Clean sheets prompt spasms of joy in new ads for Downy

By Elaine Wong on Tue Aug 3 2010
BrandFreak loves it when her sheets are smelling fresh. (We just cleaned ours this past weekend.) Turns out, though, we’re not the only ones. Sixty-four percent of Americans wash their sheets at least once per week and they usually celebrate with some small (and quirky) act of happiness. As some new TV spots from Grey and this longer Web video, via Digitas, show, that can range anywhere from making a “snow angel” on the bed to parachuting with the (freshly cleaned) sheets. The ads promote a new formula upgrade available on Ultra Downy April Fresh and Sun Blossom, which purport to deliver a week’s worth of clean sheet freshness, all in one wash. (The technology lies in new scent pearls, per P&G.) Yippee! That equates to one week of cart wheeling and back flips, which is usually how BrandFreak rejoices on “clean sheet day.”

Stride gum rams its message down Twitter users' throats

By Elaine Wong on Tue Aug 3 2010

Ram_avatar3Stride, the gum that lasts so "ridiculously long" you literally gotta be forced to spit it out, has sent its ram tweeting. The character (which appears in Stride ads) yesterday began responding to and looking for new followers via its Twitter handle: @stridegum. It¹s not merely tweeting out news about new campaigns or gum promotions, however. Most of the comments are in "Ramglish." As in: "Ram had a meeting with the Stride CEO today. Ram hates wearing neckties, so Ram shaved one into Ram¹s wool. Ram so hot." Or: "Ram likes to refer to Ram¹s-self in third person." (So does Sesame Street's Elmo, by the way.) Most of the tweets, of course, center on getting consumers to spit out their gums. (Or else the ram will ram into you. Get it? Okay, we tried.) As of er, blog time, the former Cadbury brand (now owned by Kraft Foods) had 80 followers. We're keeping a close eye on his/her tweets. Who knows what the ram will say to us when we follow it?

Lay's mobile tour explains agriculture to clueless urbanites

By Elaine Wong on Mon Aug 2 2010
DSC06051 Those of you who live and work in big, bustling cities may have never stepped foot on a farm, but now Lay’s is offering a taste with its mobile greenhouse tour, which aims to offer a peek at the “rural farm experience.” The effort, part of the Frito-Lay-owned snack brand’s campaign to spotlight real, local farmers, includes a stop at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium this Thursday. Inside the “mobile farm,” consumers can meet Lay’s potato farmers, learn first-hand about vegetables and plants used in the potato chip-making process (such as potato, tomato, onion, pepper and basil), which of course are fairly unrecognizable in chip form.. At the end of each visit (the tour includes six cities altogether), Lay’s will donate the mobile farm’s contents to nearby community gardens, to encourage the planting of fruits and vegetables in metropolitan areas. The initiative taps into the localvore craze and offers a less taxing way to get in touch with your food sources than actually visiting a farm.

Procter & Gamble's Gain wants your two cents about scents

By Elaine Wong on Mon Aug 2 2010
Sabrina-Soto Scent is very, very important to some consumers. So much so that Procter & Gamble's Gain has kicked off a "Home Scent-ervention Contest." The fabric care brand has tapped Sabrina Soto—a staging expert on HGTV's Real Estate Intervention —to make consumers homes "smell heavenly," and, of course, she'll "sprinkle in her style, too," as the company's Web site pitches it. To enter, participants must submit a three-minute (max) video explaining why scent is important to them and why they deserve a scent makeover.  For those who think scent isn't all that critical, Soto (pictured), who also hosts the network's Get It Sold show, can probably tell you otherwise. The real estate market might be bad, but who wants to buy a stinky house?

Don't call it a comeback: Bounty's rapping scientists return

By Elaine Wong on Fri Jul 30 2010
Procter & Gamble's rapping mad scientists are back! In this new spot for Bounty, Mr. Absorbent and Dr. Spotless, as they call themselves, reprise their roles as the music-bopping, dare-loving laboratory brainiacs from the brand¹s first "Bring It!" music video. This time around, the focus isn't on absorbency (i.e. pouring a huge bucket of water over 11 pool balls suspended by a single sheet of Bounty), but the paper towel's ability to immaculately clean up spills. In the video Principal Simmons (hip-hop legend Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons) tells the class two substitute teachers will show up. The duo drives up in a sleek convertible and transform Mr. Lee¹s "Chemistry 101" class into a live science (and music) demonstration. As the two start groovin' and touting Bounty's benefits, the kids all join in (to the point where everyone's dancing in a neon-black background.) Then, of course, ta-da, the demonstration: Bounty paper towels clean up spills better than the "bargain brand," as indicated by an impeccably white hand glove, which goes over the surface. The idea's been done before, but it's got a good beat and you can dance to it, so I'll give it a thumbs up.

McDonald's whips up Spin Art game to promote new smoothies

By Elaine Wong on Thu Jul 22 2010

Spin-art

Remember Spin Art, that childhood game that let you create fantastic, colorful works of art over a spinning piece of paper? Well, McDonald's has brought back those nostalgic memories via a new application that celebrates its new Real Fruit Smoothies. The app allows users to "spin something cool" by selecting a color (or colors), choosing a brush speed and letting it loose. (All colors are inspired by the new smoothies themselves.) We spun a kaleidoscope of happy blends on ours. Tribal DDB created the app, and users can also post and share their latest streaks of creativity—and "spread the real fruit smoothie word"—on social networking sites like Facebook.

Can you do better than the Quiznos singing-kittens commercial?

By Elaine Wong on Mon Jul 19 2010

We've seen it all. Singing dogs, a chocolate-chip-cookie choir and now … vocally inclined cats. Yes, felines are the singing sensation in this new spot from Quiznos. The ad, via WongDoody, shows three cats, dubbed "Singimals," who tout the restaurant chain's new $3, $4 and $5 menu offerings. (Yes, it's still a downturn, and people are looking for cheap meal deals.) This spot began running on national and local TV today. But wait. There's also a social-media component, in which consumers can create their own music video—using the song—for a chance to win $3,000, $4,000 or $5,000. For those of you who wonder how you can top the Quiznos spot, don't worry. Animal cruelty need not be involved. "Each of the cats was filmed individually, receiving treats throughout the day as an incentive to play and have fun with their instruments. No animals were hurt during filming of the commercial," the restaurant chain writes. We sure hope so.

Two guys taking the ultimate summer road trip thanks to Gillette

By Elaine Wong on Thu Jul 15 2010

Gillette

For those of you who dream of landing a snazzy summer job, two regular guys—Adam Ward and Jason Zone Fisher—suddenly have it made. Procter & Gamble is putting them to work as part of the consumer products giant's Ultimate Summer Job Contest. The effort, which supports P&G's recent Gillette Fusion ProGlide launch, will send the guys on a summer road trip and have them document their experiences on a blog: proglidesummerjob.com. (Ward and Fisher were selected from many contestants following a Gillette rap performance on stage in New York's Hudson Hotel.) The summer trip includes stops at the ESPY Awards, Lollapalooza, the Vegas Strip and—get this—"a private tour of the FBI headquarters," a PR rep writes. Hmph. We are jealous, but will be keeping up with them on Twitter at @ProGlideUSJ.

Lady Gaga gets all dolled up for the Hello Kitty 35th anniversary

By Elaine Wong on Thu Jul 15 2010

Gaga

Lady Gaga continues to impress us with her costume changes. In this new photo, posted on her Web site, the pop star is clad only in (ta-da!) Hello Kitties—for a shoot celebrating the 35th anniversary campaign of the character. Leave it up to Gaga and her costume crew to think of something like this. My sister, for one, is a big Hello Kitty/Sanrio fan, and it was via her Facebook feed that we first came across this. What next for Lady Gaga and her mind-boggling wardrobe changes? (Hey, as long as they don't "malfunction," we're fine.) This one's simply Gagalicious, to quote a term in the latest Cramer-Krasselt Cultural Dictionary.

JCPenney helps teens put together post-shopping 'haul' videos

By Elaine Wong on Wed Jul 14 2010

The latest concept to hit back-to-school retail marketing involves "hauls," which are homemade videos created by teens showing off the results of a shopping spree. As USA Today reports, some of the retailers jumping onto the action include stores like Forever 21, American Eagle and department store JCPenney. Penney, which today also announced an augmented reality back-to-school tie-in with teen magazine Seventeen, recruited six social-media-savvy teens to show off their fabulous fashion finds. In this video, teenage hauler Annie St. John dishes on her "clearance section finds." A "super, super comfy" Arizona baseball T-shirt is $3.57, while a Decree vintage high-waist skirt is just $10.20. (Annie also serves up some tips for layering and piecing together the latter.) To avoid the FTC's ire, haulers like Annie also disclose any monetary or gift compensations they received from advertisers. (Penney's haulers, in this case, get free gift cards and housing near a JCPenney store.) Hey, better to be safe than to be sorry! Now we're off to videotape our own haul find.


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