Special Co-Branding

Oreo’s Homage to “Game of Thrones”

From upper left to lower right: House of Stark, the Night King, House of Targaryen, and House of Lannister

For the two or three people in the modern world who don’t know, Sunday April 14thmarks the start of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” on HBO TV.   Based on the adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire” book by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is a medieval fantasy epic that chronicles the violent dynastic struggles of noble families vying for the Iron throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  The HBO series, created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is predicted to attract more than one billion viewers worldwide in its final season. 

For the two or three people in the modern world who don’t know, Sunday April 14thmarks the start of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” on HBO TV.   Based on the adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire” book by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is a medieval fantasy epic that chronicles the violent dynastic struggles of noble families vying for the Iron throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  The HBO series, created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is predicted to attract more than one billion viewers worldwide in its final season. 

Season eight provided the perfect opportunity for Oreo to issue special edition cookies that would appeal to “Game of Thrones” fanatics. Instead of showing its brand as a friendly chocolatey snack, Oreo emphasized the stark black-and-white appearance of its cookies and stamped them with the crests of the fictional warring families. The packaging, too, showed the sinister-looking iron throne.  Oreo and HBO took this brand pairing a step further by teaming with Elastic Creative to substitute the show’s title sequence with a cookie-built version made entirely out of 2,750 Oreos.  The brand campaign is so imaginative that the limited edition offering is selling out as fans join in the fun of munching on “Game of Thrones”-themed snacks.

Oreo packaging with the Iron Throne
Photography

Global Mass Marketing Before Photoshop

This early 20th century postcard producer, probably based in Europe, set his sights on making global sales in the most economical way. He only customized what he had to to appeal to customers from different nations. Unless you are a postcard collector, you probably were unaware that the comely woman draped in a flag wasn’t “loyal” to any one country. The postcard maker simply hand-painted different flags on her, leaving her face and pose the same. No extra photo sessions necessary, no finding models who looked British or Chinese. The postcard producer’s approach to mass customization was to standardize everything he could and keep differences to a minimum.

Happy Independence Day, Americans!

Marketing

Adobe Marketing: The Launch

Everything about this commercial for Adobe Marketing Cloud rings true, except for rerouting the spaceship to another part of the galaxy. Created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners for Adobe, this “Do You Know What Your Marketing Is Doing” ad campaign gives us an extreme look at what can happen when companies move warp speed ahead on their brand strategy before or while collecting, analyzing and understanding marketing data. Invariably reticent managers afraid to express their doubts about the chosen direction, do so at the very last minute when it dawns on them that they would be blamed for letting it go forward. Re-dos cause delays. Delays burn budgets, sometime to a crisp. One reason this TV spot is hilariously funny to so many in the marketing/design business is because it is painfully familiar. Such “war stories,” usually confessed in an inebriated state, abound. At some point, we’ve all been there. Gotta laugh so you don’t cry.

Packaging

SKYY Vodka’s Warm Holidayy Wishes

Skyy_Vodka
SKYY, the American-made vodka, is transforming cities across the country into a knitted wonderland by taking everyone’s favorite ugly holiday sweater and wrapping it around everything from city buses in San Francisco, to bus shelters in Boston and downtown Chicago, to art installations in Manhattan’s Union Square and the Meatpacking District. Available for a limited time during the holiday season, SKYY’s iconic cobalt blue bottles are actually wrapped in blue and white Fair Isle knit sweaters. “Ugly sweaters have become a big pop culture trend, with people theming entire parties around them, and vodka is the number one spirit consumed during the holidays. It was a natural fit to combine the two, ” explains Umberto Luchini, Vice President of Marketing at Campari America.

Viral Marketing

Marketing Mascot Dies at age 16; A Nation Mourns

stationmaster-toma

More than 3,000 mourners came to the rural Japanese village of Kinokawa last weekend to pay their final respects to Tama the super stationmaster of Kishi Station, the last stop on the Wakayama Electric Railway line. Tama was elevated from stray cat to stationmaster in 2007, at a time when the regional rail line was $4.7 million in the red, forcing the layoff of all employees at Kishi Station and leaving the stop unmanned. Reluctant to evict the charming calico cat that hung around the station, the railway’s president announced that he was appointing Tama the super stationmaster of Kishi Station — a position that included free housing in the ticket booth, her own litter box, and an annual salary paid in cat food. For her official duties of meeting and greeting passengers, Tama was outfitted in a tiny custom-made stationmaster cap and cape.

What started out as a playful marketing ploy to raise awareness of the railway’s plight quickly turned into a media sensation with tourists from across Japan and around the world flocking to the village to see Tama at work. Train ridership increased significantly, and Kishi Station itself became a tourist attraction.

The railway’s management capitalized on Tama’s appeal and developed an extensive line of souvenir items bearing a cartoon likeness of Tama, including T-shirts, coffee mugs, stuffed animals, and even a full set of dining room furniture featuring carved silhouettes of cats. In 2009, Wakayama Electric Railway rolled out a train car decorated with cartoon images of Tama, and redesigned the exterior architecture of Kishi station to resemble a cat’s face.
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