Stride gum aims for a Shift-storm of social media attention

By Elaine Wong on Tue Oct 26 2010

Stride-gum-300x252 This new promotion from Stride Gum is the shit. The Kraft-owned brand today kicks off a sweepstakes awarding those who find the phrase "Holy Shift! You're a winner!" inside specially marked packages of its Shift gum. Prizes include tickets to concerts by Cobra Starship and Panic! At the Disco. The latter will be responding to fans' questions—a la Isaac Mustafa—on Stride's Facebook page. Aside from that, there's nothing too remarkable about the promotion, except that it puts Nissan's long-running "Shift_" tagline in a new light.

ConAgra Banquet pies are mother's little helper in new campaign

By Elaine Wong on Thu Oct 21 2010


Can a frozen pie really end sibling rivalry (if only for a few minutes)? Can it get a hungry child to do her homework? ConAgra claims so. The maker of Hunt's tomatoes and Reddi-wip has kicked off a new campaign for Banquet that touts the brand's ability to relate to moms' real-life dilemmas. (Talk about pulling one's hair out!) Ads show how Banquet makes life easier via its value proposition (under a buck for one pie) and convenience. Ads will run in publications like Family Circle, Woman's Day and People. And while we're not entirely convinced this is the modern-day miracle meal, anything that makes a mom's day go by easier is surely worth a shot. Second ad after the jump.

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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.

Qdoba has cure for harrowing epidemic of burrito boredom blues

By Elaine Wong on Tue Aug 24 2010

In this recessionary economy, eating the same thing over and over every damn day (excuse our French) can be so, well, boring. Building on its "More to Explore" campaign, Qdoba has now launched, a site that aims to put the zest back into burrito eating. Those who suffer from burrito fatigue (diagnosed via a self-test) can find a cure for the burrito blues via the site's "flavor builder," which lets you discover the multitude of options available at the burrito chain (rival Chipotle has also touted a similar message) while redeeming coupons. Qdoba is also encouraging consumers to tell the world how they overcame their own bouts of boredom for a chance to win a year's worth of free burritos. And don't worry: Qdoba guarantees you won't be bored by that amount of food. As Doug Thielen, manager of non-traditional marketing at the company, puts it: "Qdoba is much bigger than most people [think]. … The idea is, there are people out there suffering from burrito boredom, and they're looking for a cure to get them out of that rut." Motive in Denver is Qdoba's agency.

McDonald's food now simply flying off the chain's delivery trucks

By Elaine Wong on Mon Aug 23 2010


Beware the giant McDonald's food flying off the restaurant chain's delivery trucks! That's right—french fries and Big Macs appear to be struggling against the wind in a new "moving billboard" campaign on delivery-truck sides. The backs of the trucks also have messages for drivers. "Whip through traffic," says one, showing McCafé shakes. Another (image after the jump) shows a container of fries and the message, "No passing." Honk! Honk! Oops, we're holding up traffic!


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Caribou wants your pithy words of wakefulness on a coffee cup

By Elaine Wong on Mon Aug 23 2010


For those of you who dread Mondays, read this: "Life is short. Stay awake for it." Yes, that's the slogan of Caribou Coffee's latest campaign. Now, the coffee company is asking you what you stay awake for. With help from ad agency Colle + McVoy, it's launched Make the Cup, a site where you can type in captions (and even upload photos and videos) explaining what kinds of inspirational things wake you up. The best caption submissions sent in by Sept. 13 will indeed make the cup—and be seen by thousands of Caribou Coffee drinkers nationwide. Hmmm, now this gets our groggy brain thinking early in the week!

Kimberly-Clark's Pull-Ups introduces potty-training iPhone app

By Elaine Wong on Thu Aug 19 2010


Just when you thought iPhone app developers had seized every thinkable opportunity out there, along comes this one: Now, you can potty-train your kid using a free mobile app from Kimberly-Clark. The maker of Huggies diapers and Pull-Ups training pants is introducing a new app, iGo Potty, this week that does just well, exactly that. It encourages both parents and kids alike to participate in the potty-training process (and hopefully make it fun along the way) with interactive features like customizable potty reminders, prizes and games and even special calls from "Patty the Potty." (Yes, the toilet is calling. Make sure you get your toddler to answer it.) What's more, upon successful completion of this important life stage, the app lets out a stream of graduation-themed music, as well as (virtual) balloons and streamers. There's even a diploma you can print out and hang on the fridge. Mobile marketing agency Joule created the app. We can't wait to try it ourselves. Does it work on a dog?

Kids love veggies, or at least don't loathe them, in Boyardee ads

By Elaine Wong on Tue Aug 17 2010


Since when do kids love vegetables this much? OK, they probably don't really hug giant stalks of wheat or big bunches of broccoli. But they don't have to hate vegetables when there's Chef Boyardee. As these new DDB ads for ConAgra Foods point out, Chef Boyardee products contain "a full serving of vegetables." Parents, funnily enough, generally know better than to walk around telling their kids that. Building on the brand's "Obviously delicious. Secretly nutritious" campaign from last year, new TV ads show parents going to extremes to hide the fact that the meals are veggie-packed. In the spot below, one mom is even given a timeout by other moms—for almost telling her son. Now that's what we call one serious offense.

Now, Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum will do your sweet talking for you

By Elaine Wong on Wed Aug 11 2010


Just when you need some sweetness in your day, Juicy Fruit, the (now Mars-owned) Wrigley gum brand, has launched a new mobile app that lets you do just that. The app, called "Sweet Talk," available in Apple's iTunes Store, lets you pick from one of "five mouthy characters." You then hold your phone over your mouth, and the characters blurt out sweet nothings to whoever's standing nearby. The gang comes armed with 25 sweet sayings. The characters include DJ Spraytan, "a fist-pumper from the Jersey Shore," who says things like, "You're so sweet, I wanna take you on the tilt-a-whirl. You gonna keep the cookies in the jar, or what?" For those of you who love your next-door neighbors, look no further than Mrs. Nextdoor. Her catchy phrases include: "You're so sweet, I'm gonna take you out for an ice-cream sundae. You da toppins!" (Yeah, man!) Ad agency Evolution Bureau create the app, which is free. No, didn't think you would actually pay for it.



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