Jimmy Kimmel Helps Old Navy Sell Flip-Flops

Old Navy has Jimmy Kimmel selling a new collection of summer flip-flops. He’s getting help from 36 vending machines and a hashtag.

The late-night host and his team of writers created a skit during “Jimmy Kimmel Live” scored big time during the airing and on YouTube for Old Navy’s “Tweet For Your Feet” campaign.

Basically Old Navy was giving away super cheap flip flops to the first 9,000 tweeters to participate in their en masse Twitter firestorm. For all those in the lucky 9,000, one dollar flip flops could be retrieved from a glorified vending machine by using the hashtag #flipflophooray. And if one thing has always screamed quality, it’s vending machines. Jimmy Kimmel and Amy Poehler have also been flashing their mugs all over Old Navy lately, with Kimmel’s sidekick Guillermo partaking in some admittedly funny beach hijinks while wearing a stack of sandals.

With this two pronged strategy, I can only assume Old Navy is looking to appeal to the cheap hipsters while simultaneously pushing its more, uh, mature customers into the digital age. And believe it or not, but the strategy has payed off in huge dividends. Ivan Wicksteed from Old Navy is claiming that the sales figures brought in by the Twitter sale are rivaled only by black Friday numbers. This style of sale may be the big new promotional strategy, so look out for more players to try and get in on Old Navy’s action. For all you consumers though, if you can pry your eyes away from the beautiful and not so beautiful beach bodies this summer, Old Navy may have some flimsy sandals coming your way…

Standard

Molson Beer Fridge Returns to Canada

Molson Canadian Beer Company’s custom fridge filled with the Canadian beer has returned to Canada.

The swanky fThe Molson beer fridge spent years traveling the globe. It went from downtown London to the depths of the jungle. ridge only opens for people with Canadian passports. On Canada Day – July 1 – Molson put a fresh twist on the successful marketing campaign, bringing it home to Canada and giving it a new unlocking gimmick.

Seeing as the vast majority of people in Canada logically possess Canadian passports, Molson has now decided to test Canadians’ level of patriotism. The fridge requires the thirsty individuals looking to unlock “the magic inside” to sing an accurate – or at least semi-accurate – rendition of “O Canada.” The Rethink agency says we’ll see more of the red refrigerators in the months to come. The Molson campaign, which has the tagline “I am Canadian,” will continue its tour, quenching the thirst of the parched throngs of Europe, and perhaps beyond.

Molson continues to show that there’s still mileage in the fridge campaign. With the nationalistic pride of the ads, it’s no surprise that Molson Canadian continues to be one of the top-selling beers in Canada.

Despite the company’s merger with Coors, the Molson brand continues to resonate with Canadian consumers. Fun, patriotic marketing campaigns like the Molson fridge deserve much of the credit.

I’ll be curious to see what Molson does with the fridge next. Perhaps it could travel America, requiring customers to name five active hockey players to open. Maybe the fridge will lead them through some sort of quiz regarding the basic rules of curling.

One thing that is clear – the Molson fridge campaign still has plenty of gas in the tank.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Nestea Takes a ‘Plunge’ Reviving TV Ad

Nestea returns to American televisions after being gone for two decades with their revived “Take the Nestea Plunge” campaign.

Originally run from the Seventies through the Nineties, Publicis Hawkeye is bringing back to life Nestea’s original campaign, which is tied to a new reformulation that has reduced the beverage’s calories and improved its taste.

The main objective of the revived campaign is to regain shares lost by Nestea in recent years and the “Nestea Plunge into Summer” sweepstakes will surely help with that. Other companies such as Arizona have been seeing growth as consumers switch from soda to iced tea, which is perceived to be healthier.

The Nestea brand suffered because Nestlé and Coca-Cola disbanded their joint venture, Beverage Partners Worldwide, within the U.S. as of 2012. The Nestea brand was “marginalized” because it “hadn’t been actively communicated in a decade,” but now under the Nestlé Waters North America brand and leadership, there is renewed focus on rebuilding its sales and share. I guess

Rick Tanner, VP of marketing for Nestlé Waters, said that research shows that the “Take the Nestea Plunge” resonates with younger consumers and that many older customers still remember the campaign. The Nestea brand still has a 95 percent awareness among American consumers as well.

The “new” campaign includes a new TV ad and social media campaign with the hashtag ‘#NesteaPlunge’ for users to post their own pictures and videos.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Kashi Has Crumbled in Court

Kashi, the all natural food company known for dreaming of a world where everyone embraces natural health, has crumbled in court.

The semantic battle of the century over the words ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ is raging on like never before. Kellogg, who owns Kashi, took a pretty big hit by trying to pass off some synthetic compounds that do actually appear in nature as ‘natural’ on some food labels. Is something still ‘natural’ if it’s made in a factory? Apparently not, because Kellogg now has to pay five million dollars and take ‘all natural’ and ‘nothing artificial’ off of said labels. Just like Coca-Cola is being sued for having an infinitesimal amount of actual pomegranate juice in their Minute Made bottles, big food companies are constantly getting caught with their pants down whilst attempting to ride the wave of cash driven by a ravenous health food craze.

Of course the fact that Kellogg agreed to this settlement in no way means that they think they were in the wrong: “We will comply with the terms of the settlement agreement by the end of the year and will continue to ensure our foods meet our high quality…” You get the idea. I mean, just because you agree to change your company’s labels and pay millions of dollars in no way implies guilt, right? Kellogg is just another helpless corporation being slashed at by the nosey health foods crowd. It’s like I’ve always said, what’s so great about really being all natural anyway? I want to wear my green halo and unwittingly consume things like synthetic pyridoxine hydrochloride without a bunch of court cases bringing me down.

Either way, I suppose I’ll live to snack another day.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Fiat’s ‘Endless Fun’ Series Defies Description

Fiat’s new series of spots titled “Endless Fun” defy description. I swear.

Descending into the fiery depths of laziness, ridiculousness and internet trend exploitation, the new ads for Fiat are just GIFs of stupid things happening in and around the new 500s. One such sequence involves a Marilyn Monroe-esque encounter with wind and a cat chasing a car on a TV screen. Not to disparage the 500, but I’m sure Fiat’s founders might have had a different vision for the future marketing of their autos. The ads, in addition to making no real sense, seem to be rubbing that fact in our faces with a guy in a horse mask looking at the camera and the words “deal with it” flashing across the screen in reference to an online meme whose popularity has long since peaked.

Chrysler’s CMO Oliver Francois is at the helm of this push to make the pint sized Fiats more palatable to the supersize me, SUV laden U.S. Public. And Mr Francois has zeroed in on some pretty nifty buzzwords to justify their new strategy, calling it: “Crazy weird. Crazy fun.” Well, maybe just that first word. Did I mention these spots are dirt cheap to produce?

The real driving force behind the GIF commercials soon becomes clear as soon as cost is brought up.

After all, GIFs are just a fast sequence of photos. Bottom line is that these is a trendy, eye catching and cheap line of commercials, but my real question is: Are the people who are going to be in on the internet references really old enough to buy a Fiat? Or even a pack of cigarettes?

And don’t even get me started on the twerking.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

UPS Is Changing Its Course

Spurred by the various wunderkinds of digital entrepreneurship, UPS is now changing its course.

Once known for their signature brown truck, the company’s new coat of brand paint looks more sleek and tries to be hip. And from what I can tell, the new marketing strategy isn’t even about shipping; it’s about being cool. Take the slogan: it went from “What can brown do for you?” to “We [heart] logistics”. Hotshot millenials don’t want to think about a clunky old truck slogging through the mud delivering their products at any speed. It’s all about a beautiful, seamless masterpiece of international commercial movement, or as Ad director Betsy Wilson described: “a ballet of infinite complexity played across skies, oceans and borders”. Yeah, ok.

Technology rules us all in some way, and what some are calling the “post adolescent CEOs” want to hear about how cutting edge their technology is, not just its quality.

The ‘selfie’ ridden millennial generation has even seeped its way into the visual of UPS’ ads. Check out and compare the 1992 images to today’s. The older one shows a decked out UPS truck, while the other shows YOU, a customer. This pretty radical rebranding also falls in line with a recently planned reach into Asia for UPS, which would make their ballet even more expansive and intricate.

A lot of companies look like they’re getting off their ‘you kids get off my lawn’ syndrome and starting to listen to the preferences of millennials. I guess the more money these whippersnappers get, the more brands will be made in their likeness.

You win, hipsters.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Bud Light’s Beer for Whatever Happens

Bud Light has a beer for whatever happens.

Probably fulfilling a lot of grown men’s wildest fantasies, Budweiser is going to be taking over an entire main street as an extension of their “Up for whatever” campaign. If your memory doesn’t date back to February, the centerpiece of Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad last year saw a ‘non actor’ get swept away for a night of fun and adventure that featured celebrities, llamas, and beating Arnold Schwarzenegger at table tennis. The Chicago Sun Times interviewed the actor, and he claimed that he was oblivious to the whole setup: “I didn’t know what was going on. Not the slightest clue. But I knew I just had to go with it.” Personally, this video looked like it had just about as much reality to it as Kim Kardashian’s first wedding but hey, it was entertaining nonetheless.

Getting back to Bud Light’s latest move, the entire operation sounds like it will basically turn part of a U.S. city into a kind of adult Disneyland. And part of the story is that there are very few details actually available about how the final project is gonna look in order to maintain the surprise. Ad Age is predicting that the city of choice is going to be in Colorado but don’t dismay, because there is a sliver of hope that your town will be the site of this indistinct Bud Light orgy.

For a beer that tastes like watered down bathwater, I shudder to think what an entire town’s reaction would be to their intrusion but maybe we’ll find out in a totally real commercial during the next Super Bowl. They just have to be up for whatever!

Standard

Alcohoot App Helps You Be A Smarter Drinker

Alcohoot is a new app that can test your BAC. Allegedly, the app tracks your body’s reaction to alcohol and helps you become a umm, smarter drinker.

The smart app is a smartphone-powered breathalyzer, that’s supposed to help you gauge your BAC and put a stop to further consumption before things get out of control. The $119 device, which boasts “police-grade accuracy” and plugs into your handset’s headphone jack, is available for party animals.

Drunken people don’t typically make the most responsible decisions. So that’s where Alcohoot comes to the table. You gotta see how a woman in the app’s commercial first encounters Alcohoot. If you ask me, the ad has about as much reality to it as a good old WWE match; users just can’t believe how much they’ve had to drink!

To all those with a DUI adorning their record, using the device might trigger some troubling flashbacks. A bulky mouthpiece is attached to the top of an iPhone while the tester blows into it and hopes for the best. There is something to be said for knowing when you’re over the edge but do you really want to fork over a hundred bucks to be labeled the buzz kill of the group? Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion that if Alcohoot got into the wrong hands, it could be used as a kind of competition to see which frat brother could get the most dangerous.

But according to the big wigs at Alcohoot, the gears are already in motion to distribute this breathalyzer nationwide. And if this thing is able to net the younger demo with its technology and novelty, more power to them, because that age is where the risks are.

I just have one quick question. Could there be a way for the app to prevent a user from engaging in other embarrassing things while intoxicated? Like if I blow a .10 could it block all outgoing texts? Or can this app double as a CPAP machine for sleep apnea?

But in the meantime, let’s all be irresponsible responsibly.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Texas Students Support Public Breastfeeding

A duo of Texas college students have created an ad that supports public breastfeeding.

Many consider breastfeeding in public pretty taboo. Well, not the boys at the University of Texas. They’ve launched a controversial ad campaign supporting the right to breastfeed in public.

When thinking of potential places to eat, a public restroom isn’t as appealing a location as some may think. Unfortunately many nursing mothers are exiled here because their public breastfeeding is ‘uncomfortable’ for others around.

Johnathan Wenske and Kris Haro, juniors at UNT, created this campaign called “when nurture calls” as a class assignment, receiving a lot of attention. They created three posters depicting women in a bathroom stall as they breastfeed with taglines like “Table for 2” and “Bon Appetit.” These ads ask the question “would you eat here?” to support bill HB1706 in Texas, which protects mothers from harassment and discrimination when they breastfeed their children in public.

Inspired by a 2011 story of a woman who was harassed in a department store for breastfeeding, the creatives decided to shoot young mothers but not as a means to shock viewers. By seeing breastfeeding from the perspective of moms forced to nurture an infant in a toilet stall, people might see that their comfort is costing another’s discomfort.

Support and criticism about these posters have been widespread with more than 2,200 Facebook comments on the campaign. While critics argue that breastfeeding in public is seen as trashy and exposes too much, supporters retort that it is a natural process and “if you have a problem with it, the problem is you’re staring.”

The Texas bill introduced by state Rep. Jessica Farrar died in last year’s legislative session but Farrar intends to reintroduce the idea in January 2015 with the help of this campaign reigniting the discussion.

Laws in 45 states and the District of Columbia give women the right to nurse in public. However, in many cases, the legislation does not include an enforcement provision that would allow the mom to take legal action against a person who harasses or discriminates against her. Go figure.

Howard Davidson, Arlington, MA

Standard

McDonald’s Happy Meal Ambassador Is Frightening

It’s been over a month since McDonald’s unveiled a new mascot named “Happy”. Well, the McDonald’s Happy Meal ambassador is still frightening.

Happy is an animated Happy Meal Box; complete with black hole eyes, a ridiculous mouth, and lanky arms, Happy is the ambassador (or shall we say most maligned mascot of the restaurant’s new healthy Happy Meals. Maybe McDonald’s is trying to scare children into eating their vegetables. I think not.

Happy’s job, according to a press release, is to “encourage kids to enjoy fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and wholesome beverages such as water or juice.” While he appears fairly alienating, Happy has actually done well as an animated mascot in other countries. He was first introduced in 2009 to France and has since made his way through Latin America and other countries in Europe. But Happy is scaring the French fries outta kids in the USA.

Happy is the “ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating.” He is especially welcoming of the new Low Fat Strawberry Go-Gurt. Because nothing says “finish your carrot sticks” like a psychotic stare from the side of a box.

When McDonald’s introduced Happy to the USA, the internet exploded with memes and photo-shopped renditions of the new character bringing to question whether this was McDonald’s strategy all along. The mascot appears to have been built to take over the web as it continues to scare social media users. When the company introduced Ronald McDonald in 1989, he was seen as nightmare inducing as well at the time. Maybe with time, Happy will grow to steal our hearts.

I’m not lovin it.

Howard Davidson, Arlington, MA

Standard