Japanese PSA explaining Nuke disaster for kids is a whole new level of weird

Video featuring cute characters trying to avert nuclear disaster. The explanation of Chernobyl Boy is especially notable.

Because nothing in Japan is allowed to happen without its own cute icon.

Round-up of the week’s odd marketing stories

  • Anti-Religion ad banned: Last month the South African Advertising Standards Authority banned an ad from a church for claiming miracles, this month UK’s ASA banned posters from the British Humanist Association asking people to check the “No Religion” box on census forms. The reason? They had the “potential to cause widespread and serious offence.”
  • 575-pound spokesman for Heart Attack Grill dies: ‘Heart Attack Grill is an unabashedly unhealthy restaurant – the menu consists of huge burgers, milkshakes and fries cooked in lard – and having such a big man as a spokesman was part of its tongue in cheek “glorification of obesity.”’
  • LA Clippers celebrate Black History month after Black History month ends: Not surprising really. As AdFreak points out “given [team owner Donald] Sterling’s standing as a poster boy for racial intolerance and bigotry, I’m amazed he missed it by only two days. By all accounts, this meathead is about as racially progressive as Archie Bunker. This is a guy who paid $2.73 million in 2009 to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed he discriminated against blacks and Hispanics when renting apartments in L.A.”
  • Del Monte unveils individually plastic wrapped …bananas. In case that wasn’t silly enough, the company claims the biodegradable wrappers are part of a “green initiative.”
  • Aussie schools sell booze for fundraising:  “The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) has written to every school principal in the country asking them to reconsider the sale, use and promotion of alcohol products when raising money. In the open letter, chairman Dr John Herron said there were concerns students were being used as "couriers" between school and home for advertising material, forms and payments for alcohol as part of fundraising activities.”
  • Disney puts straw in exactly the wrong place on this Princess™® sippy cup

    princess-pecker

    I’d ask “What were they thinking?”,  but I’m pretty sure thinking wasn’t involved in the process. Or, as Mrs. CollateralDamage put it over at her widely read blog BrokeHoedown

    I do not even know how to caption this. I found it difficult enough to just write the alt text for the image.

    Wow.

    FDA announces recall of “Toxic Waste® brand Nuclear Sludge® Chew Bars”

    2699393_370

    NOMINITAVE DETERMINISM IN ACTION!

    There’s really nothing you could possibly add to that headline but if you want to read the FDA announcement go here.

    Vogue’s hot, new fashion trend: Sexually exploiting children for fun and profit

    Here’s what Xeni Jardin said at BoingBoing and I can’t do better (click here if you want to see one of the pictures.):

    The December issue of French Vogue, edited by Tom Ford, features an extensive spread of child models presented more or less like whores. The girl above is 6. Lemme spell that for you: s-i-x! I’m a big Tom Ford fan. Or, well, was. Artistic freedom and everything, and no, this shouldn’t be made illegal—but I believe this is Totally Not Cool.

    Apparently French Vogue is where they run all the most appalling stuff. They managed to hit #5 on 2009’s list of Top 10 Marketing Blunders with a salute to black-face featuring a photo spread of the very Caucasian Lara Stone painted head-to-toe in dark make-up. Keep up the good work gang! It’s going to take a lot of work to keep them out of 2011’s Top 10.

    The latest word in banana protection technology … no, that’s not a euphemism

    bananaFirst there was the hard-case banana protector and now – the inflatable version. I’ve always thought bananas came pre-protected. Isn’t that what the peel is for? I’m always puzzled when I see people in the grocery store putting bananas into a plastic bag. What does that accomplish? Nor do I understand the squeamishness over a bruised banana. The bruised part is still edible, FYI. Has anyone created a coconut protector yet? There are certainly enough other fruit protectors on the market. The same company that makes this waste of plastic also makes “various designs of inflatables perfectly suited to apples, oranges and all kinds of round fruit.” ORANGES? What, pray tell, are we protecting them from?

    Greatest product placement ever?

    A boy dropped his DS in a gorilla cage and inadvertently created the best photo op ever.

    gorilla-ds-1--article_image

    Via GamesRadar which has more great pictures.

    American Girl selling “homeless girl” doll for $95

    What could be a better way for your child to learn that the homeless are just like real people than to buy her a “less fortunate” playmate for her other American Girl doll(s)?

    How about spending some time with — and money for — someone who is actually homeless?

    American GirlThe latest addition to the American Girl line of how-do-you-justify-it-ly expensive dolls is Gwen Thompson. Ms. Thompson

    and her mother Janine fell on hard times when her father lost his job; they later lost the house as they were unable to keep up payments. Soon after, Gwen’s father left them and they became homeless the fall before the start of the book’s events. Initially, Gwen’s mother has them live in their car until the winter comes; she then takes them to Sunrise House, a place for homeless women and children. Sunrise House helps them get on their feet and eventually get a new apartment.

    Despite this happy ending Ms. Thompson does have a touch of Voltaire’s Candide about her:

    Gwen likes to swim. However, she is not a strong swimmer and is sent to work with the 8-9 year olds. She becomes the swim coach’s assistant on the swim team in the second book so that she can participate and learn to swim better. In [the book] Chrissa Stands Strong this makes her the object of cyberbullying.

    Poor Gwen should just be grateful she wasn’t made the token cripple as well. Just think how much American Girl could charge for a wheel chair?

    I can't compete with reality.

    I can't compete with reality.

    Even ironistas must do their research. The answer to the above question is $30. Heather, who brought this to my attention and rocks big time, adds  “A set of crutches (with a leg cast and other accessories) is only $26.  You don’t have a daughter….you don’t know!”

    Well she was an American girl
    Raised on promises
    She couldn’t help thinking that there
    Was a little more to life
    Somewhere else

    Great look at what Disney should have done instead of buying Marvel

    Geoff Carter is an excellent and smart writer who, among other things, produces the Disney-centered blog YourSouvenirGuide (but don’t hold that against him). In the post Ten things Disney could have done to geek up without buying Marvel he explains both why Disney buying Spidey was a bad idea and how they could have leveraged the properties they already own.

    DisneyMarvelMashups0 To my mind, the purchase of Marvel is one of the few missteps the Mouse has made under Bob Iger’s reign. Disney isn’t getting a hell of a lot for its money. The theme park rights to the characters will continue to be held by Universal. And the movie properties .. will remain the properties of Sony, Fox and Paramount for the forseeable future. …. Four billion dollars spent to wait out contracts and to see if Avi Arad and Jerry Bruckeheimer will duke it out in Thunderdome.

    My favorite suggestion:

    9. The Disney Princesses: Teach them kung-fu and arm them with wrist-holstered blades and pistols.

    Works for me.

    Mouserine courtesy of KidKalig

    Industry puts “healthy choice” label on Froot Loops, Cocoa Krispies, etc.

    SmartChoicesThe cereals are just two of the foods to receive approval from a new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, backed by most of the nation’s largest food manufacturers. The green checkmark label is “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.”

    Smarter than what, you ask? Donuts according to Eileen T. Kennedy, (unpaid) president of the Smart Choices board and dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

    Quoth the NY Times:

    Froot Loops qualifies for the label because it meets standards set by the Smart Choices Program for fiber and Vitamins A and C, and because it does not exceed limits on fat, sodium and sugar. It contains the maximum amount of sugar allowed under the program for cereals, 12 grams per serving, which in the case of Froot Loops is 41 percent of the product, measured by weight. That is more sugar than in many popular brands of cookies.

    But wait, it gets better. Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s, which makes Froot Loops said Smart Choices’ standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines which state “small amounts of sugar” added to nutrient-dense foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better.

    Great final quote from the wonderfully named Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at my alma mater, New York University. “The object of this is to make highly processed foods appear as healthful as unprocessed foods, which they are not.”

    You will not be surprised to learn the Smart Choices research and campaign is paid for by food companies. So far 10 of them have ponied up as much as $100K for the right to have the seal on their products. I suspect many more will soon jump on board.

    This program approved by:

    penguin-seal

    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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