Dissed shop kidnaps Syfy rabbit, threatens to make rabbit soup

Posted on Fri Dec 4 2009

Rabbit

One of the agencies that was shunned for Syfy's most recent guerilla marketing assignment has taken matters into its own hands. Members of the agency Cunning apparently kidnapped one of the 50 people who (as we wrote about yesterday) are dressed as rabbits today to promote the upcoming Syfy movie Alice. The rabbit was handing out information to people on the streets in SoHo when he was abducted. Floyd Hayes, "head creative bloke" at the agency, sent this video to us. (UPDATE: Hayes was asked to remove the video from YouTube, but a Quicktime version is posted on his blog.) BrandFreak contacted Hayes to negotiate the terms of the rabbit's release. Hayes said, "We found him, me and my gang, after we went to Union Square to check out the show [where all 50 rabbits step danced]. We've done a number of non-traditional projects for Syfy in the past, but not this one." So, Hayes says they now have the rabbit "tied up in our office until we get an RFP from Syfy. Then we'll release him." Note: Hayes is British, and I don't really get their sense of humor, so I can't tell if he was kidding. Still, other Syfy rabbits, take heed.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Tiger will keep his endorsements, but he's losing everything else

Posted on Fri Dec 4 2009

The Tiger Woods pile-on continues. Woods will likely still keep his $100 million in endorsement deals and can still beat any mere human in golf, but it isn't good to be him right now. He has become a punch line overnight. Whether you're talking about a Japanese news station creating animated re-enactments of what happened that faithful night, or amateur Photoshoppers posting doctored images of him beaten and bruised, it's not pretty. Alleged mistresses are being revealed as quickly as Eliot Spitzer prostitutes. This has prompted AshleyMadison.com, a site for adulterers, to offer him $5 million for a marketing deal, per TMZ. The porn-film maker Vivid Entertainment is also reportedly offering $1 million to any of his past lovers to appear in an adult film. Alleged third mistress Kalika Moquin, a marketing manager at a Las Vegas nightclub, could be the front-runner. She was alleged to have told her friends that Tiger lived up to his name in bed. Well, at least that ought to make him feel a little better.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Genesee bringing the world's largest beers to Rochester brewery

Posted on Fri Dec 4 2009

Genny

Mmmm, giant beer. North American Breweries is planning to display "the world's largest beers" at its headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. The brewery is one of the oldest in the U.S. To celebrate its recent overhaul, they're outfitting three 36-million-ounce tanks, which are about three stories high, with labels of their flagship beers: Genesee, Genny Light and Genesee Cream Ale. The labels are 55 feet wide and 43 feet high. The installation is slated for next week, weather permitting. "Some companies have fountains, extensive landscapes and sculptures surrounding their facilities. For us, brewing great beer people love to drink is our art," says Jason Drewniak, brand manager at Genesee. "Just wait, the 'world's largest beers' will become an iconic Rochester landmark." Plus, it'll be an immediate must-see for those bored tourists who roam the country looking for all sorts of "world's largest" stuff. That list includes the world's largest teapot in Chester, W. Va., and the Big Duck in Flanders, N.Y. I've seen them both. Changed my life. Well, not really.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Syfy set to unleash a pack of giant freaky white rabbits in NYC

Posted on Thu Dec 3 2009

Rabbit

You can experience a lot walking down a street in New York City. There are naked cowboys, singing panhandlers and a never-ending display of guerrilla marketing stunts. On Friday, commuters and tourists visiting historic landmarks will get the opportunity to wonder whether or not someone slipped them some LSD compliments of Syfy. To promote its four-hour movie Alice, the network will have 50 white rabbits dressed in formal attire handing out playing cards featuring Alice and the Mad Hatter. The cards say: "Have you seen this pair?" The trippy display will culminate in Union Square at 12:30 p.m., where the 50 rabbits and Alice will perform a choreographed step-dance routine. No word on whether a hookah-smoking caterpillar will be in attendance.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

A strong brand, and a dry crack, go a long way in today's market

Posted on Tue Dec 1 2009

Crack

Yesterday, I interviewed Danica Patrick. Today, I got a note from the "Ray Croc of Crack." These things happen when you write about marketing. His name is Bob Kodner, and he runs a franchise of concrete-repair specialists called The Crack Team. Kodner writes: "Anyhoo, I wanted to bring you up to speed on what's happening here in Crackville. When the world spun off its axis last year, I knew our franchise growth would be stunted, as tightened credit and uncertainty has thrown franchising into a depression that still lingers." But Bob didn't write to bellyache. The Crack Team, he said, began marketing its "magic fillers and goo" products directly to homeowners, and the demand for his products has increased "while people continue to sit on their wallets but need to repair their homes." Kodner adds that he's also still selling a lot of Mr. Happy Crack underwear, with slogans like "A dry crack is a happy crack" and "Show us your crack." Now, I really don't know how well The Crack Team is doing, but I have to give Kodner credit for not only creating a brand identity for something as mundane as concrete repair, but for being able to expand the business in a down economy. It says a lot about the power of branding, as well as the appeal of second-grade humor.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

The Michelin Man's a serious badass, whatever he's trying to say

Posted on Tue Nov 24 2009

Michelin

Michelin wants to make a hero out of Bibendum, aka the Michelin Man. However, I have to say, I was a little thrown trying to figure out what was going on with this giant billboard from TBWA\Chiat\Day, running in Los Angeles through Dec. 20. It appears the Michelin Man (who is starting to remind me of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) is tossing tires at a gas pump like they're ninja throwing stars. He's pulling the tires from his body like ribs. (Is this a biblical reference?) The press release clears it up. The idea behind this ad, as well as one in New York, is that Michelin tires can provide superior fuel efficiency as well as other benefits. I'm not sure I'd get that from this billboard (though it is pretty cool looking). Either way, it is an upgrade over the scary French mummy from some of the brand's early ads.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Jamba Juice's Bananaman peels the love for new 'Twilight' movie

Posted on Thu Nov 19 2009

Jamba

It's Edward Cullen's world. We just happen to live in it. You know the Twilight: New Moon frenzy has hit fever pitch when someone named Bananaman starts wandering around giving away free tickets to sold-out shows. Bananaman is neither a vampire nor a werewolf. He is Jamba Juice's "Feel Good Jambassador," who gives away free vouchers as part of the smoothie chain's current grassroots effort. The vouchers are worth anywhere from $1 to $10,000. Beginning Thursday at 2 p.m. and continuing through Friday night, Bananaman is arming himself with New Moon tickets. He will appear at stores in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego, where he will hand out a 100 free tickets. Maybe Bananaman's next good deed should be to give Robert Pattinson a couple of free orange-juice smoothies with vitamin C. That dude looks a little pale to me.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

OTB wins right to place and show some female flesh

Posted on Wed Nov 18 2009

Otb1109club Off Track Betting in New York had the nerve to try and link gambling and sex. Can you believe their gall?!? Hey wait, isn’t that what Las Vegas is built upon? Anyway, Long Island’s Nassau County isn’t about to become Sin City east. County legislators were up in arms after it the OTB opened a “Skin Room” at the Plainview Race Palace. The marketing showed a bare legged woman in hot pants and language like “"A whole new set of rules…There are NO RULES." OTB officials originally defended they ad and said something to the effect of they weren’t opening up a strip club. Rather, they were just looking to promote some “good, clean fun” among a younger audience. (For those who have never been to an OTB, they often tend to be inhabited by older men with few teeth and a lot of Wild Irish Rose on their breath.) Still, yesterday OTB backed down by replacing the ad with another featuring a sexy woman in black stockings. It also changed the name of the venue from the “Skin Room” the the “Blush Room.” Conservatives rejoice!

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Something to go with your Goat's Head Soup, perhaps?

Posted on Wed Nov 18 2009

4056110310_ef1eca8568 Cue the voice of ex-MTV veejay Mark Goodman: “You loved the albums. Now drink the wine! Wines that Rock, available now for only $16.99.” At least this how I imagine the cheesy informercial sounding for this new line of rock album-inspired wine. Yes, as if Woodstock, the Rolling Stones and Dark Side of the Moon haven’t been commercialized enough, now there is a wine collection. Mark Beaman, winemaker at Wines That Rock explains the products: “The Woodstock Chardonnay was produced to express the mixture of revolution and the vitality of Woodstock, the Forty Licks Merlot needed to be timeless with a bit of spunk and the Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon was created to bottle up the soft, haunting complexity of the album.”  Kind of seems like a joke gone wrong. Although I’d be happy to name the rest of the portfolio: How about some Pipers at the Gates of Dawn plum wine, Beggars Banquet Bordeaux and Sticky Fingers Shiraz? Moreover, it’s not like the artists themselves are behind this. The company’s press release says it was created by rock business and fan-club managers. Apparently, their only talent is to suck every last drop of affection we have for classic rock at $16.99 a bottle.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

I'm a little hazy on what Fuzzy's vodka is trying to accomplish

Posted on Tue Nov 17 2009

Fuzzy

Over the years, a wide array of alcohol brands have made no secret of their goal to get consumers smashed. Some that immediately come to mind are Mad Dog 20/20, Molson XXX and Fire Water liqueur. (Of course, one could argue that Jagermeister has also become synonymous with the state of intoxication, but that's more by reputation than by coming out and saying it in the name, like, say, Delirium Tremors beer does.) Well, now there is a new player in this game—a vodka called Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka. Yes, Fuzzy's promises clean, mild aromas and the faintest hint of citrus talc. Still, you can't dress it up, because it is called Fuzzy's. This high-end entrant wants so badly to compete with the Grey Gooses of the world. But I just don't see it. Even though it was named for the golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, the upper crust isn't going to proudly call for a "Fuzzy drink" when out with business associates. Maybe it will work at the 19th hole, but if they really want some volume, they'd be better off targeting the frat houses. So, I guess I have to say that frankly I find their marketing strategy a little fuzzy. Get it? Eh, it would probably be funnier after a few drinks.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein


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