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February 2010

World's most potty-mouthed 11-year-old stars in 'Kick-Ass' trailer

Posted on Fri Feb 26 2010

Kick-ass

It used to be the foulest-mouth kids around were the fourth graders on South Park. No more. Now we have 11-year-old Hit Girl, one of the stars of the upcoming indie movie Kick-Ass, and she's causing quite a dustup with her salty language in the movie's red-band trailer. (She's knows the C-word, people, and she's not afraid to use it.) The promo, dubbed too-hot-for-TV-and-theaters, has become quite the viral phenom, even though it's supposed to be available only to those over 17. Because, of course, nothing on the Internet ever spreads past its target demo, and no one knows how to get around those age barriers. And no studio would ever sell an R-rated flick to the young 'uns, right, Lionsgate? Naughty, naughty. One of the few remaining indie distributors in Hollywood, Lionsgate is the brilliant marketing machine behind the Saw and Hostel franchises. For Kick-Ass, it's succeeded in creating and stoking months' worth of buzz for a violent, low-budget film that's a hybrid of teen coming-of-age, black comedy, action, crime and a few other genres tossed in for good measure. Kick-Ass, based on the comic from fan favorite Mark Millar and starring Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe "Hit Girl" Moretz, opens April 16. Leave the children at home.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Svedka's fembot coming to life in the vodka brand's first TV spot

Posted on Thu Feb 25 2010

Svedka

Svedka vodka is launching its first-ever TV commercial on Monday, part of a larger campaign that includes an online component and out-of-home ads. The fast-growing spirits brand said it approached the TV spot like a big-budget music video. It uses special effects and professional dancers, who groove to a remake of the Jackson 5 classic "Dancing Machine." The brand clearly tried hard to keep the futuristic/retro theme going throughout the campaign, and tapped creative house Eight VFX to produce a CGI version of its spokes-bot, Svedka_Grl. In addition to the spot, the female robot will appear across Svedka ads that pose the question: "R U Bot or Not?" Those ads include billboards, bus shelters, bus sides, taxi tops and phone kiosks. The fembot is also invading Facebook and bars in several major U.S. cities. So, the next time you're out, order a signature Svedka cocktail like a Hot_Bot or a Celeb_U_Bot and bust a dance move from the new commercial.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Danish garage-door company making the most of Toyota's woes

Posted on Thu Feb 25 2010

DPT

Earlier this week, BrandFreak determined that an Audi video which seemed to be poking fun at Toyota's troubles was, in fact, an old video that had been reconstituted for that purpose. But there's no way that Dansk Port Teknik, a garage-door manufacturer in Denmark, is not having a laugh at the Japanese car maker's expense (with help from JWT Copenhagen). This ad is not only mean but is funnier than anything that U.S. comics have been able to churn out. Via Ads of the World.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

If you do not know the Pull-Ups potty dance, you are missing out

Posted on Thu Feb 25 2010

Potty

Eek! BrandFreak woke up this morning to find that Zooey (yes, that unpotty-trained dog again) had peed all over the place. We're so frustrated that we've decided to try (yes, we're desperate) Kimberly-Clark's tried-and-true potty dance. We wrote about the potty dance last year. Now, JWT New York has refreshed the campaign for K-C's Pull-Ups brand with TV, print, online and in-store ads and even house parties where moms and kids (that's right) do the potty dance. (It's kind of like the chicken dance, except you do it when you gotta go, you know?) Pull-Ups tapped children's songwriter Ralph Covert as the face of the campaign, and he's also encouraging families to drop off unused diapers at local women's and children's centers. We went online to Pull-Ups.com to try to learn the dance ourselves, and hey, we've almost got it. Do we "feel the rhythm"? We do! Oh no, the pooch just went on the couch! (We'll be back.)

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Kenmore washer from Sears has cool break-dancing-like moves

Posted on Wed Feb 24 2010

This ad from Sears, for its newly relaunched Kenmore brand, had us dancing in our seats. (Thank goodness no one was watching.) The department store is revamping its Kenmore household appliances line, and first up comes this new spot for the Kenmore Elite Multi-Motion washer. Instead of boringly explaining the machine's benefits to an interested couple, a clerk asks her dance troupe to "Hit it!" (Not the machine.) The group uses a break-dancing routine to demonstrate the machine's functions. Even the husband in the spot gets grooving. "Better than just circles," he says, then tries to be all hip like the dancers, with unimpressive results. OK, back to dancing … I mean, typing.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

K-C's GoodNites brand gets into the business of bedtime stories

Posted on Wed Feb 24 2010

Goodnites

BrandFreak should not have gotten a dog. Not only is the creature not potty trained, but it's hyper active and keeps us up all night! Thank goodness for Kimberly-Clark's GoodNites bedtime stories. (OK, they're meant for toddlers, but so what?) The maker of Huggies and Kleenex has launched "a series of 20, five-minute audio bedtime stories that will fill each night with a new, fantastical adventure," thus making bedtime less stressful for bedwetting kids and their parents. For instance, there's the story of Iggy, a boy who "embarks on wild adventures with his Wiggy Bed, building self-confidence along the way." Parents can download the series for free at BedtimeTheater.com. The brand is also running a contest to pick the best consumer-generated Iggy story. (The winning pick will be recorded in a video segment.) No, it's not recommended for dogs, but Zooey, our puppy, did go to sleep listening to it. Might just put a diaper on that dog next.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Answers to all of your glue questions are just a call or text away

Posted on Wed Feb 24 2010

Glue

Ever break something and wonder what kind of glue you'll need to fix it? Pacer Technology, which owns Super Glue, has launched a new phone system that allows consumers to scout out the proper adhesive right away. Consumers can call (866) GLUE-911 or text "superglue" to 41411, answer "a series of short questions about the materials to be glued," and get advice on the right product for the job. (The glue maker has also set up Interactive Glue Guides in retail outlets.) Had BrandFreak known about this, she might've been able to successfully glue the chair she broke without super-gluing her hands. (We got it off by using a knife to carefully separate all three stuck-together fingers. Yikes!)

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Audi says its runaway lawnmower video predates Toyota recalls

Posted on Tue Feb 23 2010

Audi has been getting ornery lately. It recently took aim at BMW with a bitchy ad called "Friendly Competition" that sarcastically lamented its German rival's poor showing, relative to Audi, in three Car and Driver comparisons. Which is why this video might raise some eyebrows. The 30-second short, titled "Toyota Lawnmower Recall," shows a man attempting to cut the grass but instead getting a belly-down ride across the lawn and into the street. Basically, it's one of those that-looks-painful-but-in-a-funny-way Jackass-type stunts that you'd be smart not to try at home. It also seems to be a below-the-belt jab at Toyota, which recalled millions of vehicles in January because of sticky gas pedals. But who is taking the jab? A URL that flashes at the end of the video, ElectricityUntamed.com, leads to an Audi Web site for E-Tron, Audi's electric concept car. An Audi rep tells us the brand created the short, but—and this is a crucial point—the video was actually released last September. The rep says it resurfaced recently after someone—no one knows who—put the new title on it referring to Toyota. The video, the rep says, was designed to show the advantages of electronic engines over gas-powered ones. It seems Audi's not guilty in initiating this instance of unfriendly competition.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Nerdy, happy people say iDo at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue

Posted on Tue Feb 23 2010

Although Apple doesn't need any help with marketing, its flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City got some nice exposure following a real wedding that took place there on Valentine's Day. A guest captured most of the ceremony in this video, which shows a couple exchanging their vows but also gets Apple sales clerks and curious store visitors in the shot. Most people want their privacy on such an important day, but these devoted Apple fans don't seem to mind the outsiders. Not only are they getting married in an Apple store, but the guy marrying them is wearing Apple founder Steve Jobs' signature outfit: a black turtleneck and jeans. As if that weren't enough, he quotes Jobs in the vows (which he reads off an iPhone) and states that, in addition to the wedding, everyone is "gathered here today to look for new iPhone cases." It seems our culture of computers, smartphones and social networks has created a generation that assigns too much significance to gadgets. Way too much.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Brands take good with bad on CBS's red-hot 'Undercover Boss'

Posted on Mon Feb 22 2010

7eleven1

CEOs go incognito to ferret out trouble and unfairness in their own companies in the CBS reality show Undercover Boss. What could possibly go wrong? So far, not much, and marketers like Hooters, Waste Management and 7-Eleven have seen their brands buffed and polished for a national prime-time audience. The ratings for the series, which launched in the plum post-Super Bowl slot, have been stellar. The show even beat NBC's Winter Olympics on Sunday night with 13.6 million viewers, making it the highest-rated entertainment program against stiff competition. Not that everyone watching is sold on the concept. "The PR for these shows is amazing," wrote one commenter on Entertainment Weekly's episode recap, while others point out that careful editing and story selection is probably keeping us from seeing the real corporate problems. But some viewers are hooked on watching bosses in the trenches championing the little guys. Fans say Sunday's episode with 7-Eleven's Joe DePinto had some real heart-tugging moments. Watch it here. Next up: Behind the scenes at White Castle.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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