Lowdown: Onion/Quaker State Mock Slick Motor Oil Marketing

Spoof Campaign Features Dipstick With a Selfie Cam

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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.

Quaker State has created a dipstick with a selfie cam and a digital ticker featuring weather and sports updates. OK, not really. It's actually a fake product and the first subject of a spoof campaign created for the brand by Onion Labs, the creative services division of the Onion. The aim is to poke fun at "the gimmicky marketing tactics used by the motor oil industry," according to a statement. "The Quaker State brand shares the customer belief that when it comes down to motor oil you don't need fancy marketing, you just need good quality oil," stated Gita Gidwani, Quaker State brand manager. A total of six videos will roll out from May through September, making fun of commercial jingles, virtual reality technology and more.

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Men hankering for high-end skincare products may soon find no one can blend it like Beckham. L'Oreal's Biotherm Homme has signed the British soccer legend and People "Sexiest Man Alive" David Beckham as a global ambassador and developer of a new skincare line to launch in 2017. "I've been thinking about developing a skincare range for a long time," Mr. Beckham said in a statement, "and it wasn't until I started speaking with Biotherm that it all came together." The partnership will "shift the boundaries in the men's skincare category and reinforce our brand's leadership," said David Fridlevski, Biotherm general manager. "It's the first time a male celebrity of this stature has developed a skincare collection."

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L'Oreal's Dark and Lovely has launched a #LoveMyColor digital and social media campaign from Tag Creative New York, behind its new Fade-Resist Rich Conditioning Color product. The effort encourages women to show just how much they love their hair color by taking selfies and uploading them to LoveMyColor.com, customizing them there with a custom "selfie generator," and posting them elsewhere on social media. The site also has a "Hair Dyeries" section where women can "share personal testimonies of the things that make them feel powerful, unique and confident," according to the brand. Dark and Lovely is a leading incumbent in ethnic haircare and the first to create hair color specifically for African-American women. But it faces growing competition, with SheaMoisture having recently launched a campaign from Droga5 and Bevel marketer Walker & Co. preparing its entry into beauty products for women of color.

Toyota Tacoma Ad
Toyota Tacoma Ad Credit: Toyota

Late last year, Toyota rolled out the "Play Now" campaign for its Tacoma truck that targeted weekend warriors with scenes of off-roading adventures. Now the brand is trying to bring the ads to life with an event this weekend in the Arizona desert. Roughly 80 guests will engage in mountain biking, rock climbing and ATV rides. They will also be treated to performances by action sports company Nitro Circus, which specializes in activities like motorcycle stunts. Invitees include so-called influencers -- such as lifestyle journalists -- as well as dirt sport athletes. Four guest slots were given away via sweepstakes. "At Toyota, we saw the recent launch of the 'Play Now' campaign as an opportunity to allow our guests to truly visualize and embrace the Tacoma lifestyle," said John Myers, Toyota's national manager of vehicle marketing and communications. "The creation of Hotel Tacoma takes that a step further, and allows a select group of them to experience it for themselves."

In case you haven't noticed, it's American Craft Beer week. And to celebrate, more than 4,400 craft brewers have united to create what they are calling the Biggest Small Beer Ever Made. Small brewers across every state are making the brew using the same ingredients and recipe, according to the Brewers Association, which represents craft brewers. In the spirit of the grassroots marketing craft brewers are known for, the organization created this decidedly small budget video promoting the brew.

Lastly, our look at executive moves:

Jack in the Box said Qdoba Chief Operating Officer Keith Guilbault will become Qdoba's brand president as Tim Casey plans to resign June 3 to pursue other career interests. Mr. Guilbault has only been with Qdoba since March. He previously spent about 12 years at Jack in the Box, where he had been senior VP-chief marketing officer for the Jack in the Box brand for more than two years before heading to sister chain Qdoba.

Babs Rangaiah, who left his post as Unilever VP-global media innovation in March, has joined IBM as partner leading global marketing solutions for their iX (interactive experiences) division, based in the IBM Design Studio on Astor Place in the East Village. IBM has grown increasingly active in marketing services, and the iX division earlier this year acquired the largest remaining independent digital agency -- Resource/Ammirati -- in January. Resource's other half, Ammirati, also has Unilever in its DNA, having many years ago merged with the packaged-goods marketer's spun-off former in-house agency Lintas.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Jack Neff, Jessica Wohl

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