• Disney Mobile Turns To Long-Form Advertising
    Walt Disney Co. is entering into long-form advertising when marketing its cell phone, Disney Mobile. The effort incorporates traditional infomercial elements, while leveraging parts of other media at the same time. The initiative, still in development, consists of a half-hour TV series about the branded mobile service and gadget expected to debut on ABC Family by November. The show will incorporate viewer-suggested story lines and "mix the rational and the entertainment to explain features that could make a difference in families keeping track of each other and of minutes," says Vince Engel, the show's co-producer and executive creative director. In ...
  • Play-Doh Joins Hair Salons In Kids Promotion
    Kids love to shape, mold and cut Play-Doh with plastic scissors. That message is not lost on the toy's marketer, and that's why the company is mixing kids' haircuts with Play-Doh-themed activities in a new promotion. The plan calls for youngsters to sample the company's products--including the Fuzzy Pumper Crazy Cuts playset--when they visit selected Snip-it hair salons, a chain that caters to children. The promotion builds off Play-Doh's 50th birthday and creates an experience for kids that allows them to role play with key Play-Doh products such as the Play-Doh Fuzzy Pumper Crazy Cuts, says Angie Salem, director of ...
  • Tennis Ace Signs 'Lifetime' Deal With Prince
    Most marketers who hire celebrity endorsers do so with some trepidation. They know the glare of celebrity can sometimes haunt them. After all, the marketing world is rife with stories of movie stars and super athletes who sign multimillion-dollar endorsement deals and end up in some sordid tabloid tale sprung from the police blotter. That's one reason that such deals usually terminate after a set period of time. But sports-equipment marketer Prince Sports feels more confident about their superstar. The company announced this week it has signed a "lifetime endorsement" deal with tennis ace Maria Sharapova. The contract follows a ...
  • Best Buy CMO Quits Post
    The chief marketing officer of Best Buy resigned his post this week for undisclosed "personal reasons," the giant electronics retailer announced. The company, with $30.8 billion in sales and an advertising budget of nearly $1 billion, said 49-year-old vp-CMO Michael Linton left his job August 17. He joined the company in January 1999 as svp-consumer brand marketing and was promoted to evp-chief marketing officer in March 2002. During his tenure, Best Buy nearly doubled its store base, and today operates nearly 960 stores. Best Buy said company veteran Barry Judge, svp-consumer brand marketing, was named interim head of marketing. Linton's ...
  • Florida Towns Employ Marketing Mix
    It's not just consumer product and service companies that employ the tricks of the marketing trade. In Broward County, Florida, a group of towns and villages are using the same techniques to establish identities and build an image for their localities. For example, the town of Davie redesigned its logo and started selling town-themed belt buckles for $25 at Town Hall, while nearby Southwest Ranches leaders trumpet the town's motto: "Preserving Our Rural Lifestyle." Meanwhile, Dania Beach has gone the traditional route--with a media campaign that touts the city as "historic yet undiscovered." With a marketing budget of about $25,000, ...
  • Nike Cuts Ties With Star Runner After Doping Scandal
    Athletic shoe marketer Nike is running, not walking away from endorsement deals with two controversial sports figures involved in alleged doping scandals. Late last week, the company announced it was suspending its agreement with Olympic sprint champion Justin Gatlin until further notice and also terminating its relationship with Gatlin's controversial coach, Trevor Graham. The move was unusual for the Oregon-based marketer, which traditionally maintains its relationships with sponsored athletes or coaches even when they have been implicated in controversial activities. However, a Nike spokesman acknowledged that Gatlin won't, for now, receive further payments from Nike. No comment on whether the ...
  • Corona Shortage Keeps Retailers Dry, Sales Down
    Beer drinkers trying to order a Corona at their local pub have been coming up dry recently due to a shortage of the Mexican import. The reason for the shortage remains murky and confused--but it's causing Corona, the No. 1 imported beer in the U.S., to lose tens of thousands of case sales each week, says Don Mann, a spokesman for the Gambrinus Company, which imports and markets the Grupo Modelo brands in Eastern markets. Modelo has told importers that a problem with the production of long-neck bottles is to blame, along with a possible glass shortage or difficulties with ...
  • Blizzard Ads Score Big Returns For Dairy Queen
    Don't tell fast-food marketer Dairy Queen that advertising doesn't work. A recent spot for the chain's Caramel Chip CheeseQuake Blizzard helped boost sales at stores open at least a year--a measure of retail success known as same-store sales--by 4% year-to-date, the company says. The ad has been discontinued, partly because of the creative, which showed a passenger entering an airline cabin with a beverage and carry-on luggage in hand. Due to the latest round of air travel security restrictions, such a move would not be permitted. But DQ says the spot helped boost Blizzard sales this summer, which is the ...
  • Pontiac to Advertise New Model Exclusively Online
    In a move being labeled a "radical experiment" by Pontiac, the automaker will spend its entire ad budget for the introduction of its new sporty G5 coupe on the Internet. The brand's marketing director, Mark-Hans Richer, acknowledges that the move is a calculated risk, but says it's worth taking because the target group for the niche model is young men. Richer said the G5's digital debut will cost 60 percent to 70 percent less than a traditional car launch. He declined to reveal specific spending--but a launch for a new model, such as the G5, typically runs $25 million to ...
  • More Marketers Embrace Gay Themes In Ads
    Major marketers are coming out of the closet in droves as part of a cultural shift that reveals the acceptance of gay themes in society and the spending power of the gay market. Statistics show that in 1994, only 19 of the Fortune 500 companies advertised their brands in gay media in the U.S. Last year, that number increased to 175, according to Todd Evans of Rivendell Media, which places ads in gay U.S. newspapers and magazines. Advertisers participating in the trend include John Hancock, which ran an ad for insurance featuring a lesbian couple, and mint marketer Altoids, which ...
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