Editor's Note

Published on .

As brands try to figure out the best way to glom onto the entertainment industry without losing their shirts, the reflexive move is to look West for some of the Hollywood pixie dust. The next great Mark Burnett project or the next new tentpole from Warner Bros. are natural first looks.

Ironically, one of the most obvious but overlooked places to look is a brand's own backyard, underneath its own roof. There are some brands like the Aflac duck, more recently, and the Pillsbury doughboy from yesteryear, that have become pop culture icons in their own rights.

And with today's deafening roar of media and brand message overdrive, putting a brand's iconic identity front-and-center could be an efficient and cost-effective way to do alternative marketing. Procter & Gamble is taking this approach with the integration of its Mr. Clean brand into a new NASCAR videogame from Electronic Arts.

Mr. Clean, perennially targeted towards housewives, is branching out with car-care products, thus the move towards embracing the "missing men." Jack Neff reports in today's edition how besides a Mr. Clean AutoDry car in the game, there will be pit crews made up of Mr. Clean icons, muscular enough to lift cars without recourse to a jack.

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