27 July 2007

Francomedia.com - New & Improved!

Ok, it's a little premature, but what can I say? ...I'm excited.

Spoiler alert! We're in the middle of re-desiging the look, feel and smell of our brand at Francomedia.com, we hope to have it all rolled out by the end of summer. What has gotten me excited about the project is the fact that I'm working with a group of very talented and creative people which means the outcome is going to be spectacular... with a dash of fun (as always).

Because not all supplies run out at the same time, we have had to roll out some of the materials a little early, which means some of our customers have already begun receiving newly designed invoices - their response so far is 'what's the big idea?'... And, it's funny they should ask, because that's what we're all about... the big ideas.

We couldn't have picked a busier time to do it though... fortunately, we make our best 'diamonds' under a bit of pressure (I've been waiting to use a gem like that for a while).

So, if you are interested, I would be more than happy to send you out our new materials when they are complete... plus, you'll be able to check out our hot new web site.... stay tuned.

BTW - if you like the Niche Lube you're gonna love our new product line up... (none of which was tested on animals).

02 July 2007

I'll Have a Squishee!

Oh baby... this is the best integration of brand ever.

Er, I mean isn't it cool how 7-11 will be selling Kwik-E-Mart items in their stores? In fact, to promote the release of the first Simpsons movie this summer, the marketing arm(y) of the movie distribution company has struck a deal, resulting in 7-11 re-branding 11 of its US stores and 1 Canadian stores as Kwik-E-Marts.

Not only have they have re-branded their entire storefront, they have also re-branded their trademarked Slurpee® with the Squishee® and will sell a handfull of other items (including Krusty-O's and Buzz Cola!) specially created to give you the full Kwik-E-Mart experience.

Check out some pics here: Kwik-E-Mart Pics
Check out the news story here: Kwik-E-Mart at 7-11 Story on CTV.ca

This make over isn't just a couple of signs and some POS, it includes re-skinning the building in industrial foam, new uniforms for the employees and new products. Although the POS is a bonus it's very clever and funny too! ('buy 3 for the price of 3' and 'every item guaranteed fresh or your money begrudgingly refunded')

Considering that 7-11 has been poked fun of for nearly 20 years on the Simpsons with the sterotypical convenience store (high priced items, unhealthy selection and convenience store manager) this was a bold move. However, when you consider the customer demo in a 7-11 and look at the audience demo of the Simpsons... it was kind of a no-brainer.

The advertising agencies of both 7-11 and 20th Century Fox along with the creators of the Simpsons all gathered to brainstorm this 'retail makeover' and the result is anything but a hokey new product insertion with a dangler (you retail people will understand this) - collectively, they have re-created an actual Kwik-E-Mart, including the frozen Jasper Beardley in the upright ice cooler.

I have been a huge fan of the Simpsons since they first aired - they have always been a great brand with consistent delivery of their product week in and week out. Plus, it makes me laugh... despite not having a laugh track to aid me in knowing where to laugh...

So, what of my prediction on this brand integration? Well, the Simpsons movie will be talked about creating much envied buzz (you're reading another story about it right now - so that's three readers) and 7-11 will see a huge increase in traffic resulting in extra sales for the Simpsons related merchandise, which I'm certain will be mistaken by the millions that buy them for collectables. My money for collectable merchandise is on the POS and merchandising display materials - those will be worth their weight in inanimate carbon rods.

So, this summer, I will be purchasing some of the consumables at 7-11 (mostly Squishees®) and trying desparately to get my hands on some instore POS... at which time, I will wait one year then unload them on e-bay.

Thank you, come again.

PS - My all time favourite Kwik-E-Mart moment: Homer and Apu make the long journey to the (not so) convenient location of the first Kwik-E-Mart, located somewhere in the Indian Himalayas. Visitors are allowed to only three questions of the resident all-knowing guru. After trekking for days on end they reach the location of the guru - Homer asks his three questions: "Are you really the head of the Kwik-E-Mart?", "Really?" and "You?". Friggin' hilarious.