And the Easter Bunny Went Hop. . .Hop. . . Fart. . .Hop Along the Way!

Easter’s coming and with it the crunch of candy selling. Most will be customary and traditional, with some even being kinda cute. Yet, customary and traditional are not exactly what this blog is about. Innovation and creativity, with a tip ‘o the hat to weirdness, is more in line with what we like to showcase.

This year I’ve come across a bit of untraditional marketing, via a Business Insider article, utilizing Mr. Bunny and his, uh, hopping. Yet, kids should get a kick (hop?) out of the Bunny’s candy while parents should get a bit of a chuckle out of the Bunny’s offering.

Both would agree it’s a bit silly, but so what?

What am I talking about? Why it’s Bunny Farts, that’s what. What are Bunny Farts, you ask? Well . . .

Bunny Farts

According to the description for the fruit punch-flavored pink cotton candy, the Easter Bunny consumes a “magically unique diet of apples, carrots and candy […] known to produce farts that are sugary and delicious.” Sorry, but that just sort of makes me grimace a bit.

Little Stinker, the maker of Bunny Farts, also sells products like “Unicorn Farts,” “Dinosaur Farts,” and “Reindeer Farts.” The company pledges to donate 10% of profits from each product — including those purchased on Amazon — to a specific cause.

This type of marketing, though, makes me wonder. What if the company approached the Charles Schultz Foundation (you know, Peanuts) to see about a tie-in with you-know-who for a possible product named Beagle Burps? However, the connotation here suggests that  the famous feline Garfield might be better suited for the promotion. Just a thought.

“We are proud to have donated over $130,000 to various charities since we began three years ago,” Little Stinker Vice President Melanie Simpson. told INSIDER via email. “Our mission is Making the World a Sweeter Place, one bag at a time.”

Sales of the Bag of Bunny Farts along with sales of the Bag of Unicorn Farts have benefited children through donations to the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, The Next Step Academy, Ovarian Cancer Connection and KultureCity.

You can buy a package on Amazon for $8.95, or on Little Stinker’s online store for $9.95.

More information on this and other Easter related and interesting news can be found at Business Insider.

 

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Why Would Burger King Sell Red Burgers in Japan?

Sell red what? That’s what I thought when I first saw the headline, “The Inside Story on Why Burger King Sells Red Burgers in Japan.”

I didn’t think someone would make this up, especially since Advertising Age was reporting the story. Well, I became intrigued and felt like this may make for an interesting blog post on a site like this, exploring all forms of creativity and innovation.

Even in a land of relentlessly wacky fast food innovations, Burger King Japan has nabbed a lot of attention with its all-black burgers.

BK's Black Burger

Burger King Japan’s black burger.

Yeah, you heard right. The sight of pitch-black buns and cheese, evidently, really gets to people.

Pass the Pepto, please!

But wait, that’s nothing.

Burger King Japan recently launched an all-red burger, with red-colored cheese, buns and, obviously, hot sauce. A Google search turned up more than 150 headlines in English alone on the new creation.

What Better Way to Get Brand Attention on a Tight Budget?

The Aka Samurai from Burger King Japan. Also comes with chicken.

BK's Red Burger

As some of you may be gasping about now at the sight of the Red Burger (personally, I prefer the sight of the Red version over the Black), the question arising in my mind was “why?”

Obviously, the folks at Ad Age were curious, too. So, Burger King Japan’s general manager for business management, Masanori Tatsuiwa, who worked previously at agencies including Ogilvy & Mather Japan, answered a few questions about the red Aka Samurai Burger (buns and cheese tinted with tomato powder), the black Kuro Burger (which used bamboo charcoal and squid ink), as well as the brand’s “flame-grilled” personal fragrance.

Here are excerpts from that interview . . .

Ad Age: Where do these ideas come from, and what’s your process?

Mr. Tatsuiwa: We sit down with marketing and R&D look for something unusual. When we start to think about something, we have taste tests inside the restaurant. We have 93 restaurants in Japan.

At the moment we don’t have much ad budget in our hands, so we do almost everything by ourselves. We are not using any creative agencies for these products. This way we don’t need any big money to expand our awareness in the market.

Burger King is not big compared to the competitor companies in Japan. McDonald’s has about 3,000 restaurants in Japan. The local MOS Burger chain has almost 1,400 restaurants. (Editor’s note: Burger King re-entered Japan in 2007, after a first attempt had failed after eight years in 2001 amid tough fast food competition.)

Ad Age: How big is your marketing team?

Mr. Tatsuiwa: Five people. Including R&D.

Ad Age: So, why red this time?

Mr. Tatsuiwa: This is the fourth year we’ve had a black burger, and we wanted to have something new happen this year. And we were also thinking about the Burger King “Angry Whopper,” (a jalapeno-laden rendition of the classic), that launched in some markets, but with the color the same as usual. Brown. We thought making it red would make people curious and express the hot taste.

Ad Age: Are other markets picking up on these ideas?

Mr. Tatsuiwa: Burger King Singapore has a black burger and a white burger this year. Burger King Malaysia has a black burger called the Ninja.

Ad Age: On April 1 you had a one-day-only sale of something called “Flame-Grilled Fragrance.” (The 1,000-piece limited edition flasks sold for $41 and came with a Whopper. They sold out.) Why a perfume?

Mr. Tatsuiwa: The idea came from Burger King in the U.S., they had a perfume several years ago. We thought we could use that on “Whopper Day” in Japan.

We were thinking if we announced a launch for this kind of perfume for April 1 (yes, April Fool’s Day), some people might think it wasn’t true (and that would generate more conversations about it). But we seriously produced this product, and that was very effective. We collaborated with a local perfume company and asked them to produce a flame-grilled smell. It was a very unique order for them. They worked very hard on it. (I’m not making this up, gang. Sounds like the perfect White Elephant gift.)

Ad Age: How were sales?

Mr. Tatsuiwa: It was a record for one-day sales on a weekday.

Now, honestly, even as promotion-crazy as we tend to be in the US of A, I wonder if either one of these would fly. What do you think, marketers and creative folks? Would any of you client companies have the guts to try something like this or to let your agencies develop this kind of special promotion?

I doubt it.

Hell, if it tastes good, why not. Just put on a blindfold while eating one (especially the black version).