Cox Wireless plays gotcha with rival carriers in Doner campaign

Posted on Tue Jan 19 2010

Crispin Porter + Bogusky's influence seems clear in this latest ad from Doner for Cox Wireless. In particular, it reminds me of the Whopper Freakout. But while Burger King was punking its own customers in those ads, here Cox takes aim at the Other Leading Brand, here called "Your Wireless." In the ads, purported real customers visit a mall kiosk, where a sales rep spells out her company's plan in an unusually frank manner, noting that the $19 a month plan will actually be more like "$69-ish" after you add in all the hidden fees. "The reason we charge $19 is so we can make a ton of money in overages," she says at one point, illustrating that sometimes transparency isn't such a great thing. The ads pave the way for an "unbelievably fair" offer from Cox coming in March. Bashing competitors, is, of course, nothing new in the wireless segment. In fact, it's the norm. The danger is that viewers at home will forget who's bashing whom and just tune out.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Minute Maid's enhanced juice helps another idiot in time of need

Posted on Mon Oct 5 2009

Enhanced fruit juices aren't exactly the sexiest products. There have been plenty of dead-boring ads about antioxidants, free radicals and ingredients that sound like they came out of an ancient herbalist's tome. That's why the recent "Oops! Someone forgot to boost" ad campaign from Minute Maid works so well. The first ad, from Doner, which features a cute teacher saying "Excuse me, I think you're the father of one of my kids," is actually funny. The follow-up spot, which breaks today, sticks with teacher humor. It shows a drowsy grade-school teacher offering his students little sympathy about the class's dead rabbit, Scooter. Of course, once he drinks some Minute Maid Enhanced Strawberry Kiwi juice, he gets the energy to save the day. It's a nice little metaphor for the functionality these drinks allegedly offer. Still, upon reading the official statement from Mike Saint John, president of Minute Maid Business Unit, about the new ad, I can't help but think he forgot to boost. "This is the second iteration of the 'Oops! Someone forgot to boost' campaign," he says. "The premise of the commercial is poking fun at real life scenarios; it's a tongue-in-cheek take on what could happen if you forget to 'boost' with the Minute Maid Enhanced Strawberry Kiwi flavored juice drinks." Thanks Mike, very enlightening.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Coleman brings camping into the 21st century with iPhone apps

Posted on Tue Jun 2 2009

Coleman

The sun is setting, the mosquitoes are swarming, and the marshmallows are roasting. Must be a summer camping trip. Which, according to Coleman, is infinitely more immersive with the new iPhone app called Creepy Campfire Tales. No doubt destined to save a lot of tech-savvy but imagination-challenged fathers and Scout leaders everywhere, the free app features more than a dozen scary stories like "The Outhouse of Terror" (you mean there's only one?), "The Papier Mache Man" and "The Krazy Klown Brigade" (horrifying in concept, even if there are no John Wayne Gacy references). The stories come complete with spooky sound effects, in case Dad can't furnish his own. So far, it's registered 12,000 downloads, making it the 14th-most-popular app in the book category. Either a lot of people are choosing cheap back-to-nature vacations or the app is all the rage at urban sleepovers, or maybe both. Via Coleman's new relationship with ad agency Doner, there's also a free app of the iconic Coleman lantern, which can serve as outhouse finder—look out, it's terrifying in there!—or Bic lighter substitute at concerts back home. That one's been downloaded 80,000 times in less than a month, ranking 18th on the most-popular list. It's part of an overall branding campaign for the 109-year-old Coleman with TV and print ads that tout the great outdoors as "the original social networking site." Sleeping on the ground and taking cold showers never sounded so au courant.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Mr. Six is back, and more frightening than ever, in Six Flags ads

Posted on Thu Mar 26 2009

Just when you thought it couldn't get any creepier, Mr. Six, that freaky little old guy in the Swifty Lazar glasses, is not only back as the spokesman for Six Flags, he's found his voice. And it's the stuff of nightmares. Why couldn't he stay retired?
  Mr. Six seems to have taken over for, but sounds curiously like, the Asian man who recently shouted "More flags, more fun!" in the Doner-created campaign. (That was annoying enough.) Mr. Six, originally seen in 2004, was deep-sixed a few years later when the parks tried to de-emphasize their teen-magnet thrill rides and reposition themselves as family destinations. Guess that worked out. Mr. Six, who was a wildly/oddly popular icon who spawned successful merchandise and events, now dusts off his grandpa-on-crank dance moves. And the ads keep that grating Vengaboys song "We Like To Party" that's become the marketer's ongoing soundtrack.
  Slightly different versions of the new ad are airing in various markets. (This one's for Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio.) The one airing in the Los Angeles area seems to be pushing something called a "play pass" for $59.99 and the new ride based on the upcoming blockbuster Terminator Salvation. Can't focus on that, though, because of the uncontrollable shuddering at the return of the faux-octogenarian pitchman who's yelling about a twisted "fun-o-meter." Scarred now. Scarred for life.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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