Oh, the things you find in the Valentine’s Day section of the local Rite Aid while waiting for a prescription refill... Burning questions: * When did Rite-Aid break into the “naughty” novelties business?
* And when, exactly, did bondage become all the rage among the preschooler set?
Every once in a while we get a pitch that makes us go, “Wha??” Got one today from a company that markets to the Adult Baby and Diaper Lover communities, also known as ABDLs. Bambino Diapers.com is touting its new Bambino Diaper thusly: “Often misunderstood and stigmatized by people everywhere, the adult baby and diaper lover communities are comprised of adults who enjoy the comforting feel of wearing adult diapers and other incontinence care products during the course of their daily lives.” Hey, far be it from us to pass judgment on others (Yeah, right.), but now we’re afraid we’re going to be giving second looks to any passerby who seems to be wearing “puffy pants.” Like we’re not distracted enough…
Listen, people, it’s a new year. Let’s start spelling out the ground rules early. Exhibit “A” is a release we got today; being in a generous mood, we’ll leave the client’s name out. After several readings, we STILL don’t know who they serve. See if you can figure it out: “Company Name (CompanyWebsite) was launched today as a full-service marketing communications firm that will serve insurance program administrators in non-competing vertical industries, retail insurance agencies in non-competing geographic regions and companies in other selected industries, including technology, pharmaceuticals, golf and country clubs and financial services.” Oh yeah, we’ll get RIGHT back to ya.
Office supply retailer OfficeMax is set to enter the Guinness World Records Book next week when it unveils what it claims is the Largest Rubber Band Ball in the world (?), put together by one Steve Milton of Eugene, Ore. Milton says he started building the ball a year ago in his garage using OfficeMax rubber bands. The orb now stands 5 ½ feet high, is 19 feet around, weighs some 4,000 pounds and was built using more than 175,000 rubber bands obtained from the chain. "OfficeMax is honored to sponsor Steve Milton as he nears his date with fame, Nov. 21, when his rubber band ball is proclaimed by judges from the world-famous Guinness World Records as the Largest Rubber Band Ball," a company rep declared. Wait, it gets better: “After the Nov. 21 weighing, the newly crowned Largest Rubber Band Ball will celebrate its coronation by appearing in the Nov. 23 McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in its hometown of Chicago.” And it’ll probably be prominently featured on every local newscast that night. And Steve will go back to toiling in obscurity. It’s a cruel world.
Who knew that Elle Macpherson's idea of 'sexy' was a bunch of dirty dishes, leftovers rotting in a fridge and weird stuff sitting in a filthy pot on an old stove? This ad for Elle’s Intimates brand (Click on photo below for a larger image) seems to be making a point about roommates who won't wash a plate but will steal your food (hence the labels on the Tupperware). What is Elle trying to say here? If you have a witty caption that makes sense of this ad, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll run the best ones in a couple of weeks' time in the print issue.
With a topic like this one, the snarky lines practically write themselves, but we’ll resist. Major League Baseball has announced a deal with a company called Eternal Image to market a line of caskets and cremation urns carrying team logos. (Alright, just shush. Even all the way over here, we can you hear you screeching “WHAT?!”) Seems some lifelong fans have requested just such a designation on their final resting place, and Eternal Image, sensing a growing revenue stream, is happy to help. According to a release, “The effort begins next season with the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Cubs and Dodgers,” with other teams expected to follow. But a rep for the National Funeral Directors Association notes that such a product will have to be marketed very carefully. "They [potential customers] are a little bit hesitant because of what others might think," he said. To which we say. “Who cares what others think? You’ll be DEAD!” (So much for self-restraint.)
Everyone knows what a hassle e-mail has become: You have to CLICK it open, then read it, then CLICK again to file it, then do it with the next one. Man, what a bother! That seems to be the thinking behind a push by fine paper manufacturers Crane & Company, which is touting its line of “Correspondence Cards.” Making its case, the company states, “Measuring only 4 1/4 by 6 3/8 inches, it packs a punch far outweighing its size. A note of thanks, a note of congratulations or a note of a job done well is quick, easy, convenient and creates a lasting impression in an otherwise ephemeral world.” Eh, maybe. Last time we got a note like that, as impressed as we were, we thought, “Man, this guy’s got a lot of time on his hands.” But maybe that’s just us. Judge for yourself at Crane.com.
Remember when a rubber duckie was just that? A little duck, made of rubber, as a tub-toy? The folks at CelebriDucks have taken that notion to the extreme, cranking out just about any character or star you can imagine, as a reincarnated “rubber duck.” They want us to know they’ve just released a complete Wizard of Oz line of rubber ducks, and are also releasing “James Dean, The Pink Panther, their ‘Bath of the Penguins’ floating Emperor Penguin, and Elvis Presley in black leather.” We had no idea the business had gotten so huge. See it all for yourself at CelebriDucks.com. (Especially their NHL Ducks. Very odd.) And see if you can find just a plain rubber duckie. We couldn’t.
Yet another Dolce & Gabbana ad, yet another opportunity for consumers to ask, "What on earth were they thinking?" This one seems to show a group of leather-clad Nazi fashion models picking through the ruins of a French chateau (note Napoleon in the background). And, as always the case with D&G, they've stumbled across a naked model wearing a Versailles-era powdered wig. But the D&G Luftwaffe has taken casualties—the pouty boy in the foreground has a bullet hole in his head. (Click on the photo to see a larger version.) Surely Brandweek's readers can supply a witty caption that makes sense of all this? Send it to email@example.com and we'll print the best ones in a couple of weeks.
Tassimo, a division of Kraft, makes a hot beverage machine that prepares an assortment of beverages, including coffee, tea, espresso, hot chocolate, lattes and cappuccino. In an effort to pull some attention toward itself in anticipation of the upcoming gift-giving season, Tassimo undertook a survey on the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of the practice known as “Re-gifting,” where one would take an unwanted gift, re-wrap it, and present it to someone else as new. Tassimo’s survey found that 77% of the consumers polled re-gifted because they felt the item was perfect for the new recipient, 9% of re-gifters admitted they were just too lazy to buy a new gift, and an honest 4% confessed they were motivated by dislike of the recipient. (And all those who recognize themselves in that last category can now think, “Busted!” We did.) But here’s the best part of the release: “The Tassimo survey will come to life in New York City's Bryant Park in November at an event where consumers will have the chance to trade in a re-gift for a free Tassimo, the perfect holiday gift.” Clean out our closet and get a new coffeemaker? Oh, we are SO going to be there. We’ll update details as we get ‘em.