Daily Buzz 4-12-12

New Marketing Push Yanked as Dos Equis Ambar Bottles Recalled

A month after premiering ads for Dos Equis Ambar, importer Heineken USA is suspending the spots as it deals with bottle defects that have prompted a recall in 43 states.

Six- and 12-packs are being removed from shelves because of a problem that could cause “small grains or particles of glass to separate from the inside lip of the bottle and fall into the liquid,” the importer said in a statement. No injuries have been reported, and the defect is estimated to be in “significantly less than 1%” of the recalled batches.

The importer must essentially pull and check all bottles on shelves now in the states, which include big markets such as New York, California, Illinois and Texas, potentially causing supply disruptions. Heineken USA is “working as quickly as possible to make sure we can backfill inventory as quickly as possible,” a spokeswoman told Ad Age. The importer pegged the defect on an unnamed third-party supplier and said that it was caught during routine inspections.

The recall comes at an especially inopportune time, because the importer is making a new marketing push on Ambar, a dark lager that accounts for about 30% of Dos Equis’ total sales. The brand for the first time is featured in TV spots as part of the Most Interesting Man in the World campaign. Only the Ambar versions of the ads will be pulled; regular Dos Equis ads will run as normal. The Ambar ads account for about 30% of the total Dos Equis media buy. The brand spent $21.9 million on measured media in 2011, according to Kantar Media. (www.adage.com)

Mustang Convertible Favorite Car of GOP; Dems Prefer Civic Hybrid

Mitt Romney says he loves driving his Ford Mustang ragtop. It turns out that’s the perfect answer for a guy seeking the Republican nomination.

Strategic Vision’s second annual report on the new-vehicle buying preferences of declared Republicans and Democrats (and a few Libertarians, as well as those in the “Other” category) reveals that, among the 38,000 responses collected, Democrats tended to choose smaller cars, while Republicans leaned toward more expensive, “luxurious” sedans and large SUVs. And they apparently adore convertibles — 69% of Republican like going topless, vs. 18% of Democrats.

“Because this is a significant year — with a presidential election — we thought this would have a lot of interest, not only for anecdotal purposes, but potentially for marketing and auto sales,” said Christopher Chaney, VP of Strategic Vision. What can car companies learn? “The purpose is not only to sell convertibles to Republicans, but let’s look into this and find if there’s an opportunity to sell them to Democrats,” he said. (www.adage.com)

Pampers Teams Up With Canadian Olympic Games Hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep To Launch “O Canada, Baby” On Facebook

To help cheer on Team Canada at the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games, Pampers, the iconic baby care brand, has teamed up with Canadian Olympic Games Bronze medalist and new mother, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and her baby Nataliya to launch “O Canada, Baby” – the first version of the national anthem performed entirely by little athletes – babies.

“I’m excited to be working with Pampers to rally Canadian babies (and parents) to create the first version of O Canada performed by babies,” said Canadian Olympic Games hurdler, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. “It’s as simple as parents recording footage of their babies making typical sounds and uploading them towww.facebook.com/PampersCanada to celebrate the upcoming Olympic Games and their baby’s spirit of play.”

A 15 second sneak peek of “O Canada, Baby” is now available on the Pampers Canada Facebook page. Individual cuts of the video will appear on Facebook on an ongoing basis and will be showcased at public events across the country on Canada Day on July 1st, 2012. To engage Canadian Twitter users at public events, an official #OCanadaBaby hashtag will be created for consumer discussion. The final “O Canada, Baby” video will be revealed during the Olympic Games to cheer on Team Canada.

“Balancing family and career is never easy but my message for Canadian moms is that you can do it with focus and the right support system in place,” said Priscilla. “As I gear up for the games, my circle of support is so important and it feels great to know that Canadian families are cheering on Team Canada through this great initiative.” (www.sponsorship.com)

J.Lindeberg Partners With The Southeastern Collegiate Golf Tour And TPC Sawgrass

J.Lindeberg has entered a partnership with the Southeastern Collegiate Golf Tour as a Founding Sponsor and Official Apparel Sponsor of the 6 stop Collegiate Tour; as well as the Presenting Sponsor of the Sawgrass Collegiate event held at the Tournament Players Club June 24-27, 2012.

The SECGAA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established by Bill Hughes, Regional Director of TPC Operations, and Mark Naes, Executive Director Emerald Coast Junior Golf Association; that allows the NCAA Collegiate Golfer to be a member of an association that qualifies them to participate in highly competitive tournaments with the opportunity to play on some of the finest facilities that Professional Golfers enjoy.

J.Lindeberg has always had a core strategy in supporting up and coming talent and players on the collegiate level, partnering with events such as the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational. As one of the pioneers in changing golf fashion and being a big part in shaping what golf looks like today, J.Lindeberg prides itself with supporting the next generation of golfers.

“We are proud to be involved with the SECGT on the ground level and applaud the vision of Bill Hughes and Mark Naes in putting this tour together,” says Wayne Webster, Vice President of Sales at J.Lindeberg. (www.sponsorship.com)

Canada-Wide Science Fair Gains Sponsorship From RIM

Youth Science Canada (YSC) today announced a three-year joint sponsorship by Research In Motion (RIM), who has signed on as the lead sponsor for the Canada-Wide Science Fair. As YSC’s flagship program, the Canada-Wide Science Fair recognizes Canada’s top 500 science students and their projects.

“Youth Science Canada is thrilled to welcome Research In Motion as the presenting sponsor of the Canada-Wide Science Fair,” said Reni Barlow, executive director, Youth Science Canada. “RIM continues to be an inspiration for innovative young Canadians who dream of transforming their ideas into solutions to global challenges and exciting new businesses.”

The 2012 Canada-Wide Science Fair will be held in May at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown. Canada’s top 500 science students in grades 7-12, and their projects as selected at over 100 regional science fairs in every province and territory, will compete for 350 awards, prizes, and scholarships valued at nearly $1 million. A panel of 350-400 judges, comprising local university, college, and private sector researchers, scientists, and engineers, will select the winners.

RIM will be the presenting sponsor of the event’s award ceremony as well as the Innovation Challenge Award – and the Platinum Awards including Best Projec – for all three years of the sponsorship, and will host a series of sessions designed to educate participating and visiting students on innovation and technology. (www.sponsorship.com)

Technology and a Viral Video Are Arming the Tiny Dollar Shave Club For Battle In The Razor Wars

The Dollar Shave Club has men in a lather.

The e-commerce start-up opened its doors just a few weeks ago, and has already developed a following for its quirky approach to hawking razors and blades for a $3 to $9 monthly fee.

It began with a YouTube video, in which founder and Chief Executive Michael Dubin variously rides on a forklift, plays tennis, and dances with a fuzzy bear. It’s already received some four million views.

Dollar Shave’s motto? “Our blades are f— great.”

The Santa Monica, Calif., company won’t disclose its number of customers, only noting that 12,000 people signed up in the first 48 hours.

The tiny company has just five full-time employees—and is surely tilting at windmills. Gillette, owned by consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co., controls 66% of the $12.8 billion global market for men’s razors and blades, according to Euromonitor International. Energizer Holdings Inc.’s Schick-Wilkinson Sword has another 12.5% of the market, and Bic SA has 5.2%. The market leaders have huge marketing budgets, deep consumer researchand relationships with retailers that leave little room for newcomers. (www.wsj.com)

Reviving Two Characters by Tearing Them Apart

WHEN beloved pairings split, fans may grow distraught, at the prospect of Simon without Garfunkel, Lennon without McCartney, or Martin without Lewis.

Now Mike and Ike, the brand of chewy fruit-flavored candies, is announcing its pair is separating, and hoping the development captures the interest of younger consumers. (www.nytimes.com)

Stores Go Online to Find a Perfect Fit

When Andy Dunn helped start Bonobos five years ago, he wanted to shake up the retail industry with a men’s wear brand exclusively sold online.

Now Mr. Dunn, 33, is embracing the brick-and-mortar model, striking a partnership with Nordstrom, the 111-year-old department store.

It is a symbiotic deal. Bonobos will get $16.4 million in cash and more than 100 stores to sell its clothes, while Nordstrom will get gain expertise on e-mail marketing and online branding. (www.nytimes.com)

Jay-Z makes Yankees link official

Rap star Jay-Z’s Rocawear clothing brand has become an official sponsor of the New York Yankees.

The brand will receive signage inside the baseball team’s stadium and integrated promotions throughout the 2012 season.

Jay-Z previously signed a deal with the Yankees in 2010 to produce a limited edition clothing line to promote both the team and the rapper’s ‘Blueprint 3′ album.

Jay-Z, a part owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA team, is a long-term fan of the Yankees and is often seen sporting the baseball team’s iconic caps. (www.sportspromedia.com)

Farmers Insurance Debuts ‘Avengers’ Creative

Farmers Insurance is launching a new campaign featuring its partnership with Marvel’s “The Avengers.”

Developed by advertising agency RPA, the campaign features actor J.K. Simmons as the illustrious Professor Nathaniel Burke, with his usual six sidekick agents dressed up in homemade Marvel’s The Avengers costumes touting“We’re the superheroes of insurance!”

“Being associated with the much-anticipated Marvel’s The Avengers gives Farmers advertising super powers, ” said John Ingersoll, vice president, advertising of Farmers Group, Inc. in a release. “This opportunity lets us have some Super Hero fun with our established University of Farmers characters and shine some Hollywood limelight on our brand.”

In the TV spot, directed by Roman Coppola, Professor Burke and the agents explore the similarities between being a Super Hero and being a super agent. The spot continues with a lighthearted exchange between Professor Burke and his agents, dressed in do-it-yourself costumes representing each of Marvel’s The Avengers’characters: The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye. (www.mediapost.com)
Philips Norelco Celebrates Playoff Beards

In a move that should have seemed obvious years ago, Philips Norelco is using the onset of the NHL Playoffs this week to celebrate the “Playoff Beard,” an NHL tradition that calls for players (and many fans) to forego shaving until they are eliminated from the contest to win the Stanley Cup.

“[Playoff beards] provide an awesome backdrop to talk about the brand, our products and the point of differentiation, which is [that] we make real tools for real guys,” Shannon Jenest, public relations director for Philips Norelco, tells Marketing Daily. “We know that when guys are growing their playoff beards, they’re serious about their facial hair.”

To further the promotion, the company has enlisted former hockey All-Stars Jeremy Roenick and Mike Modano to “face off” in some sort of beard growing/measurement contest. Jenest was coy about details, but a teaser video uploaded to YouTube touts the return of the “legendary long-time hockey rivals” to “be a part of history” in “one final match.”

“In hockey, both players and the fans are equally engaged with [playoff beards],” she says. “The players are a big part of the story but the fans are going to be a big part of the story as well. [Roenick and Modano] will be participating, but fans will also be part of the mix.” (www.mediapost.com)

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