Alas, a hysterical online video that shows a ferocious head of lettuce gobbling up a Wendy's Baconator burger is not going to end up on TV. There are "no current plans" to use Crazy Lettuce as a TV commercial, Wendy's spokesman Bob Bertini says.
The video was posted on MySpace.com on Aug. 20 and had attracted 115,000 views and more than 700 user comments through last week. It doesn't overtly promote Wendy's, but it does encourage viewers to go to a site for meat lovers, MeatatariansUnite.com, and enter an e-mail address for a $1-off Baconator coupon.
No actual lettuce was harmed in the making of the video — the leafy greens are special-effects magic, Bertini says, adding, "The lettuce obviously had lean meals leading up to the shoot."
Another reason to pass by the mystery meat
School cafeteria crews may see a lot more brown-baggers now that stars from High School Musical 3 are singing and dancing — literally — for a new Sara Lee bread.
It's a white, whole-grain bread, which may sound like an oxymoron. But it's no less incongruous than having cool teens dancing and singing over a PB&J sandwich. The ad, part of a multimillion-dollar campaign, promises (we're not making this up) bread so "yummy it makes you want to dance with joy."
Armed to the teeth
Stick-thin models in over-the-top garb weren't the only ones on runways during last week's New York Fashion Week. A bevy of brands also strutted their stuff, including Procter & Gamble's new Oral-B Pulsonic rechargeable toothbrush. Oral-B sponsored a show of clothing picked by Khloe Kardashian of E cable reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians. Smiling models in loungewear, including celebrities such as Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard, toted the "accessory."
Oral-B wanted to promote the "sleek and slim" design of the brush, spokeswoman Alissa Hammond says. By courting post-event coverage in fashion magazines and blogs, it hopes to lure in style-conscious consumers who want bathroom countertops that aren't cluttered with "big and bulky" rechargeable toothbrushes, she says.
Hot for the teacher
Starbucks surely will earn high marks this month for its offer of a free tall java every Monday for teachers of grades K through 12. Caffeine-craving teachers just need their school ID. Those who prefer traditional apples will have to pay for one of Starbucks' new Apple Bran Muffins.
Dripping with diamonds
Hearts On Fire, the diamond company that created the $6.5 million sparkler-studded bra for Victoria's Secret's 2006 fashion show, is back with another jewel-encrusted promotion: A $10 million, three-tiered chandelier made with nearly 5,000 diamonds will hang backstage at Sunday's Emmy Awards. Hearts On Fire created it for the Emmy's "diamond" anniversary — its 60th — President Mark Israel says.
The chandelier was en route over the weekend to Los Angeles from Boston via airplane and armored car. After the show, Israel says, "We'll be hanging that chandelier somewhere for the Christmas season, if it's not sold before then."
If they have trouble finding a place, the Ad Team knows of a studio apartment in New York where it could spend the holidays.
NBC's Super Sunday ad sales
Advertisers have been lining up early to get into NBC's Feb. 1 broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII. The network has sold about 85% of the ad time and has only about 10 of 67 30-second, in-game slots left to sell, NBC Sports spokesman Brian Walker says. Some slots have fetched up to $3 million, but NBC would not reveal its average take. Fox averaged about $2.7 million for this year's game.
A wireless walk in the park
On the road doesn't mean out of reach. That's the message Sheraton wants to convey about the Link At Sheraton Wi-Fi service it will roll out in 300 hotel lobbies by year's end. To showcase the service, Starwood-owned Sheraton Monday will set up a "work lounge" promotion in New York City's Central Park. The 34,000-square-foot space will replicate a hotel lobby set up with free Wi-Fi, 50 PC screens and two 52-inch TVs with live cable TV.
About 600 Starwood associates will work from there with CEO Frits van Paasschen on hand.
By Laura Petrecca, Bruce Horovitz and Theresa Howard
ASK THE AD TEAM
Q: I never heard of Areva until I saw a TV ad recently and don't think I got the message. Just who is Areva and how are they going to influence my future? The commercial is catchy, and the little tune stays running around in your mind, but if people can't understand it, I don't think Areva is getting their money's worth.
— Marty and Judi Batchelor, Lompoc, Calif.
A:Areva wants to power your future. It's a Paris-based industrial giant whose businesses include nuclear power and energy alternatives. It has U.S. operations in 45 locations in 20 states. The ad, which has aired previously, is part of a campaign started in May to make its name better known in the U.S. The animated TV ad, which you can see here, uses the 1980 Lipps Inc. classic Funkytown, a song that's also been in ads for FedEx, Ore-Ida's Funky Fries, Nissan and Volkswagen. Areva uses the opening lyrics for the song, which have a distorted sound through use of a voice box. They speak about moving to a town that's "groovin' with some energy." Areva marketers most care that you get the last few words: "Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it" (which is what they want you to do about them).
Q: Bob Evans restaurants, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, has been running a TV ad in neighboring states which depicts a father (about 75) and his son selling Bob-B-Q ribs, chicken sandwiches, etc. I am wondering if the "father" is Broadway actor/producer Bob Kaliban?
— Jack Homer, Cross Lanes, W. Va.
A:Good eye. He is the father in ads for the family chain. Kaliban, who'll turn 76 in November, first made his mark in commercials as the 1970s Tidy Bowl man and recently was in a Doritos ad. Besides Broadway and ads, he's worked in TV on everything from I Love Lucy to Law & Order and done voiceovers for animation, including Family Circus specials for Easter, Christmas and Valentine's Day.