KFC locates more college girls' butts for Double Down promotion

By T.L. Stanley on Tue Oct 12 2010


Eat a fat-, salt- and calorie-ridden Double Down, and it'll end up directly on your rear end. Is that the message of KFC's just-expanded college marketing campaign? Nah, just my interpretation. The real reason the marketer is hiring more cute co-eds to wear sweatpants with "Double Down" stamped on the posterior is that heavy fast-food users—and likely Double Down heart-attack candidates—are guys who spend inordinate amounts of time staring at girls' butts. So base. So brilliant! The campaign, which AdFreak covered previously, is moving on to Indiana University, Colorado State and James Madison University, where young women will get $500 to hand out KFC coupons while using their backsides as walking advertisements. Some 600 women applied for the job through the marketer's Facebook page, even though a branding expert has said it makes KFC look like "the Hooters of fast food." So, is this just another demeaning brick in the wall, or will it be a B-school case study in the power of bad PR?

Baby carrots prepare to shove sugary candy aside on Halloween

By Todd Wasserman on Tue Oct 12 2010


Does this fall under the heading of "trick" or "treat"? A Bunch of Carrot Farmers and Bolthouse Farms, the people behind this summer's $25 million "Eat 'em like junk food" campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, are launching Scarrots, a bag of 25 single-serve 1.7-ounce bags of baby carrots that are intended for distribution to trick-or-treaters. At the very least, it's a good alternative for the old lady on your block who used to give out apples. It's harder to get razor blades into a bag of sealed carrots.

Dream about Burger King all night on your breakfast-menu pillow

By Noreen O'Leary on Wed Oct 6 2010


Well, if you can't sell Whoppers, why not try bed linens? In a new promotion, Burger King is peddling pillow cases at BKPillow.com that tout the chain's new breakfast menu and use images of offerings like the Ciabatta Club Sandwich. BK posted a nearly 4 percent decline in North American sales in fiscal 2010 and is having a tougher time than its fast-food competitors in the recession. (The company is in the process of being sold to a hedge fund backed by Brazilian investors.) Already this week, BK has sold 749 of the pillowcases at $5.99 a shot on eBay. While we consider this the stuff of nightmares, for those of you not totally creeped out by the "Wake up with the King" ads, you can cuddle up to the King's face featured on the pillow's opposite side.

Behold the farthest spot you can get from McDonald's in the U.S.

By David Kiefaber on Tue Oct 5 2010


Stephen Von Worley of DataPointed.net took a trip, which I'm hoping he writes off as a business expense, to a remote patch of northwest Nevada that is supposedly the farthest you can get (some 115 miles) from a McDonald's in the lower 48 states of the U.S. He located the "McFarthest Spot" with GPS technology, and found it to be an ideal camping spot (upon purchasing a box of Mickey D's, that is). He made a video (posted after the jump), and as he stomped around the godforsaken desert, I ruminated upon just how strong the McDonald's brand is, as measured by points of impact with the consumer. Not only do they have ridiculous market share and strong advertising, but you literally have to forsake civilization to find a place with no Golden Arches on the horizon. Still, Von Worley is clearly a fan, considering how many Big Macs he brought with him. He's like Walden with heart disease. Via Consumerist.

Continue reading "Behold the farthest spot you can get from McDonald's in the U.S." »

Pom Wonderful ad puts pomegranate at heart of Garden of Eden

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Oct 4 2010


Talk about a strange marketing message. A new campaign for Pom Wonderful makes the claim that the Fall of Man was the result of a pomegranate. See three spots, and a behind-the-scenes video, after the jump. In one of the Malcolm McDowell-narrated ads for the pomegranate juice, Eve (played by Sonja Kinski—yes, the daughter of Natassja) is shown seductively writhing around with a snake beneath a pomegranate tree. McDowell's claim that "some scholars" think the forbidden fruit was a pomegranate is apparently true. Other guesses range from figs to carob. Either way, we get treated to a sort of visual allusion in which the daughter evokes the famous picture of a young Natassja and snake. Other ads make similarly bold claims about pomegranates being an aphrodisiac and something that warriors in Persia used to drink, which means Pom missed a perfect tie-in opportunity with The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time earlier this year.

Continue reading "Pom Wonderful ad puts pomegranate at heart of Garden of Eden" »

Post settles with Hulk Hogan over Cocoa Pebbles appearance

By T.L. Stanley on Fri Oct 1 2010

Marketers can't just go around appropriating celebrities' likenesses without forking over some dough. Just ask E*Trade, whose "milkaholic Lindsay" ad in the Super Bowl ended up costing them some scratch, reportedly, when Lindsay Lohan showed how paranoid she was by filing a lawsuit. (Included in the legal language: That baby smack-talked me! Not included: I need money!) That one's tenuous at best, but Post Foods rightly got its hands slapped by Hulk Hogan, who showed up in a Cocoa Pebbles ad in cartoon form, complete with a WWE-replica championship belt. (At least he got to pulverize Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.) Since Hogan never agreed to star in that campaign, he threatened to sue. Post settled this week, giving the grappler an undisclosed amount of cash. The ad, seen here, was pulled. So that's a bam-bam for Post.

Oh, Betty Crocker Warm Delights, why must you tease me so?

By Elaine Wong on Thu Sep 30 2010

We can all relate to those moments of impatience when we're waiting for our favorite baked treat to warm up. That's the thinking in some new ads for General Mills's Betty Crocker Warm Delights brand, showing three women making faces on the other side of a microwave window. ("Just add water and microwave," the product's instructions say.) The ads (each woman has her own spot, in addition to the combo spot shown here), by McCann Erickson in New York, mark the brand's first return to TV advertising in more than a year. They're part of the Betty Crocker baked goods brand's strategy to tap into the recession-driven comfort and indulgent foods trend. It's also accompanied by a Facebook sampling push, as well as an interactive game that encourages "me time!" Now, that's exactly what BrandFreak needs. Wait, there's another story to cover?

Don't use Hunt's tomatoes? George Duran will chop you down

By Elaine Wong on Thu Sep 30 2010

Does it really matter what brand of canned tomatoes you use? Hunt's obviously thinks so. The ConAgra Foods brand this week broke a new series of spots as part of its ongoing "Crash Kitchen Tour" campaign by SapientNitro, featuring George Duran. This time, the celebrity chef stops by a Long Island firehouse and shows the chief how to make "real" lasagna. He whips out a can of Hunt's Flash Steam canned tomatoes after first chopping the chief's can with an ax. A second spot, "Supermarket," sees Duran serving up generous portions of food cooked with Hunt's tomatoes to shoppers. "Oh, my goodness!" one delighted sampler exclaims. The effort is intended to help the brand "break through in a category where folks are complacent with their choice," says Hunt's senior brand manager Colleen Bailey. Duran, apparently, is also scheduled to "crash" a December episode of TLC's Cake Boss. We wouldn't be surprised it he came up with a tomato-based cake recipe.

Frightful changes are in store for Chipotle's Halloween giveaway

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Sep 29 2010


Fans of Halloween promotions and bad puns will be saddened to hear that this year, Chipotle is overhauling its long-running "Boo-rito" giveaway. Under the promo, as many college students know, you get a free burrito if you show up at a Chipotle location dressed as one. But Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's CMO, told attendees at an Advertising Week session on Wednesday that Boo-rito will look different this year. For one thing, you now have to dress up like a processed food item (a Twinkie, for example) to claim the prize. For another, you have to pony up $2 as well. The cash goes to fund a Jamie Oliver charity (Crumpacker didn't specify which one). The nominal charge and the more challenging costume will no doubt result in fewer freeloaders this year. Crumpacker said the promo costs Chipotle about $3 million. We say: Boo!

Domino's testing breakfast pizza on (who else?) college students

By T.L. Stanley on Wed Sep 29 2010


Pizza for breakfast has always been good in a greasy, morning-after kind of way. But Domino's, the folks who brought us the Oreo-cookie pizza a few years back, is aiming at (no surprise here) the college crowd with an a.m. version of its p.m. staple. The breakfast pizza, now sold at one franchise near the University of Dayton in Ohio, consists of cheese and eggs on a pizza crust, plus toppings like sausage, jalapenos, ham, bacon and onions. Kind of like a flat omelet with a lot more carbs. It costs $7.99 at the restaurant, which is supposedly the only 24-hour Domino's in the country. (It also serves coffee and orange juice for the early risers and all-nighters.) The marketer is keeping an eye on sales to see if the product could expand to other locations. I wonder if this was an exhaustively researched offering or an opportunistic one, predicated on the reality that students will eat almost anything. I guess we'll find out over time, if Domino's has to admit one day that the breakfast pizza sucked.



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