A few notes of items in the news, or on my desk:
- The new Big G Kids Cereals ads from General Mills are great. Animated Lucky Charms leprechaun are talkin’ nutrition next to the kids. Smart stuff. I’m so cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. And the leprechaun and Cocoa bird are in the SAME commercial.
- Postum Update: A reader contacted BrandlandUSA. Their question? When would Kraft, which ended production of the drink Postum, decide to release the formula so its fans could know how to get it to drink? Monday, we contacted Kraft’s public relations team by their contact form on their site, and have heard nothing. Now that’s a social media strategy I hadn’t thought of!
- Stein Mart has just published their annual report. Sadly, they mention that while Stein Mart is trademarked and an asset, they don’t mention their ownership of the Peck & Peck brand, which with a bit of management and marketing could be as valuable as Abercrombie & Fitch. They say “management believes that our trademarks are important, but with the exception of Stein Mart, not critical to our marketing strategy. Peck & Peck was a brand as great as they come, but now it is a store brand of Stein Mart. Oh well. Another opportunity missed. However, the good news is that Stein Mart is taking good care of the brand, and at least keeping it alive. And when I ask clerks at the store, they mention how many people still trust the brand, decades after the venerable department store is gone.
- Shirley Plantation: We happened to see Virginia’s Shirley Plantation and Colonial Williamsburg in some recent ads, but we can’t remember what the ad was about. It wasn’t a tourism ad, as Shirley is privately owned. I think it was financial services; I know it wasn’t Virginia tourism Virginia is for Lovers ad. Love some help from readers. In seeing it, I realized that yes, the family visit to the house museum might become hip again.
- Mercury’s Future: There has been some question about the future of Mercury as part of Lincoln-Mercury. We just noticed a few prime time ads on Fox selling the Mariner and Milan, as we hadn’t seen them in awhile. While they could have been regional buys, they were not dealer ads, but branding. Then we took a look at the website, where it appears that Ford is definitely paying attention to making the lineup interesting. Yes, there are only four models in the lineup, but they are a great foil for dealers, who can lure drivers into the showroom with Lincoln and sell them a Mercury. By the way, it was the killing of the Plymouth brand that really helped to do in Chrysler. Oh, and the Grand Marquis is becoming a VERY interesting car, and the longer it survives, the more interesting it gets.
- Lee’s Paint: We got to see Mount Prospect Paint in Chicago, where American Idol Lee Dewyze worked. He apparently was good at stain and paint matching, and his favorite color was tangelo. However, the editors at 19 missed showing that the store was a Benjamin Moore dealer.