Pepsi-Cola North America is introducing an animated character named Dog for its Mug Rootbeer brand. The canine will serve as the focus of ads and promotions in stores and on the Internet, as well as appear on cans, bottles and cartons. The bulldog was developed in collaboration with Character, a consulting company in Portland, Ore., that specializes in creating and reviving brand characters. The story of Dog is being told on a website developed by the Dallas office of Tribal DDB, the interactive division of the DDB Worldwide division of the Omnicom Group. Visitors to the site are greeted by a bold headline, "The Adventures of Dog," and are invited to "Team up with Dog as he travels across America." In the initial episode, Dog is introduced as the companion of Tex, a "cowboy truck driver for Mug root beer." Dog and Tex are on a trip on the proverbial "dark and stormy night" when Tex swerves to avoid a deer and veers off the road. After the accident, Tex is taken away by ambulance. The next morning, Dog wakes up alone and heads off in search of his lost master. "What will happen to Dog next?" the final screen reads, in classic Hollywood serial-film fashion. "Check back soon to find out!"
Three new spots created by Euro RSCG Tatham Partners for Walgreens broke nationally on November 25th. The three holiday spots in the “Perfect” campaign play off the tagline “That's life. This is Walgreens.” Four general “Perfect” spots will also begin airing after the first of the year. The three :30 spots, “Holiday Driveways,”“Holiday Breakfast,” and “Holiday Thank You Notes,” target the ‘time-pressed’ consumer, particularly women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. The spots, currently running on all the major national cable networks, portray Walgreens as the one-stop convenience shop that helps consumers save precious time.
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi recently launched an effort to promote its wines on a handful of targeted websites with the help of Dallas-based Click Here. The campaign broke recently and will run through December 23, 2002. The creative is an extension of the recently developed “one wine always connects” theme developed for the offline TV, print and radio campaign by The Richards Group. When the online ads are clicked, a “daughter window” microsite appears with elements designed to reflect Woodbridge’s humorous, sophisticated personality: a wine personality quiz, a tongue-in-cheek guide to wine etiquette and a party problem solver—complete with a wine calculator that figures how much wine to purchase for events as well as other helpful tips. The ads will appear on Evite, iVillage, Match, and FoodTV.
Bauer Nike Hockey, the world’s leading manufacturer of hockey equipment, has teamed up with Labatt Blue, the #1 selling Canadian brand in the U.S., to promote the launch of the Bauer Supreme Classic ice hockey skate line. The integrated campaign, per Jager Di Paola Kemp, includes print, trade and point-of-sale materials such as case cards, table tents, pennants and banners. Each print ad features a bottle of Labatt Blue in Bauer’s Classic Supreme skate. The program will also feature apparel premiums, point-of-purchase and a website consumer contest on both labattblue.com and bauer.com.
Speaking of Nike, commercial music and sound design company Endless Noise announced details of their music composition, arranging and production work for the new Nike Golf "Ball Go Far Super Soft TV" series of television spots by Wieden + Kennedy Portland. The first of the spots debuted on The Golf Channel and ESPN on Nov. 20, with the others scheduled to air during sports programming in the months ahead. For this third extension of the "Ball Go Far" idea, Endless Noise composed original music for duets that creatively treat the phrase "Super soft ball go super far." For the campaign's three spots, the talents of former Monkey Davy Jones were aligned with British Rock icon Marianne Faithfull for "Post Modern," legendary Blues/Rock guitarist Dave Edmunds was reunited with frequent collaborator and deep-rooted C&W star Carlene Carter for "Rockabilly," and Michael Jackson collaborators Siedah Garrett and Dorian Holley teamed for "Afro-Vegas."
GOODSPOT DESIGN recently announced the delivery of a new :30 commercial that uses movie highlights plus original design and animation work to promote DIRECTV holiday Pay-Per-View movie offerings. The :30 second spots were created to promote the availability of six different feature films: Spiderman, Mr. Deeds, Scooby Doo, The Sum Of All Fears, Ice Age and the re-release of E.T. The commercials are also accompanied by a new version of “Jingle Bells” in which the movie titles are mentioned.
The Guinness Book of World Records is set to launch its first advertising campaign to promote the latest annual book which hit stores in September. Targeting 10 local radio markets and a total of 50 stations, the 60-second spots hit airways last Friday. Surprisingly, this campaign will not highlight the book’s most bizarre and grotesque record-setters. Instead, it focuses on the personal achievements of such notables as JFK, Neil Armstrong and local legends like the "fastest backward walker." Guinness is a division of Hit Entertainment, London, whose properties also include Barney, The Wiggles, Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder.
Youth mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has also introduced its first national ad campaign intended to quadruple its volunteer base by 2010. The organization teamed with the Advertising Council, which produces public service advertising, the New York office of Lowe & Partners Worldwide, a subsidiary of the Interpublic Group of Companies, and MG&G Advertising to create the campaign. Judy Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said the goal of the campaign is to attract possible volunteers who are under the false impression that they have to be a model citizen or surrogate parent to be a volunteer. One TV ad depicts a Big Brother trying to impress his Little Brother with his business office. The adult soon discovers that the best way to communicate with the boy is to show him how to throw pencils up into the ceiling tiles. Another ad shows a Big Sister and Little Sister in a bubble-gum-blowing contest; the volunteer blows a huge bubble, which is delightedly popped by her Little Sister. Television, radio and Web ads began last month, while print ads will be released shortly.
Another non-profit organization benefiting kids, Save the Children, has launched a new microsite designed by Organic, to improve the efficiency of its online promotion of child sponsorship. The microsite offers Save the Children the opportunity to communicate the benefits that sponsorship brings to a sponsored child's community and symbolizes the sponsor's ability to reach out to a child in need. Information about the sponsored child and the country in which the child lives, as well as information on how Save the Children uses its funds, is available on the microsite. Users can also click to Save the Children's main website, where they can learn about all of the work that Save the Children does as well as the organization itself. Based on the profile of past sponsors, Save the Children will increase awareness of the microsite by advertising on web properties that reach audiences that are likely to acquire sponsors.
Bleu22 Studios in Los Angeles has designed a new website for Outdoor Outreach, another non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children. Outdoor Outreach aims to boost children's self esteem through participation in outdoor activities. The site features information on the various Outdoor Outreach programs, including rock climbing, hiking, surfing, skiing and snowboarding. Visitors can also view photos and video clips in the media gallery. According to Bleu22 president and creative director Shawn Johnson, the goal is to raise awareness and educate people about the organization.
Modem Media in San Francisco has redesigned the website for BFGoodrich Tires. The site recommends the most appropriate tires based on the year, make and model of a consumer's vehicle. A "style dial" on the homepage lets users personalize their experience according to the vehicle they drive, and therefore allows the marketer to speak to multiple consumer audiences. Other features on the new site include a dealer locator, expert advice, user discussion forums and a list of racing events. BFGoodrich plans to feature the site URL in future print advertising.
-- This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Lindsey Fadner. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.