Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2011 05:14 PM
The latest online marketing campaign by General Mills takes the idea of medical marijuana to a whole new level. The company — yes, that General Mills, maker of mostly mundane but helpful family-friendly products ranging from Cheerios to Hamburger Helper — has gone out on a marketing limb that seems drug-induced.
The company has launched a series of web videos in a promotion featuring Cheech and Chong touting General Mills' new FiberOne 90 Calorie Brownies. And General Mills leaves nothing to allusion or wink-wink suggestions in selecting the counter-cultural champions of cannabis haze as the focus of the effort.
The videos are positioned as a trailer and clips from what is billed as the comedy duo's first road epic in 28 years, "Cheech & Chong's Magic Brownie Adventure." On their way to deliver a truckful of the "magic brownies" to a desert festival, they indulge in a treat that is chock full of a different kind of organic substance than they're used to: fiber.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2011 10:00 AM
Toyota achieved a sort of pinnacle in the U.S. market by creating reliable, high-quality, fuel-economic products. But the brand's superiority in each of those areas has been eroded over the last three years by Toyota's own mistakes and by improving competition.
Now that Toyota seems to have put the drag of its 2010 safety recall and this year's earthquake in its rear-view mirror, it will be interesting to see how the company positions the brand in its attempt to recover U.S. market share. The early returns: The new Toyota isn't the old Toyota.
Take the 2011 campaign for the Toyota Venza, a fair-to-middling cross-over utility vehicle that the brand introduced a couple of years ago, but which hasn't been a headline nameplate for the automaker — yet.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 21, 2011 05:30 PM
In other comedian/car brand hook-up news comes word of Toyota's deadpan new campaign for the Yaris, featuring comedian Michael Showalter (of Wet Hot American Summer quasi-fame) in eight spots.
The campaign is described on the Yaris Facebook page as "It's a car! Using only the most standardly standards, the standard features that come standard on the Yaris make it the car-iest car in its class (of cars). Go ahead! Take a gander and bask in its utilitarian extravagance!"
He touts a different "feature" in each spot, from the wheels on up, on a microsite (toyota.com/itsacar) that also features a multiplayer game optimized for Google Chrome. Check them out below.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 21, 2011 04:09 PM
In the short life of Doug the sock puppet, the orange mascot for the Focus that Ford introduced in March, that automaker has had him engage in all sorts of fantasy scenes — because, after all, Doug is an orange puppet. In watching the online-only video campaign so far, viewers who already have suspended their disbelief, because they're watching a smart-alecky orange puppet, are even further willing to suspend their disbelief as Doug variously saves a life, schmoozes with human females, and takes over a Ford "press conference."
Now, however — and rather ironically — it's a turn to a sort of realism that may be indicating the Doug campaign is running out of steam.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 15, 2011 05:35 PM
Now that Honda finally has begun to overcome its acute supply shortages — worst in the industry — from the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake, it's time for the brand to try to start selling vehicles again. And in a US auto market that increasingly will become squeezed between softening sales and rising inventories of small vehicles across the board, it's probably a smart idea that as Honda "returns" to the market, it returns to its roots.
In its just-launched, comprehensive new marketing campaign, Honda lays out the "Good Reasons" to buy a new Honda, highlighting the company's long tradition of earning top industry accolades and recognition for safety, reliability, exceptional resale value and other attributes. Honda's schtick has always been that it is a straightforward brand with sensible vehicles, not flashy ones, for practical people. It built its chops over the years for those advantages, as well as its fuel economy and quality levels, rather than for styling sizzle.
The TV, print and online campaign features a self-assured Patrick Warburton (of Family Guy and Seinfeld fame) espousing the "truth" about car buying and advertising in over-the-top discussions ranging from legal disclaimers to whether sex can help sell cars.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 9, 2011 10:00 AM
You have to feel for T-Mobile — it's no fun being in limbo.
While AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile US is winding its way through the requisite regulatory hoops, Sprint is taking advantage of the situation by releasing a new campaign (check it out below) that spoofs T-Mobile's pretty-in-pink spokesmodel in order to promote its Virgin Mobile prepaid brand.
Sprint's spot claims that T-Mobile US customers are "contractually obligated" to stay with Mr. AT&T, but a T-Mobile spokesperson tells AllThingsD that the lookalike ads (featuring Virgin Mobile's fake celebucouple, "Sparah") are not only "flattering" but proof that T-mobile’s no-contract plans are putting pressure on Virgin, and that "consumers will see right through their gimmicks."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 29, 2011 01:00 PM
Since he was introduced in a viral campaign back in March, "Focus Doug" has shown his true colors (other than orange) as an egotistical and shamelessly self-promotional spokespuppet. But the only reason that Ford marketers still put up with this fuzzy little blowhard – and, indeed, keep giving him online-only video exposure on YouTube – is that he’s helping to sell the new, 2012 Focus compact cars he’s supposed to be touting instead of himself.
“Doug has gotten Focus before hundreds of thousands of people,” Robert Parker, a group marketing manager for Ford, told brandchannel. “It’s too early to tell how many sales have resulted, but on the awareness curve – people who were aware there is a new Focus pre-Doug, versus the number of people aware post-Doug – has gone way up.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2011 12:00 PM
NBA players may be locked out, but that doesn't mean they can't work.
The athletic superstars are used to having plenty of cash to spend, but now the checks won’t be coming since teams have locked out their players until a new collective bargaining agreement can be agreed upon.
The Players Association was so concerned about its members that it distributed a 56-page handbook from November to February last season that had helpful hints on how to handle the lockout.
For example, it warns against buying new clothing, jewelry, and cars, according to the copy obtained by Bloomberg News: “Clothing and jewelry often have little or no resale value, so if times get tough, you will not be able to liquidate it quickly,” the handbook reads. “Instead of making large purchases in the next year, save the money you were going to spend on clothes and jewelry in a lockout fund to protect yourself and your loved ones.”Continue reading...