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Archives: July 2008

Man Responsible for Gerber Hoax Arrested

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When I saw the video of the maniac claiming to have poisoned jars of Gerber baby food I was certain it was a hoax. The NY Post has confirmed that it was and the culprit behind it has been arrested. The idiot posted two videos with racist rantings of how his plan to kill black babies had been put into action with the help of a Gerber employee and he expected many babies to die. Gerber was bombarded with calls about the videos and has spent the week easing consumers concerns.

The 42 year old Manhattan resident was arrested Tuesday and charged with falsely claiming to have tampered with a consumer product and sending threats in interstate commerce. Charges that can secure him up to 10 years in prison.

The video doesn’t appear to be very damaging to the brand thus far. The FDA hasn’t reported any deaths related to the baby food. And Gerber didn’t seem to be worried about it’s brand being damaged either. There weren’t any press releases. But, as is the case with most viral videos, the video will continue to make the rounds over the next few weeks. So only time will tell if Gerber has to make more of an effort to protect it’s good name.

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McCain Uses the “C” Word to Describe Obama

John McCain is trying to stick it to Barack Obama in his latest campaign ad by calling him a “celebrity”. Brand Republic talks about McCain’s ad that takes aim at Obama’s high profile and not so subtly compares him to the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Obama’s camp countered by comparing McCain to George W. Bush. Who do you think wins that one?

David Duchovny is Fresh and Dynamic

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Brandweek talks about the latest role that David Duchovny is taking on as spokesman for Johnston & Murphy. The article’s seemingly snarky remark that the new X-Files movie “opened in an underwhelming fourth place among the top ten movies this past weekend, but actor David Duchovny is No. 1 at men’s sportswear, footwear and accessories company Johnston & Murphy” is really a dig at how tough times have gotten for actors looking for decent movie roles.

According to Brandweek, this is part of Johnston & Murphy’s effort to revitalize the brand “by portraying a fresher, more dynamic and relevant image in the marketplace”.

Sure, that’s what David Duchovny is.

Find a Penny Pick it Up

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I read about this odd Chevy Billboard ad on InternetAutoGuide.com. The billbaord was put on display in London’s New Oxford Street to advertise the new Chevy Aveo’s starting price of 769,500 pence. Apparently it only lasted about 30 mins because people passing the billboard stopped to pick it. And Chevy had the nerve to claim that this proves that the Chevy Aveo is putting money back in motorist’s pockets. Really? It just sounds like a silly little stunt that went awry.

Cancer Causing Food

Another beaut from AdFreak. Check out this Cancer Project spot that warns against the dangers of eating processed meats. It’s really a scared straight advertisement against eating processed foods. The facts on the website are just a freightening as the ad.

Ruby Tuesday’s Blowing Up

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AdFreak posted about Ruby Tuesday’s idea to get rid of their old image by blowing up its last old-style restaurant live on their website Rubytuesday.com on Tuesday, Aug. 5th. This is the lead in to their “It’s a brand new Tuesday” campaign. Ruby Tuesday will introduce a new menu that switches from a “bar & grill” to “simple, fresh, American dining” menu.

According to Brandweek, Ron Paul, President of Technomic, Chicago, that tracks the restaurant industry says, “Ruby Tuesday is attempting to recover from a misguided foray into upscale dining. They took their eye off of their core customer and tried to go upscale… they didn’t attract enough new customers and turned off existing ones. They have been significantly damaged.” Brandweeks also mentions that Ruby Tuesday is planning to close nearly 15 stores next year and open about 20 new ones. The article mentioned Ruby Tuesday is “projecting for it’s 2009 fiscal year a decline of low to mid-single digits for the year with next quarter’s sales to be down 8-9%.”

I’m a fan of Ruby Tuesday ever since I worked there as a hostess while in college. I hope they’re able to rebound.

Shockingly Plus Sized Models Don’t Make Women Want to Buy Stuff

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Adage wrote a story about new research that states the obvious- Advertisers prefer thin models because it makes consumers like the brand more, but no so much themselves.

According to the article, the study was done by business professors at Villanova University and the College of New Jersey and was inspired by Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty”. It concluded that “ads featuring thin models made women feel worse about themselves but better about the brands featured”.

Since when is this news to anyone? That’s been the deal all along. Sure we had a few months of “conscious” fashion designers that weighed their models and put full figured models on the runway. But we all know that was just to try make women feel better about themselves long enough to get them shopping again. They mentioned that women that had just seen a thin model were less likely to opt for cookies like Oreos out of negative feelings about their own body, but still preferred brands that used ads with thin models.

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Checkout Saturn’s Astra

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Adrants wrote about this Saturn contest. They’d like you to take a picture kissing a Saturn Astra. The best pic wins a Saturn Astra. So pucker up and get that digital camera ready. Your local Saturn dealer has Astras on display if you need a car to kiss.

The Astra features 138 hp, 1.8L, and an Ecotec DOHC engine with WT. And it’s not a terrible looking sport compact.
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And with a starting price tag starting just above $16,000, this is a great marketing idea. It’s a fun way to get people excited about the car and they don’t lose anything to give one away. I need a new car. Maybe I should submit my pic.

No More Glad?

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AgencySpy has gotten a few tips about Glad going “black”. Apparently there will be no more advertising due to oil costs? And one tipster added that a particular DDB Creative Director was canned due to lack of new business wins and this CD’s overpaid salary (said tipster thought this was a long overdue move and that it was well deserved). Should the WSJ add this to their list of 50 Things Being Blamed on Rising Oil Prices?

Updated: Some JWT Inside Offices Not Answering Their Phones

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Update after the jump, and here.

Usually when we get a tip that sounds too bad to be true, it is. But in today’s case we don’t know what to think. After hearing that JWT Inside, formerly JWT Employment Communications “has closed several offices and eliminated the creative departments in several more,” we had to do some follow up.

You may not know it, but JWT Inside does media buying for a number of clients, and has offices across the country. But it seems that some of those offices just have an answering machine, or in one case nothing at all to answer calls. Maybe they use phones like the one in the above picture…

Our first call, naturally, was to the New York office. I tried to reach Rob Rizzuto, but the unsure phone-answerer (don’t want to say receptionist for fear of reprisal) told me he is out sick for the week. Interesting; not really.

So I called around, aiming my next dart at the Los Angeles corporate office &#151 but no one answered. Like, it just kept ringing and ringing and ringing. WTF is that about?

More after the jump.

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