No self-respecting British advertiser wants to be left behind at this time of year, since the run-up to Christmas has become known as the U.K.'s version of the Super Bowl for commercials. And Warburtons, a purveyor of baked goods, might have just surged ahead by enlisting the Muppets for a holiday musical extravaganza.
Jim Henson creations have a storied history in advertising, going back to the 1950s, when a violent proto-Kermit pitched Wilkins Coffee with 10-second TV spots. Tappy, the latest creation from Jim Henson's Creature Studio, is similarly off-kilter in his role as a living credit-card reader at a checkout counter. Tappy is the new voice of Softcard, an e-payment product that works at McDonald's and other major chains that now accept phone swipes as currency. Softcard needed a new mascot and some rebranding after changing its name from Isis, an unfortunate name since being co-opted by the infamous terror state. Tappy is a bit out there as a concept, turning a boring inanimate object into a somewhat obnoxious little critter, but that's what the Henson team has done for decades, building characters for brands to support their more artful Muppet projects. In fact there’s a roster of corporate mascots that come from The Jim Henson Co. that you might not know are basically cousins to Kermit, Oscar and Big Bird. For Instance, Snuggle bear is part muppet and so is Jack in the Box’s oversize snowman. Here's a look at the some of the characters made by Jim Henson's Creature Studio for commercials and video marketing: Tappy, Softcard In a history of oddities, Tappy stands out among the Henson creations for sheer adsurdity. He's a credit-card reading machine with teeth. We could learn to love him, maybe, on a long enough timeline.
Disney has acquired Maker Studios, the digital video network that distributes such strange hits as PewDiePie and Shay Carl (the work of co-founder Shay Carl Butler), as well as a series of fashion-related shows for women, and even syndicates old-school cartoons for kids under its Cartoonium imprint.
When you're a Muppet and there's a new movie coming out, chances are you'll find yourself in a simultaneous ad campaign or two. So is it a surprise to find the Muppets have been singing for their brand-sponsored suppers for years?
It’s hard to predict how Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted will fare at the box office in its opening weekend, but the run-up to Friday’s nationwide launch has been nothing short of a brandapalooza.
Following Volkswagen earlier today, and Audi and Hyundai yesterday, two more automakers released their 2014 Super Bowl spots Tuesday—with Toyota rolling out its 60-second ad with the Muppets and Terry Crews, and Kia unveiling a 90-second version of its in-game :60 featuring Laurence
Want to see a Muppets movie trailer that skewers illiterate Twitter spats? Of course you do. This new parody promo for the forthcoming feature Muppets Most Wanted does a double public service by also making fun of all the mass-media self-adulation that studios crank out during Hollywood awards season. It's good, classic, silly Muppets fun—and a familiar marketing strategy for the franchise. While a similar, recent trailer (also posted below) took aim at Twitter praise, the mean one is much better—everybody hates over-aggressive online commenters who can't spell. They're such a bear ... Wakka wakka wakka.
The Muppets can spoof True Blood and keep it clean, so it stands to reason they can tackle the R-rated Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
The Muppets haven't stopped with the parody trailers. Since we blogged about Green With Envy, they released another, The Fuzzy Pack. But the best one just came out yesterday.