third, called "Be Great," shows off the C-Max hands-free lift gate feature ... before the vehicle zips past a car shaped like (you guessed it) a Prius v.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Sonic Happiness: Coca-Cola Releases "The Great Happyfication"

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 16, 2011 01:43 PM

Coca-Cola today unveiled The Great Happyfication on Facebook and Twitter, a six and a half minute film that continues its award-winning Happiness Project.

The animated short was commissioned for its 125th anniversary. Its goal: to reinforce its brand positioning of happiness ("have a Coke and a smile") and music, with the eye-catching piece bringing its audio branding (and signature audiomark) to live.

"We wanted to make the happiest 6 and a half minutes in film," says Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy & Content Excellence of Coca-Cola, in a press release. "We also wanted to get the world singing the Coca-Cola 5 notes." Think it lives up to the creative brief?


Nature's Fix: Nestle Promotes Water Brands With Humor, Critters

Posted by Michael Waltzer on September 15, 2011 12:23 PM

Have you gotten your Nature's Fix? If not, Nestle's new campaign is here to entice you.

Launching with three animated videos (and more to come), the campaign by America's largest bottle water seller is aimed at changing people's drinking habits from sodas and sugary sports drinks to a sparkling water alternative consisting of three natural ingredients: 100% spring water, fruit essence and bubbles.Continue reading...

viral buzz

Viral Video Watch: Nokia Breaks World Record

Posted by Michael Waltzer on August 4, 2011 06:00 PM

What's better than filming one of the worlds smallest stop motion animated videos on your Nokia N8 — and setting a Guinness World Record? Setting a news World Record for the BIGGEST stop animation film on your Nokia N8.

Posted yesterday, and already attracting more than 100,000 views in its first 24 hours, is the record breaking largest stop animation movie to date — all filmed with just a Nokia N8 smartphone.

The video, above, was shot on location at Pendine Beach in South Wales. Boasting a 12 megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics, the N8 sets the record of "the largest stop-motion animation set" with the largest scene stretching over 11,000 square feet. "Gulp," the film's title, was animated by Sumo Science at Aardman, the same animators who did the smaller animation, and sand artists from Sand in Your Eye.Continue reading...


Google Logo Pays Tribute to Martha Graham, Next Gen Doodlers

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 11, 2011 10:00 AM

Google keeps raising the bar on its homepage logo treatments. We loved last month's Google logo nod to Charlie Chaplin, and today — to celebrate what would have been Martha Graham's 117th birthday — the Google.com homepage features an animated (dance-imated?) version of its logo, which the search engine giant prefers to call a doodle.

American animator Ryan Woodward worked with a dancer from Graham's New York-based company to interpret the Google letters in a motion graphics tribute to the mother of modern dance, as seen below. Each letter, according to the Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, represents a different dance from Graham's celebrated career.Continue reading...

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