Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 22, 2011 03:01 PM
English football isn’t always known for its family friendliness but the West Ham United Football Club (known as the Hammers) in East London took a step in that direction Saturday by adding another mascot to sports pantheon of cute and fuzzy mascots.
The Hammers' new mascot, Hammerhead (at right), isn’t a shark but, yes, it is a hammer. A dancing, showboating hammer. Hammerhead had something to strut about Saturday as his team topped Barnsley F.C. Tykes 1-0. (And it’s not really nice to pick on tykes, is it?)
The team’s fans, though, weren’t sure what to make of Hammerhead, according to Metro.co.uk. On one fan forum, the site notes, one commenter stated, “Rarely have I been so embarrassed at Upton Park” while another wrote, “I personally thought it was much more entertaining than the game.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2011 02:02 PM
The Philadelphia 76ers last visited the NBA Finals in 2000 and won the whole thing in 1983, but there hasn’t been a lot of Brotherly Love for the Sixers in recent years as the team has either not made the playoffs at all or lost in the first round since 2003.
But now the team has new ownership, a new hope as the season is getting set to begin on Dec. 25, and a new mascot that will debut early in the year. That last one, actually, hasn’t been decided on just yet — so the team is asking fans to help determine the next face of the franchise will be, according to CSNPhilly. After all, whether it is Big Ben, B. Franklin Dogg, or Phil E. Moose, it will likely be around long after everybody on the current roster is gone.
The last mascot the Sixers had, a rabbit named Hip Hop, spent most of its time strutting around and doing crazy dunks off of trampolines. Last month, he was bounced out after fans told the new ownership that he had to go. So now the team is trying to figure out whether it wants a mascot in the form of Benjamin Franklin, a dog, or, oddly, a moose.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2011 05:02 PM
Air New Zealand isn’t above doing something a little scandalous to bring in customers and publicity. Two years ago, it painted uniforms onto the skin of supposed members of a ANZ flight crew for an ad campaign, raising more than a few eyebrows.
Then a year ago, the airline introduced a brand mascot: a raunchy puppet named Rico, who starred in an online-only ad campaign in which he used “sexual innuendo and chats with B-grade celebrities,” such as David Hasselhoff, Richard Simmons, Snoop Dogg and Lindsay Lohan, to help sell the airline, according to New Zealand’s Stuff.
Rico found some success, collecting 4.5 million YouTube viewers and more than 48,000 Facebook fans along the way. ANZ is likely the only major airline that had a series of online ads starring a puppet that all opened with the text, “The following video contains language and themes of a sensitive nature. Viewer discretion is advised.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2011 11:01 AM
Yes, she's had a few cosmetic makeovers through the decades, to make sure she doesn't look school-marmish or like June Cleaver on the cake-mix boxes. But now that she's just turned 90 years old, Betty Crocker is undergoing one of the biggest changes ever: She's going digital. And that may be the best way for General Mills' baking-brand spokeswoman (a persona created in 1921 to answer home bakers' questions) to make it comfortably into the next century.
Betty's birthday celebration has been at the center of a new campaign by the brand that has included new cupcake recipes (Red Velvet Triple Stack and Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Caramel varieties sound particularly enticing), a promotional trip to the birthday "bash" at Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minneapolis attended by a 24-year-old Arizonan who won a contest, and a new version of the iconic Betty Crocker "Big Red" cookbook. Betty was already on Twitter and Facebook, but now she's got a new online destination that includes 1,500 recipes, 1,100 all-new photographs, an expanded store, and access to 85 videos and 400 additional recipes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 16, 2011 11:31 AM
Feathers ruffled, Kellogg had contacted the tiny nonprofit Maya Archaeology Initiative back in August to tell it to stop using its toucan logo because it supposedly too closely resembled Toucan Sam of Froot Loops cereal fame. As the president of the nonprofit, Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli, commented, “This is a bit like the Washington Redskins claiming trademark infringement against the National Congress of American Indians."
Kellogg has apparently unruffled its feathers as the two sides resolved the trademark flap “amicably,” according to the Detroit Free Press. In fact, the little bit of stress for the people involved in MAI may have paid off big-time for the organization.
"After conversations with MAI to better understand how they intend to use this design, we worked with them to identify an approach to revise their trademark application that will enable them to continue using their logo for their not-for-profit fundraising efforts," stated Kris Charles, Kellogg's vice president for global communications and philanthropy, in an email to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
What's more, Kellogg “is contributing $100,000 to help launch one of the MAI's priority projects to improve the lives of the Maya people in Central America,” the Free Press reports, and the company “will also be featuring major Mayan accomplishments and a link to MAI's website on Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal boxes next year.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2011 04:06 PM
The Angry Birds game may have hit half a billion downloads recently, but the characters have yet to have their own animated show or appear in advertisements or actually represent anything other than the nice slingshotted birds they are.
But that’s all about to change. In the last month came the news of an Angry Birds TV channel and an Angry Birds movie in the works. And now a real, live, skating Angry Bird – with a stick. More precisely, a Hockey Bird.
Toni Kysenius at Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish-based developer of the game, has created the new bird to be the mascot of next year’s Hockey World Championships in Finland and Sweden, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s website.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 25, 2011 07:03 PM
Sure, there'll be plenty of Nicki Minaj, Angry Birds and Black Swan costumes floating around this Halloween. Brands with strong, identifiable and popular spokespeople also will find themselves, as ever, the subject for costumes. Last year we ran not one, but two lists of branded Halloween costumes.
One of the more popular is sure to be Progressive Insurance spokesgal Flo, so to jump out ahead of those looking for DIY costume ideas based on Progressive insurance's Flo spokeswoman, the brand has put together a comprehensive guide on how to "Dress Like Fo."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 28, 2011 05:57 PM
It was only last week that we asked, "Has Ford's Focus Spokespuppet Doug Jumped the Shark?" Turns out, he has jumped ship entirely.
Ford has decided to shelve Doug, the orange spokespuppet for the Focus, after a six-month run that did wonders for consumer interest in the car, exceeding the company's initial expectations.
Brandchannel has learned that the denouement of Doug's story will be told on Thursday with the release of the last new video in a series of many.
Ford released the penultimate chapter today, a Doug-less video that featured only "John," the human handler for the smart-alecky mascot, bemoaning the departure of his friend after Doug drove off himself in a 2012 Focus.
"The video today tipped it off," Scott Monty, Ford's head of social media, told brandchannel. "Tomorrow we'll have the concluding video."Continue reading...