Klondike bars worth untold amounts of embarrassment and pain

Posted on Wed Feb 17 2010

This ad from Unilever for its Klondike bars, shown during yesterday's Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, definitely reminded us of Steve Carrell and his waxing scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Building on its "What would you do-o-o, for a Klondike bar jingle," the packaged-goods maker launched this ad, among others, in 2009, showing a man going through waxing extremes to celebrate the Klondike bar's "thicker, more chocolately shell." The spot, which elicited giggles from yesterday's gathering of analysts, marketers, investors and press, shows the guy first getting a chest wax (while eating a regular Klondike bar), and then attempting a, uh, bikini wax, upon learning his favorite ice-cream brand just got chocolatier. What will he have to do if the Klondike becomes triple chocolatier? Full-body wax? We cringe just thinking of it!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Is Axe liable if you use its products but still can't get a girlfriend?

Posted on Tue Nov 3 2009

Axe1a

We've all seen those ads for Unilever's Axe deodorant that promise, tongue-in-cheekily, that guys who use it will be chased down by mobs of nubile young women. But what if the consumer's experience with that product doesn't line up with reality? That appeared to be the case in India, where a man apparently sued the company because he used it (actually, a local version called Lynx) for a long time and is still single. "I've been using it for seven years, but no girl came to me," he told the Daily Record in the U.K. The 26-year-old man, Vaibhav Bedi, sued for £50,000 for "depression and psychological damage" related to the lack of an Axe effect. If you think this case sounds too silly to be true, you're right. A Unilever rep tells The Asylum: "We've been following the news reports from India where a man was allegedly planning to take legal action for the Axe Effect not working for him personally. We can confirm this is a hoax." She said the story originated from FakingNews.com, a comedy Web site. But she added: "We have to admit that it's pretty funny and the joke itself is very much in line with our brand tone—playful, with a wink and a nudge." Hmm. Makes you wonder where the story really came from. 

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Unilever urges Canada to think about where its food comes from

Posted on Thu Jul 30 2009

As part of its "Eat real. Eat local" campaign in Canada, the Unilever mayonnaise brand Hellmann's is running ads that make the citizens up north wonder how far their food travels to get to their dinner tables. Foods like cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, which Canadians can grow in their own backyards, actually travel many miles over land, air and sea, and are hardly fresh by the time they're eaten, according to the ad above, from Sons And Daughters director Steve Gordon and production company Crush in Toronto. Case in point: "In 2004, Alberta imported over $170 million worth of fresh vegetables. Their exports? $400,000." And for every pear they ship out, 700 come in. Whole Foods mulled doing something similar, via Twitter earlier this month. All this emphasis on local sourcing and food miles might have to do with the fact that the Obamas have their own vegetable garden. So, go plant one!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

You can do a whole lot more for a Klondike bar in new campaign

Posted on Mon Jun 22 2009

Finally, some good old-fashioned Klondike entertainment. The Unilever ice-cream brand is out with a new campaign promoting the addition of 25 percent more chocolate coating to six of its bars. In addition to the disturbing TV spot shown here, it has launched a video-game microsite created by Story Worldwide. Over at Klondikebar.com, visitors can play "The Adventures of Khaki Pants Pete" and drool over Klondike bars in his mini-fridge. Chapter one, the first of a four-part series, shows Pete moving into his family's new suburban home, only to lose his "man card." Klondike fans must help him get it back. (The trick is to get Pete to maneuver through a series of "somewhat uncomfortable, yet hilarious" situations.) Still to come: a Facebook app and "Man on the Street"-type Klondike videos. Ah, what won't we do for a Klondike bar?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Skippy takes the heat as poster product for 'package shrink'

Posted on Fri Jan 9 2009

Skippy_peanutbutter

In the words of Run-DMC, George Washington Carver "made the peanut great." But Unilever is using up that goodwill, as its Skippy peanut butter is quickly becoming shorthand for "package shrink."
  In November, the Los Angeles Times singled out Skippy for putting a dimple at the bottom of its jar to save about 2 ounces of peanut butter. Then, this week, National Public Radio's Marketplace dubbed Skippy "the poster product for this phenomenon," even though it noted that Dial soap and Kellogg's Froot Loops do similar things.
  It's a tough break for Skippy, but perhaps it's payback for past wrongs, as famously outlined by Saturday Night Live's Shabazz K. Morton (aka Eddie Murphy). Morton charged that Edward "Skippy" Williamson and Frederick "Jif" Armstrong stole Carver's peanut-butter recipe, copyrighted it and "reaped untold fortunes from it. While Dr. Carver died penniless and insane, still trying to play a phonograph record with a peanut."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Campbell also picking an ad fight with Heinz over pasta sauce

Posted on Thu Jan 8 2009

Campbell Soup Co. hates everyone.
  Already engaged in a soup battle with General Mills' Progresso, Campbell is moving on to pasta sauces—and wants to rough up Heinz's Classico first. The TV spot shown here for Campbell's Prego, from Young & Rubicam, New York, depicts a glass jar of Classico cooking in a saucepan. The point being, premium brands like Classico are all about the looks, while Prego is all about the taste. ("Take away the bottle, and taste to taste, Prego wins," says Campbell rep John Faulkner.)
  Heinz no doubt has taken notice, and is running ads like this one in Good Housekeeping and Ladies' Home Journal, touting the freshness of Classico. "We make it like you'd make it," reads the copy, via Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago. The effort, which includes banner ads, celebrates the "all-natural quality ingredients we use in Classico pasta sauce," Heinz rep Tracey Parsons tells us.
  Prego's chief rival, Unilever's Ragu, meanwhile is keeping its cool for now—extending a value-themed campaign launched last year from Ogilvy & Mather, New York, that highlights Ragu's ability to "feed a family of four for less than four dollars."
  Who will take the initiative and be the next to splatter his rival with thick red sauce?

—Posted by Elaine Wong


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