With the summer ice cream season melting fast, the folks at Baskin-Robbins have concocted a new reason for political junkies to stop in for ice cream this fall: partisan flavor mixes.
For fans of Democrat Barack Obama, the chain is selling "Whirl of Change" (peanut nougat ice cream with chunks of chocolate-covered peanut brittle and caramel).
For fans of Republican John McCain, it's scooping "Straight Talk Crunch" (white chocolate ice cream with caramel, chocolate pieces, nuts and red candy).
No flavor for Ralph Nader yet.
Sawing real logs
Attention snoring lumberjacks: SnoreStop wants to hear from you.
The stunt-loving company — which once was the top eBay bidder for ad space on a guy's forehead — is asking lumberjacks to describe, in a single paragraph, both their work and their problems with "sawing logs" at night.
SnoreStop will select 25 submissions each month and send each of the winners a three-month supply of the natural, homeopathic snoring products (for more details, go to SnoreStop.com).
"Log sawing should be a daytime and not a nighttime activity," says Christian de Rivel, executive vice president of SnoreStop maker Green Pharmaceuticals.
The boys are back
Fictional Hollywood hottie Vincent Chase and his gang of friends from the sex-charged HBO show Entourage may not be virgins, but they were on hand last week to help Virgin America airlines launch a temporary class of service ("Entourage" class) and a new, permanent route from New York to Las Vegas.
The show's stars — in real life, Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon and Kevin Connolly — as well as Virgin Group founder Richard Branson — were among partygoers at a fete in a hangar at New York's JFK Airport.
The party — an element of a larger HBO/Virgin America deal brokered by Civic Entertainment Group — cross-promoted the route and a month-long "Entourage-class" upgrade in first class (including Dom Pérignon champagne, Entourage-theme blankets and Godiva treats) and Sunday's opening of the show's new season on HBO.
After hanging out in the hangar with the cast, about 130 media staff and members of Virgin America's top-tier loyalty program hopped a flight to Sin City for more partying at the Palms Casino Resort.
Pickup goes back to work
Chevrolet has gone back to basics to sell its Silverado pickup.
With sales of luxury versions to suburbanites stalled by high gas prices, its marketing strategy now "is to target the men who still need pickups for functionality and utility," says Kim Kosak, director of advertising and sales promotion for General Motors. "As we go forward, our message is to focus on those owners who need a truck."
New ads tout durability and affordability.
One features owners from Silverado's 200,000-mile club, including one guy who talks about his truck's 2 million miles.
The workhorse pitch, plus easing fuel costs and GM's promotion offering employee discounts, has revived sales: Silverado was the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in August.
Chico's in the swim of things
Last month, the Ad Team reported that women's clothing retailer Chico's was courting multi-gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps' mom, Debbie, a longtime fan of the brand, as a paid endorser.
Last week, Chico's got its gal. Mama Phelps, who has been wearing Chico's garb for years, is now officially promoting the brand.
Chico's already is getting a return on the deal.
Debbie Phelps, who was seen on TV throughout the Olympics in Chico's wear, has worn the retailer's apparel in subsequent TV appearances, including on the morning network shows and in an Oprah appearance that was taped last week.
ASK THE AD TEAM
Q: A new Target ad has two dancing college roommates decorating their room. My daughter wants to know the name of the song. Do you know what it is?
—Larry Singleton, Phoenix
A: The two, apparently new roommates at college, dance to the clubby beat of Calabria by Enur, featuring Natasja. The girls one-up each other with dance moves and show their different tastes as they decorate the room.
The theme: Happy Together, Design Together, Save Together.
By the end of the ad, they are dancing together.
Q: What is the name of the band and song in the Coke commercial that has the girl roller skating on the beach?
— Dina Luther, Princeton, N.J.
A: The song in the Diet Coke ad is Starry Eyed Surprise by DJ mixer Paul Oakenfold.
The song has been around since 2002, and the ad has aired on and off since 2004.