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Posts Tagged ‘The Office’

As ‘The Office’ Winds Down, ‘Dunder Mifflin’ is Gearing Up

As fans of “The Office” prepare to say a fond farewell to their beloved Scranton-dwelling characters on tonight’s series finale, the real-life Dunder Mifflin paper company, launched in 2011 via a licensing deal between Quill.com and NBC Universal, is preparing to ramp up business with a well-placed ad.

The spot, created by PR agency Olson and crowdsourcing platform Tongal, will run tonight in five Dunder Mifflin “branch” markets (Scranton, Utica, Akron, Albany, Syracuse).

While back in 2011 some thought that the concept of reverse product placement in the form of an entire company was sure to be a failure, the real-world Dunder Mifflin has grown into a multi-million dollar brand that is now among the best-selling brands in the office-supply category. We guess having sales geniuses like Dwight in your corner can make all the difference, especially when he delivers nuggets of marketing gold like, “To me, success is simply the opposite of failure.” Indeed.

 

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The ‘Real’ Dunder Mifflin Crowdsources Its Super Bowl Spot

Dunder Mifflin paper productsWe were too busy being kinda bored by the last few seasons of The Office to notice that Dunder Mifflin had become a real-life brand back in 2011 (OK, it was a Quill.com product line, but still). This makes sense–once a fictional brand gets stuck in the public’s imagination, the next logical step is to make it a reality, right?

The company expanded its offerings in November, and this week brings news that Dunder Mifflin, in a brilliant PR move, plans to run a spot during the Super Bowl–and to create it via crowdsourcing.

Here’s the deal: fans of the show and/or brand must shoot, edit and pitch videos featuring the product line and one or more of its marketing messages and submit them to crowdsourcing site Tongal. Producers of The Office will view all the finalists and choose a winner, who will receive a $15,000 prize and the personal satisfaction of viewing his or her own spot during the Super Bowl. (We  would mention that the ad will only run in the Scranton, Pennsylvania market, but that might kill the fun).

It’s a clever campaign–like we said, it made us aware of the brand for the first time, and we have a feeling the company will continue to promote the winning video well after the end of the fourth quarter.

By the way, we’re still waiting for someone to make George Costanza’s Vandelay Industries a reality. Get on it, people!

The Office Cast Mocks Two and a Half Men Scandal

November’s big TV PR crisis involved Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones, his sudden conversion to paranoid Seventh-Day Adventist, and the moment of truth when he decided that the show that made him a millionaire was “filth” that will “rot your brain” and encouraged viewers to “do some research” and “please stop watching” his hit show.

It was no laughing matter, really; we found it quite depressing. Still, we knew it would only be a matter of time before someone took the opportunity to turn Jones’s spiritual and existential crisis into a promotional opportunity. Leave it to the cast of The Office to make light of this deeply disturbing episode by recreating the video:

We haven’t really kept up with The Office recently, and we feel like NBC made the right decision in passing on its proposed spinoff. Still, we have to commend the cast for recognizing opportunity in tragedy and jumping right on it.

Dwight from ‘The Office’: Make Election Day a National Holiday

News of celebrities making entertaining, attention-grabbing pleas to the public (especially the younger demographic) to get out and vote is nothing new. Wh0 could forget previous star-backed campaigns like MTV’s Rock the Vote, P. Diddy‘s mildly threatening Vote or Die or Leonardo DiCaprio‘s “whatever, man” Vote 4 Stuff? Now, Rainn Wilson (that’s “Dwight” to fans of The Office), has offered his services to a campaign that isn’t striving to make voting cool (or pitch it as an alternative to death), but hopes to get more Americans to cast ballots by making the whole process into less of a “pain in the ass.”

How, you ask? By turning Election Day into a national holiday so that people who spend their days slaving away for, say, a paper company wouldn’t have to cram voting into an already-busy day packed with workplace priorities. In the clip, sponsored by SoulPancake and GOOD Magazine, Wilson plays a poll worker who turns away a prospective voter.

So what do you think, readers? A compelling argument, or just a funny ad? Would making Election Day a national holiday inspire the country to give this landscape-changing occasion the reverence it deserves, or would it just inspire people to crack a beer a bit earlier in the day? Would it help busy people get out and vote, or would it still leave many (like lower income workers who may not actually get the day off) behind? Lots to consider here, and we’d love to hear from you.