Juice has been appearing in a stealthy pre-product launch push on MTV since the Video Music Awards in August. A product of Winner International, makers of The Club-that once-ubiquitous wheel-locking device that often doubles as a weapon in some neighborhoods-Juice batteries finally ship to stores at the end of October. Juice hopes to corner the market on cool in the battery category, which really isn't too difficult. Look at the alternatives: a brand long associated with a tin bunny rabbit (Energizer) and the other, just recently, with Bon Jovi (Duracell). Not too cool.
Juice sponsored an Iggy Pop concert in August. (Iggy certainly looks juiced.) LeBron James, the 19-year-old hoops phenom, is its athlete spokesman. (They make a LeBron edition of batteries.) He has "that high energy spark, and a ton of Juice," according to Brent Meikle, president of Winner, which is based in Sharon, Pa. The groovy battery also is a sponsor of MTV's new "The Wade Robson Project," an amateur dance-competition show hosted by Britney Spears' former choreographer, Wade, who obviously is a juicy cat. The winner of the contest will grab a $100,000 prize provided by Juice and star in a battery ad directed by Wade.
What's so hip about a battery, you ask? Juice alkalines are rechargeable. "We make batteries for people who do not want an ordinary life," says brand Web site whosgotjuice.com. "They are too busy living to have to stop playing their gear until they go to the store and buy more batteries." According to Mr. Meikle, the fastest recharge for Juice batteries is two hours, and the longest is five hours.
Too busy to shop, but not too busy to wait around for a recharge?
But can she pirouette?
DETROIT MEDIA MOUTHS ARE frothing over Bonita C. Stewart, Chrysler brand's ad director. She appears in a direct-mail postcard and Web site for a sweepstakes sponsored by Meredith Corp.'s Traditional Home. Both feature a photo and personal profile. The thsweeps.com site offers revelations such as Ms. Stewart's 94 golf score, "lifelong study of ballet" and promoting "a contemporary brand with very classic vehicles." Also that she's traditional "because I cherish romance, friendship and style."
Since Chrysler advertises in the title some call the promo self-serving. Ms. Stewart says through a spokesman that the promo isn't for consumers so it's not news. A Meredith flack says the roughly 20,000 postcards went to the ad community. The mag felt Ms. Stewart "personified its `Classic Taste. Modern Life' theme," he says. "Advertisers are featured in lots of campaigns for magazines. I don't see how unusual this is."
Hard to swallow
At a feast sponsored by Food Network recently at Spago in Beverly Hills, Marc Summers, the host of the network's new pop-culture show "Unwrapped," forgot his table manners. Summers spotted Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner at a table and couldn't resist pouncing. "I introduced myself, and told him that it is my ultimate dream to play the Matthew Broderick role in `The Producers,"' Summers said. "He seemed to recognize my face. He was very gracious." The "Unwrapped" chap's eclectic TV resume includes Nickelodeon host and "Politically Incorrect" guest, but he has never performed song and dance, until that night at Spago. Brooks, normally known to gag easily, promised to chew on the idea.
Keep those cards and letters coming
GM's C.J. Fraleigh shook up the ad world in June at Ad Age's AdWatch conference in the Big Apple when he solicited big ideas from non-roster shops. Well, the giant automaker got more than 400 proposals, GM's executive director or corporate advertising and marketing tells Adages. C.J. says he needed coworkers to help him sort through the piles. "There have been some good ones. A lot are just people repackaging ideas," he reveals. GM, he adds, is pursuing some of them.
Setting the record straight
In "Ring around the collar" (Adages, Sept. 15, P. 48), we insinuated that Tina Brown did not attend the premiere of Miramax Films' "The Human Stain," because Ms. Brown had not been personally invited. A spokesman at The Week, which sponsored the screening, assured Adages that Ms. Brown was invited and missed the premiere because she was taping her new TV show on CNBC. "Harvey [Weinstein] invites Tina to all his openings," said the Week spokesman.
Contributing: Jean Halliday and T.L. Stanley Recharge our batteries at [email protected]