So, what brand mascot are you going as for Halloween?

By T.L. Stanley on Fri Oct 29 2010

0_21_caveman_0 Every year, my neighbor dresses like a caveman for Halloween, but I've never asked if he's Geico branded. I already know he's a garden-variety Neanderthal and that has nothing to do with his costume. And anyway, he never talks about saving me 15 percent on insurance while wearing that crazy wig and off-the-shoulder dress. But an outfit called the Promotional Products Association International would probably put him in the ridiculous-getup-as-marketing category. This non-profit group released a dubious list of top brand-inspired costumes, and the Geico caveman and/or gecko landed in the middle of it. Sounds fishy, yes? The caveman, maybe, but the gecko? Wouldn't you have to be really small for that disguise? Beyond that, I'll believe UPS delivery guy, Captain Morgan and the always-terrifying Burger King are popular. Less likely? M&Ms and Tony the Tiger. And straining credulity? Travelocity's Roaming Gnome, which tops PPAI's list. Seriously, if you spot one of those this weekend, take a picture and send it to us. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal notes that MTV's runaway hit Jersey Shore has spawned the most popular costumes for 18-to-24-year-olds this year. Snooki and the gang, with their bronzed skin, tiny clothes and giant hair, will be everywhere. Don't bother to capture those on film—we don't want to see those horrifying doppelgangers after Nov. 1.

Travelocity gnome is cited for exaggerating hassles of Priceline

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Oct 20 2010

Bidding on a hotel via a service like Priceline can be a bit stressful, I suppose. But can it be likened to being put on a spinning wheel as people hurl knives at you? Or being in a tank with piranhas? Those were the analogies Travelocity used in recent ads, and according to industry watchdog the National Advertising Division, they were a bit of a stretch. The NAD suggested the commercials, which feature the company's gnome mascot suffering such indignities, "be modified to avoid overstating the difficulty of and stress associated with using Name Your Own Price and discontinue the depictions (the piranha tank and the knife thrower's wheel) that help convey the unsupported message." The NAD also took issue with an image of the gnome roasting on a spit. In response, Travelocity said, basically, chill out. The company "does not dispute the NAD's holding that using 'Name Your Own Price' is not as excruciatingly awful as being eaten by piranhas, being the target of a knife thrower, or being burned alive on a spit." Neverthleless, Travelocity agreed to pull the ads.


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