The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.
Dannon has a new "pointe" person for its Oikos yogurt brand. Ballet dancer Misty Copeland is the newest person promoting the Oikos line in marketing that uses a new tagline, "Be Unstoppably You." A commercial shows Ms. Copeland going through her day, fueled by a reformulated version of Oikos' Fruit on the Bottom yogurt that has less sugar and a clear-bottomed cup. "She's just an absolutely great person to represent the brand through this transformation," Oikos Marketing Director Amit Mackar said by phone after showing the new spot to Dannon's sales team this week. Along with the yogurt, a book by Ms. Copeland gets a close up in the spot, which comes from Y&R New York. On first glance, the Lowdown couldn't tell whether she is wearing any of her Under Armour apparel in the ad.
Oikos, Dannon's second-biggest line, dumped John Stamos for Cam Newton last year. Mr. Newton will be back in new advertising heading into football season, once again promoting Oikos Triple Zero. Other plans at Dannon, the largest U.S. yogurt maker, include a new drinkable version of Triple Zero. Those ads will focus on the drinkable yogurt itself, not using either celebrity.
Two months after opening a pop-up store in Manhattan dedicated to all-things period, Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s U by Kotex has launched the second of its "Period Projects," this one inspired by a tweet from a Chicago college student who asked people to collect and donate extra packages of feminine-care products for homeless shelters. Via DoSomething.org/period, the brand has created a national "period product drive" that runs through Sept. 30. People who sign up and upload photos of what they're donating will be eligible to win a $5,000 scholarship. It's backed in part by online video personality Ingrid Nilsen, who asked Barack Obama in a January interview why period products are taxed, and will star in a "Power to the Period PSA" backed by U by Kotex.
In another effort to get people talking about products they usually don't want to talk about, K-C has launched a summer road-trip focused on its Scott 1000 toilet-paper brand. Specifically, it has enlisted five YouTube "vlogger families" to hop in RVs for a cross-country trip from upstate New York to Seattle via Chicago to see how far each can travel on one 1,000-sheet roll of Scott. Consumers are invited to follow their adventures on Scott1000.com.
The shopping spree where big packaged-good players buy fast-growing beauty and personal-care brands continues. L'Oreal agreed to buy IT Cosmetics Friday for $1.2 billion, a heady sum for a brand that did $182 million in sales for the 12 months ended in June, though that was up 56% from the prior year. The brand was founded in 2010 by TV news anchor Jamie Kern Lima and sells primarily through QVC, the Shopping Channel, Sephora and Ulta. The deal came the same week as Unilever's $1 billion proposed acquisition of Dollar Shave Club, and follows Johnson & Johnson's June deal to buy Vogue International, marketer of Organix and other hair and skincare brands for $3.3 billion.
Coty, preparing to close a big deal of its own in the beauty business being offloaded by Procter & Gamble Co., has a new man to lead the consolidation. While Executive Chairman Bart Becht delayed his planned handover of the company to manage the transition last year, the company now has named Camillo Pane, exec VP-category development, who arrived from Mr. Becht's alma matter RB only last year, to become CEO, effective the day after the closing of the P&G deal, which is expected in October. Mr. Becht will stay on as chairman. Mr. Pane, shortly after arriving at Coty last year, acquired content agency Beamly to help handle marketing efforts across its brands.
Mars Inc. said Coffee Nut Peanut M&Ms will join the lineup in August after winning this year's peanut flavor vote. Coffee Nut beat out Honey Nut and Chili Nut in the fan vote, which was part of the brand's 75th anniversary celebration. The winning flavor was announced in the second of two online videos featuring actor Tony Hale (which came from Weber Shandwick), and some social posts. Coffee Nut is the first peanut addition to the main M&Ms line since the original peanut variety debuted in 1954.
In what might be called less sweet candy news, Bazooka Candy Brands' latest movie tie-in likely isn't getting the recognition it hoped for. The marketer behind sweets such as Bazooka gum and Ring Pop, which is part of The Topps Co. Inc., launched an online game at Candymania.com inspired by the latest "Ice Age" movie. It is also running a TV commercial and has some candy packaging featuring the characters. But so far, "Ice Age: Collision Course" has been a box office flop. In its opening weekend the newest "Ice Age" took in just over $21 million, less than "The Secret Life of Pets" made in its third week. The company declined to comment on the movie's performance, but on Tuesday said its game had been played half a million times since its early July launch. "We are thrilled about the launch of Ice Age: Collision Course and to partner with Twentieth Century Fox once again," Nicole Rivera, market director-North America confections, said in a July 19 statement. "They have always been a great partner to work with. The fun and family-friendly nature of the characters in the franchise is a natural fit for Bazooka Candy Brands." The tie-in follows previous marketing connected to hit movies such as "Minions" and "Despicable Me 2," as well as the third and fourth "Ice Age" movies.
Zimmerman Advertising has "gotta go to Mo's." New-York-based sporting goods chain Modell's recently announced Zimmerman as its agency-of-record. Modell's, which has around 150 stores primarily on the East Coast, is family-owned and has been in business since 1889. Though sporting goods and apparel are on the rise thanks to the trendiness of athleisure, traditional retailers in the sector have seen sales slide due to online competition and fickle consumer behavior. Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, for example. Modell's, which has famously used "Gotta go to Mo's" in its advertising, spent nearly $8 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.
At-home smoothie-making machines might be a victim of their own success. Market researcher NPD Group this week reported that dollar sales of blender/mixer/chopper systems fell 10% in the year ending in May. The reason? More people are getting their smoothie fix away from home. Smoothie servings at foodservice outlets jumped 11% in the period, NPD stated. "Blender/mixer/chopper systems, blenders, food processors, and juice extractors have all been promoting smoothie preparation, and the short term win that resulted may accidentally be creating a bigger loss as consumer engagement with smoothies evolves," NPD stated.
In honor of National Scotch Whisky Day -- which is today -- Lowdown ends with this parting shot:
Glenfiddich is getting into the fashion business. The Scotch whisky brand this fall will launch Glenfiddich's Wardrobe XXI, a menswear collection curated by fashion industry veteran Josh Peskowitz. The clothing line will debut in September with limited national retail availability. "The Glenfiddich partnership with Peskowitz will align the cult following behind high-end menswear with the exceptional whisky produced by the fifth generation Grant-Gordon distillers, a spirits family blending heritage and innovation since 1886," Glenfiddich stated.
Contributing: Jack Neff, Adrianne Pasquarelli, E.J. Schultz, Jessica Wohl