Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Canada Day - Viral email

We talk about social media and how viral marketing can encourage people to pass messages through the internet, causing the messages to multiply like a virus. Here is one of those so called messages, (although not a marketing message), that landed in my email earlier today - thank you Lucy! It's a fun, laugh-at-yourself peek at Canada in that self-effacing way that characterizes those big-hearted Canadians! For those of you not familiar with Canada, tomorrow, July 1st is Canada Day, a day that celebrates when Canada became a country in 1867 - don't be impressed by the date - not being a long-time Canadian, I needed a little help with this from Google!


Forget Rednecks, 
Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Canucks.  

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from 
September through May, 
you may live in Canada. 

If someone in a Home Depot store 
offers you assistance and they don't work there, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation 
with someone who dialed a wrong number, 
you may live in Canada. 

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere 
south of Detroit for the weekend, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you measure distance in hours, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you know several people 
who have hit a deer more than once, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' 
in the same day and back again, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you can drive 90 km/hr through 2 feet of snow 
during a raging blizzard without flinching, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you install security lights on your house
and garage, but leave both unlocked, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you carry jumpers in your car 
and your wife knows how to use them, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you design your kid's Halloween costume  
to fit over a snowsuit, 
you may live in Canada. 

If the speed limit on the highway is 80 km, and
you're going 90 and everybody is passing you, 
you may live in Canada. 

If driving is better in the winter 
because the potholes are filled with packed snow, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you know all 4 seasons: 
almost winter, winter, still winter, 
and road construction,
you may live in Canada. 

If you have more miles 
on your snow blower than your car, 
you may live in Canada. 

If you find 2 degrees 'a little chilly', 
you may live in Canada. 
If you actually understand these jokes, 
and forward them to all 
your Canadian friends & others, 
you definitely live in Canada.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted - Social Media (Updated July 22, 2009)

Social media is all the buzz these days but so many people are not quite sure exactly what it is and how it works - Cadbury in the UK show us how it is done with creativity and flare! In simple terms, social media focuses on trying to build positive word-of-mouth messages by using web 2.0 interactive tools to engage consumers and encourage opinion leaders to spread positive messages to their friends, followers, or contacts. The tools often used are social media websites such as Facebook, My Space, YouTube, Flikr, and Twitter. Microsites are also often used as a conduit for user-generated-content, while public relations can play a significant role in seeding messages with loyal users, influential journalists, and bloggers. The intent is to catch the attention of opinion leaders in the community who will rapidly spread the message.

The recent Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted campaign in the UK is inspiring in its creative use of traditional media and social media to create a buzz throughout the UK and further afield. This is how it goes:

In mid-late May 2009 Cadbury launched their new irreverent brand, Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted, a year-round chocolate bar with the traditional Creme Egg filling which was usually only available at Easter. The campaign, GOO ON THE LOOSE, followed on the heels of Cadbury’s very successful Creme Egg campaign and included a TV spot, (also uploaded on YouTube), a direct mail piece (sent to bloggers/fans/journalists) containing a box with 3 Creme Egg Twisted bars (one having escaped), a microsite explaining the social media component at http://www.cremeeggtwisted.com/, a Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/cremeeggtwisted, and a Twitter account at http://twitter.com/cremeeggtwisted. The social media component, explained on their microsite, included finding 10 super agents and eventually a top agent, tasked with finding the escaped Twisted Goo. To become a super agent you needed to find the missing bars through clues sent out via Twitter. The 10 top super agents were given flip video cameras to film their quests in search of the missing bars. Super Agents were tasked with taking photos, recording YouTube videos, sending out tweets, and traveling across the UK to solve the mystery. Assuming a tie-breaker the winner will advised on July 21, 2009. The agents will be judged based on their creativity of footage, social networking skills, and the lengths taken to complete the task. The grand prize is for £20,000.

It appears that no tie breaker was required, and on July 16, Dean Stokes added a short line to his Twitter update and Facebook wall that he had won! In addition, the Cadbury microsite, http://www.cremeeggtwisted.com/, now has the announcement posted on its home page, and officially Dean Stokes has won the super agent contest and the grand prize of £20,000. More details on the social media campaign run by Dean Stokes can be seen at http://mktgcliks.blogspot.com/2009/07/cadbury-goo-on-loose-campaign-announces.html.

Click below to see traditional media and social media in action. The first two TV spots are from the original Creme Egg campaign and set the tone for the Twisted product launch. This is followed by the launch spot for Creme Egg Twisted, and a viral video from Super Agent Dean Stokes. To date, over 9,700 agents have registered.



GOO ON THE LOOSE, Creme Egg Twisted TV spot

Agent Dean Stokes' Viral Video - Mission to London Goo on the Loose

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Tribute - Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - words cannot describe his talent. His music is a fitting tribute -I say no more. Click to experience his magic one more time.


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

James Ready - Share Our Billboard Campaign - Wins Gold at Cannes

James Ready? Who is James Ready(?) was the question being asked a few months ago when the Canadian beer brand started hitting the media for the marketing awards it was winning for its innovative outdoor billboard campaign, SHARE OUR BILLBOARD. So, for those of you not familiar with Ontario’s micro-brewing industry, James Ready is not a person but a brand of beer brewed since 1875 by the James Ready Brewing Company in Niagara Falls, Canada. Its campaign, SHARE OUR BILLBOARD, created by Leo Burnett, just won a Gold Lion at Cannes yesterday for its innovative outdoor advertising campaign. The award recognizes the James Ready campaign’s creative approach and its ability to engage with young beer drinkers to create a local buzz in the market.

The James Ready Canadian advertising campaign, SHARE OUR BILLBOARD. made a splash by plastering 106 billboards in southern Ontario, asking people to keep the price of James Ready beer at $1 per bottle by sharing in the cost of the billboard campaign. Classified ads appeared in local Canadian newspapers with a similar message as to the outdoor advertising campaign. People were asked to, “Help us keep James Ready a buck. Share our billboard.” Billboard messages steered people to a website www.jamesready.com where they could post their best offer (no actual cost was accepted) and upload messages and photos to be included in the billboard. The result – on a first-come-first-serve basis, people’s submissions were posted on individual local billboards with a tag line from James Ready Beer thanking them for keeping the price of the beer at $1! The people showcased in the SHARE OUR BILLBOARD campaign became local celebrities in their communities, creating further buzz for James Ready beer and prompting many conversations at water coolers and bars in the area!

The James Ready SHARE OUR BILLBOARD campaign has already won numerous awards including Andy, Marketing, and OBIE awards. You can see a short video clip of this Canadian campaign below:


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Best Job in World Wins Big at Cannes

Australian creative energy continues to make its mark at Cannes with Queensland Tourism Best Job in the World winning two 2009 Grand Prix awards for public relations and direct advertising. The PR stunt created by ad agency SapientNitro (Brisbane, Australia) was unique in its approach - a type of hybrid that used user generated content, reality show-type voting, and PR magic to beat out the viral campaign for Barak Obama’s presidential election – no shabby contender!

In 2009 it was difficult to not get caught up in the Best Job in the World opportunity – it was everywhere – on the news, in magazines, and online in the blogs as people, wrapped up in the 6 month contract position for a caretaker for Hamilton Island, were captivated by the beautiful Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia. The job included feeding fish, collecting mail, cleaning the pool, exploring the island, and capturing the adventure on a daily blog – anyone could apply with the winner also receiving over $8,000 per month in salary and free luxury accommodation! Who could not be captivated by the beautiful footage of the paradise island and its escape from the drudgery of everyday life?!

Individuals had 6 weeks to submit a 60 second video application online at www.islandreefjob.com. The public then voted on the candidates, selecting their top applicant. Queensland Tourism then selected another 10 applicants from the entries and flew them all to Hamilton Island for an interview. The final winner was selected in May for a job start of July 1, 2009. Stay tuned for the publicity machine to roll out yet again on this date with the winner, 34 year old charity worker Ben Southhall from the UK, starting his new position!

In the end, the job (a legitimate position), turned out to be what has been coined the biggest publicity stunt ever seen - a campaign promoting the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef Australia by Queensland Tourism. The purpose of the campaign was to raise awareness of the location among potential experience-seekers from the UK, USA, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, India, China, and Korea. The campaign wove the story of the job posting through a public relations campaign of press releases, press conferences, and media interviews. A microsite was set up at www.islandreefjob.com, small print ads were placed in the classified and employment sections of newspapers, online ads were posted on employment websites, and small banner ads were placed on the Internet.

The Cannes Lions' website details that that the campaign cost $1.7 million, generating free publicity valued at more than $150 million. The site goes on to explain that more than 3 billion people were exposed to the campaign, and over 6,000 news stories were written. In addition, TV coverage was secured on CNN, the BBC, and the CBC, just to mention a few media outlets, and people from 201 countries submitted 34,684 video applications. Within the 6 week application period the microsite had 6,849,504 visits, 47,548,514 page views, with an average time spent on the site of 8.62 minutes. 450,000 votes were cast by the public to select a winner.

You can see a short video-case of the campaign, the video job posting, the winning candidate’s video-application, and the final winning announcement below - very creative!

Tourism Queensland The Best Job in the World – Case http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI-rsong4xs

Tourism Queensland Seeks Applicants for "The Best Job in the World" - Island Caretaker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTUUWOV4Vns

Island Reef Job - Ben Southall http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnosVJfDrpY

Brit Wins Best Job in the World http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fuvwA350ac

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Friday, June 19, 2009

T- Mobile - Social Media Embraces Flashmob Advertising

The first time I heard of a flashmob was last summer, (way before the T-Mobile Dance), when I found myself right in the middle of a Facebook flashmob of hundreds of teenagers engaging in a water fight in Hyde Park. London England, complete with the sudden police presence as I reported a real gun being flashed around by a rampaging group of teenage louts. Yes it made the newspapers that evening! So, now familiar with the concept, it was no surprise when the creative souls at T- Mobile in the UK legitimized flashmob advertising and the power of social media to promote their cell phones. Actually, it must be one of the most creative approaches I have seen in a while and talks to the power of social media and the creative genius of the people who created it. Others may point to the Grand Central Station freeze by the Improv Everywhere group - definitely creative - but T-Mobile took this to another level.

T- Mobile Dance - Viral Video and extended ad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM&feature=channel

Unlike other viral approaches, T-Mobile managed to work their flashmob viral video idea into a marketing approach that was talked about around the world for its ability to also integrate traditional media. Launched in January 2009, in a few short weeks this campaign enjoyed over 7.7 million clicks on YouTube and coverage in a multitude of media outlets. Not only did T-Mobile cleverly stage the event in the middle of rush hour in one of London’s busiest train stations, they also had the foresight to send out teasers inviting people to tune into the extended TV ad of the event. Brilliant. To date, the viral video enjoys over 12 million clicks on YouTube.

T- Mobile Dance Teaser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw215gE6r2k

To top it off, while watching the ad viewers could click on their remote controls to view the “making of” the ad (interactive TV in the UK). This was then immediately followed by the launch of their dedicated YouTube channel http://www.youtube.co.uk/lifesforsharing, two 60 second TV ads that aired for two weeks, the creation of a small dance troop to tour main UK cities, and the release of the music for the event on iTunes. My favourite marketing campaign of the year ... so far!

The Making of T-Mobile Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVFNM8f9WnI&feature=channel

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Green Art Installation - Nothing is Possible

Stripped down, plain coloured posters of the very basic variety (think no-frills), online ads and a PSA of an equally plain hue announce Pollution Probe’s Clean Air Commute program which kicks off with a Green Art installation project tomorrow in Toronto. Visually, this approach tells us to get back to basics to help save the environment! Stop driving your car for a week is the underlying message with 11,000 people getting involved last year! The slogan, NOTHING IS POSSIBLE, is a clever twist on that Adidas tag line, “Impossible is Nothing,” used around the world a few years ago, as we are prompted to use less to achieve more! http://www.nothingispossible.ca/

To top last year’s involvement, Pollution Probe is using the creative juices from the advertising agency Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSCG who turned to Green Graffiti, http://www.greengraffiti.com, to plan the etching of a mural, complete with an alternative transportation message, on the grimy walls of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway! How will this happen? Have you ever seen a building cleaned with a pressure washer? Yes, this is how it will be done! Using a giant stencil from talented artist Lisa Mansfield and a high pressure water sprayer from Green Graffiti, the message will appear along the westbound walls of Lakeshore Blvd West leading to the Eastbound Gardiner Expressway ramp. It is probably worth the drive – but that would defeat the purpose(!) So keep your eye on the local TV media to see the results of this creative marketing approach starting tomorrow Wednesday June 17, 2009!!

Finally, for those that participate and register for the week long Clean Air Commute program - June 22-26, 2009 - names will be entered into a draw to win prizes such as a cruise, a trip, or a laptop computer. You can register and see contest details at http://www.nothingispossible.ca/index/index/register.

Pollution Probe’s NOTHNG IS POSSIBLE Clean Air Commute PSA can be seen below. Take the time to also check out the impact “grime street art” can have by seeing how a similar approach worked in Brazil a few years ago - a must see. Sharpe Blackmore does it again ... and we are still waiting for that Ritz crackers’ song!



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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vote on Creativity

I thought we could have a little fun today – so it’s voting time at http://mktgcliks.blogspot.com/! Here is a roundup of the select group of current ads - TV or viral - posted over the last month on this site due to their unique approach and creativity. Some ads have interesting sound tracks that get attention - Steam Whistle beer; some interact with consumers through YouTube - Ritz crackers; others use media in a creative manner - Coca-Cola; some have fascinating central ideas that stop us in our tracks - War Child Canada and Cycling awareness; while others have captivating images such as the Bridgestone ad set on the moon or the Amway ad focusing on the soccer genius of Ronaldinho.

So, how do we define creativity? It can be looked at in so many different ways but generally it is the combination of ideas, concepts or elements that one would not expect to see together. Add a slight unexpected twist, and there you have it - creativity in the making! Of course, the challenge faced by marketers is to ensure creativity is in place to shake the viewer into paying attention while also communicating a resonating, compelling message - not an easy task. One of the best presentations I have seen on creativity is posted on SlideShare from Jason Theodor http://www.slideshare.net/jted/jason-theodors-creative-method-and-systems. Check it out!
Click on the ads below and evaluate them based on their creativity and ability to communicate a compelling message to the viewer. Vote on your top choice on the poll posted at the end of the ads at http://mktgcliks.com/.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Launchfire - Creative Online Promotions

Online promotions are often the name of the game with viewers going to microsites or landing pages to interact with brands. Have you seen this latest fun, interactive, online game for Telus created by Launchfire? Here it is - a super, simple, and interactive game that engages consumers! Each month between March and November 2009 Telus are giving away nine $1,000 Staples’ gift certificates - topped off by a single grand prize of a $20,000 Staples’ gift certificate in November. Have some fun by going to http://playthegame.telus.com/ where simple brainage-type games are scattered between subtle user focused ads matching players’ login profiles. This online game cleverly delivers advertising messages with accuracy while also building an email database of users.

Launchfire’s creativity and consumer insights leaves them in the enviable position of having a roster of high profile clients from around the world with names such as Dell, Yahoo, Microsoft, P & G, the NFL, and Nestle etc. They specialize in contests, sweepstakes, advergames, user-generated content and viral marketing. To see the extent of their creativity check out this advergame created for the Canadian market in 2005 for Dell’s new MP3 player. This game lets players test their music knowledge and enter into contests – lots of fun and meaningful results -the promotion generated over 60 thousand consumer profiles, 1.6 million in-game ads and an outstanding average on-site user time of 90 minutes! Check out Dell’s music promotion at http://www.launchfire.com/advergame/index.html.

I hear we should expect some exciting new things from Launchfire next week - http://www.launchfire.com/. I’ll keep you “posted”!

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Marketing Awards - War Child Canada

War Child Canada and their ad agency, John St. racked up more accolades and awards for their HELP CHILD SOLDIERS campaign, most notably the Andy Rodgers Public Service Award at the 2009 Canadian Marketing Awards. This follows on the heels of Bessie awards won earlier this year and their outstanding integrated marketing communications campaign from 2007/2008 “Camp Okutta" which unexpectedly portrayed a Canadian children's summer camp as a fun place to send children to learn about the art of warfare. The campaign stapled wild posting on street corners, handed out brochures, posted viral videos on YouTube and used a microsite to get attention. A public relations effort completed the campaign with the story being covered by major TV stations and newspapers. The result - an large increase in awareness and donations. (See SlideShare presentation http://tinyurl.com/cd9tjt)

Let's focus on their current campaign, HELP CHILD SOLDIERS. Unlike other PSA campaigns, this does not shock the viewer with disturbing images - those we don't want to see again. Instead, it creatively and subtly shocks viewers by taking traditional Canadian family values and "matter-of-factly" showing how they can be used to help arm child soldiers. We see typical Canadian parents and grandparents collecting weapons and raising funds to help children become child soldiers. The result - a viral video and TV ad you can watch again and again and let the message sink in.

This campaign spread its message through posters, TV ads, viral video, social media, and a PR campaign that prompted coverage in the mainstream press. The result was an increase in donations.

Click below to see the 2009 HELP CHILD SOLDIERS campaign, a short video explaining the 2007/08 CAMP OKUTTA and a super presentation on SlideShare.

Viral video - Help Child Soldiers

Camp Okutta Integrated Video

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coca-Cola LA LIVE Spot

Advertising is everywhere - we can hardly move without another message telling us something or other.... and of course, "something or other" is the issue! How many messages do we actually notice, let alone remember? Here’s a message you can't forget, the Coca-Cola LA LIVE digital outdoor advertising campaign launched a few weeks ago at the Nokia Plaza in downtown Los Angeles – home of the Grammies.

Conceived, produced and directed by BRAND NEW SCHOOL in Los Angeles, the outdoor campaign airs simultaneously on 17 digital screens in the immediate vicinity, literally submerging viewers in a campaign of red hues that is overwhelmingly Coca-Cola! Smart camera angles, clever edits, and top athletes star in the footage making viewers feel part of the action. The Coca-Cola logo becomes the focus of the spot, not the athletes which Coke had originally envisioned. Turn it around and the brand is the king.

Hmm – this does remind you of something? Yes, those BELL CANADA 2008 Summer Olympic Games' spots used to launch Bell’s rebranding effort and ER campaign. Do you recall those oversized logos and athletes performing over a blue backdrop that ended up being a giant sized Bell logo? Stunning! I must say Bell has my vote for this one. What do you think, Bell or Coca-Cola?

Click below to watch the Coca-Cola LA LIVE spot, the making of this spot (a must-see), and the stunning Bell spot.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

You'll Remember this one - Steam Whistle Beer

Steam Whistle beer you say – so what? Well, one of Canada’s top micro-breweries sets itself apart with a fun attitude and old fashioned dedication to excellence and clean fun! Whether it's their nifty website that greets you with the sound of an old-fashioned steam engine whistle (Jesse James style!), their vintage thick green bottle (think Little House on the Prairie), or their latest TV ad that uses that same steam-whistle sound, this company uses a simple message to deliver on its promise – we brew a top quality beer with the integrity of days gone by!

Despite its old fashioned image (their vintage trucks deliver beer and attend community events all over the city), this micro-brewery has up-to-date marketing approaches with its own YouTube channel, a website that provides virtual brewery tours, in-pack offers, and an ad that gets attention in the over-populated beer market of lack-lustre commercials. http://www.steamwhistle.ca/

Simply put, this ad is clever, memorable, and creatively makes a statement about the brand that viewers will remember. Who would expect opening a bottle of beer could become so memorable and entertaining? Well done to the Steam Whistle group and the agency folks at Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSCG who brought writer and art director Mike Sundell’s spot to life with the help of a host of talented production and post production individuals. Thanks to Ron Tite VP and creative director at Sharpe Blackmore Euro for uploading his agency’s wonderful spots to YouTube – and yes, if his name is familiar, it's because you may remember him from the Ritz crackers’ LET IT RAIN social media campaign! Expect more in the creativity department from this talented agency...!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spread the Ritz

When an ad is creative it often gets attention and can take on a life of its own. This latest TV advertising campaign for Ritz crackers - SPREAD THE RITZ was recently uploaded to YouYube and is now getting thousands of hits by viewers wanting Kraft to create a song version of the jingle. Responding to viewers' questions on where they could find the song, Kraft gave the YouTubies a social media challenge - reach 10,000 hits on YouTube and they would create the song. In 3 short weeks from the challenge the goal was surpassed and the jingle creator Ian Lefeuvre, is now writing the song.

In 1971, way before social media existed, Coca-Cola's famous Hill Top commercial with the jingle I'D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING created a similar frenzy when jingle fans used letters and phone calls to encourage Coca-Cola to record the jingle as a top ten single. Coca-Cola did just this, responding to social feedback just as Ritz crackers is doing today with its SPREAD THE RITZ campaign. Ritz is in good company showing us yet again that creativity resonates with viewers!

And for good measure ...

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ten Golden Rules

I came across the Ten Golden Rules website and their tech clip on Fox today - another good bookmark! They convey some excellent pointers on Internet marketing in just a few short minutes. Here are their top three tips on increasing traffic to your website:

1. Search engine optimization - let the search engines such as Google and Yahoo find your website or blog by updating your site regularly

2. Post a compelling free offer on your website or blog and build trust with your visitors

3. Create an opt-in e-newsletter with great value to a subscriber - also place it on your website or blog.

Watch the clip below and go to their website for the other 7 golden rules!


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Monday, June 1, 2009

Movie Trivia

A little fun trivia for all you movie buffs courtesy of brandchannel.com! Here are a few of the latest stats for brand appearances in movies - yes that product placement marketing approach that can make a movie seem so real - or if over done so contrived!

Here you go:

  • Fast and the Furious - number of featured brands -45
  • Race to Witch Mountain - number of featured brands -25
  • Hannah Montana the Movie - number of featured brands -22
  • Watchmen - number of featured brands -19
  • Knowing - number of featured brands -16
  • Night at the Museum : Battle of the Smithonian - number of featured brands -13
  • X-Men-Origins-Wolverine - number of featured brands -5
  • Star Trek - number of featured brands -4
  • Marley and Me - number of featured brands -2
  • Monsters Versus Aliens - number of featured brands -1

For more stats on product placement go to http://www.brandchannel.com/

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