Hardee’s gets what it wants as someone finally objects to A-hole ads

Hardee’s finally got someone to complain about its new A-hole campaign. Boddie-Noell Enterprises, which owns nearly 350 Hardee’s in North Carolina, is refusing to run the ads, which also are drawing fire from the Parents Television Council. The ads are built around the chain’s donut hole product, called B-holes – that’s B as in biscuit. In one ad people are asked to suggest a name for the product. They come up with ideas that show they are either clueless or fans of South Park.

The follow up ad takes a standard blind taste-test and tries to get as much salacious mileage as possible out of people being asked whether they prefer the A-holes to the B-holes. Somewhere this is what passes for wit. Earlier Hardee’s ads featured actresses dressed as French maids being slightly risqué about French dip.

Parents Television Council  was only too happy to give this sophomoric drivel the attention its creators wanted. Issuing a statement that reads:

"The Hardee’s marketing team seems intent on pushing the boundaries at every turn whether we’re talking about ‘iced B-holes’ or the company’s attempts at turning hamburgers into sex objects. Each and every local franchisee can and should object and every Hardee’s customer has the right to patronize a more responsible fast food restaurant chain."

I think every Hardee’s customer has the right to patronize an actually funny fast food restaurant chain – if one existed.


New spray gives Kindle owners genuine smell of books

This could be what gets me to buy a Kindle:

book smell Does your Kindle leave you feeling like there’s something missing from your reading experience? Have you been avoiding e-books because they just don’t smell right? Smell of Books™ is compatible with a wide range of e-reading devices and e-book formats and is 100% DRM-compatible. Whether you read your e-books on a Kindle or an iPhone using Stanza, Smell of Books™ will bring back that real book smell you miss so much.

Should I get “Scent of Sensibility” or “Eau, You Have Cats”? Decisions, decisions.

I suggest you go to the DuroSport Electronics’ web site (the geniuses behind this) and read the full story behind Smell of Books, including the press releases

Hats off to DuroSport for the best mission statement I’ve ever read:

The DuroSport Electronics Corporation is dedicated to the creation of cutting edge consumer electronics that enrich the lives of our customers while posing almost no risk to their health or safety.

How come I never heard of these guys before?

(I found out about this at the great blog The Daily Obsessional)

Motrin gets headache from viral moms video

Motrin has just found out that moms are pretty thin-skinned when it comes to what other people say about moms even if it’s something the moms themselves say all the time.

In the beginning was an understandable idea: Sell more Motrin. To do that meant finding a market that might buy more Motrin.  After undoubtedly copious research Motrin decides: Moms! The method: a video called Motrin Moms. I’m pretty sure the next part of the plan was not: sit back and hide from a firestorm. But that’s what Motrin got once moms started watching the video.

The video is all text and voice over and starts with what I’ve always considered a very funny line: the observation that babies seem to be the latest fashion accessory. (Full-disclosure: I’ve been the stay-at-home parent, i.e. a mom, for most of my kid’s life.) Then it talks about all the ways of carrying a baby there are — front-loaders (my preference until he hit 20 lbs.), back-loaders, slings, etc., and how they can be a strain on your back hence the need for the product.

It also talks about how despite the pain we (moms) do this anyway because its probably good for the kid and certifies the bearer as a certified member of the mom club. Then came my favorite line: “So if I look tired and crazy people will understand why.”

There is a look that parents shoot each other — a look of total sympathy and understanding as the kid is going through his or her 13th major meltdown of the morning. I have been on both ends of that look. Receiving it has helped me keep my sanity, sending it has helped me bond with and I hope helped someone else keep their sanity.

But apparently that is the truth-that-dare-not-speak-its-name. Or maybe it’s the whole thing about babies-as-fashion-accessories. I’ve certainly thought it, but clearly I am surrounded by those who are without that particular sin.

The most interesting thing about this is that the fire seems to be spreading via Twitter, the first such time Twitter has actually had any impact that I am aware of. You may follow the posts here and it won’t take long, remember Twitter is what you get when cross a blog with a haiku.

Some of the comments are smart and some are achingly stupid: Like the person who said of negative reaction to the video, “What happened this weekend went from smart, powerful activism to Palin-rally lynch-mob.

FYI: Lynch mob is one of the two words/phrases to avoid at all costs in a discussion. The other is Hitler/Nazi. As soon as you use them the conversation is over and the shouting has begun. Adding the modifier “Sarah Palin” will not help either.

Not only do these words end a conversation but they also do a very real disservice to the victims of the actual lynch mobs and Nazis.

Viral campaign fights virus with “condom, condom!” ringtone

Kind of redefines what it means when your cellphone “goes off.”

A cellphone ringtone that chants “condom, condom!” has been launched in India to promote safe sex and tackle the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. The “condom a cappella” has been designed to break down Indians’ reluctance to discuss condom use and to make wearing a condom more acceptable. Organisers of the campaign, funded by the foundation set up by Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, hope the ringtone will become a craze among young Indians.

Odd moments in book marketing

Chris Howard is a buddy and part of my skeevy writers group. His novel Seaborn is about to be or has just been published by Juno Books and, in the way of writers everywhere, he wants people to actually buy it. (The parts I’ve read are quite good as is his writing in general. Did I call him a buddy? I meant arch-nemesis.) To that end he has started a most unusual viral ad campaign:

You can buy an actual bumpersticker here or use the code below to embed it in the sidebar of your blog. Do this now so when he wins his Nobel you’ll have proof that you were into him before anyone else.

<p><a href=”http://www.saltwaterwitch.com”&gt;
<img height=”398″ border=”0″ width=”113″  src=”http://the0phrastus.typepad.com/the0phrastus/images/2008/06/30/giantsquidbadge.png”&gt;


The following were delivered to the (very bewildered) faculty and students of the 6th grade class at The Atrium School.


What have you done to spread some cheesy weasely joy today?


Thanks for the graphics to David @ Ministry Marketing Coach.

My favorite April Fools: Discovery of flying penguins

By Monty Python’s Terry Jones, no less!

A couple of other favorites:

Advertisers use milk cartons & report cards to get in to school

Kids, schools and advertising — three great tastes that don’t taste great together.

While the entire thing makes me want to swear off bovine secretions forever, the best line has to be: “Milk Rocks!, with the blessing of schools, delivers to students, branded book covers and other fun, kid-friendly materials.”

  1. Giving blessings isn’t the business of schools.
  2. What definition of “kid-friendly” includes advertising?

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Happy birthday to the Smiley, the 1st and most successful internet viral

jawdropIt was a serious contribution to the electronic lexicon. 🙂 Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says, he was the first to use three keystrokes — a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis — as a horizontal “smiley face” in a computer message.

Hook, line & sinker: Alleged smart blog falls for marketing effort

Turns out my beloved BulletProofBaby site is actually a viral marketing effort for the upcoming movie Shoot ‘Em Up.

You got me… right where it hurts…

Kudos, as usual, to AdFreak.