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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jane and Julia 'Go Frozen'

TV stars Jane Krakowski and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are currently starring in two major frozen food brand promotions. Krakowski, star of the mega-hit “30 Rock,” is the central figure in an online campaign for Breyers Smooth & Dreamy ice cream from Unilever. She is featured in webisode parodies of classic movies “Gone with the Wind” and “King Kong.”

The online campaign features a contest for a trip to Hollywood and incorporates face and mapping technology allowing visitors to a Smooth & Dreamy website to place themselves into three webisodes.

Louis-Dreyfus, a comedic actress known for her lead role as Elaine Benes in the longtime NBC hit, “Seinfeld,” stars as herself in a TV spoof ad supporting ConAgra’s Healthy Choice Brands. In the ad, she is shown discussing in her agent’s office debating the merits of her accepting an offer to be the Healthy Choice spokesperson with most of her dialogue indicating she’s not that interested.

TFFG Says: Both Unilever and ConAgra got a boost here because both of these very talented actresses received Emmy nominations just a few weeks into each campaign. Krakowski, already an established Broadway actress with two Tony nominations and a Tony Award for “Nine,” has been nominated in the Best Featured Actress category for her role as Jenna Maroney in “30 Rock” on NBC while Louis-Dreyfus got the nod as one of the nominees in the Best Lead Actress category for her starring role in “The New Adventures of Old Christine” on CBS. The Emmys will be presented on Sept. 19.

Healthy Choice has clearly hit a home run here with these clever spoof ads, which are very a la “Seinfeld.” It’s easy to see consumers stopping in front of the frozen entrees in the freezer case, making that mental connection to “Elaine” although Louis-Dreyfus is already onto a completely different sitcom. Outcome: shopper reaching for Healthy Choice product.

And Smooth and Dreamy? Not so much. First of all, this brand name is confusing. Seems like it should be “smooth and creamy” or “sweet and dreamy.” And the online gizmos that Breyers came up with are interesting, but what do they have to do with selling ice cream? This is certainly great branding for Jane Krakowski, but what does it really do for Smooth and Dreamy or Breyers? All this really does is ask the prospective shopper to stay online and use photo and face mapping technology to place themselves into the webisodes “enabling users to ‘act,’” according to Breyers’ press materials promoting the campaign. To be fair, the campaign does have a TV component, but it is not robust enough.

Sadly, there is no urgency for the viewer to “act” (pun intended) on the information presented. Meaning: shop for ice cream in the store and connect with the Smooth & Dreamy product (as in reaching onto the freezer case and taking the product out and over to the checkout). End result: No Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching! at the cash register.

1 comment:

  1. Update on the Emmys: Julia and Jane were both shut out for the statuette in their respective categories. Better luck next year, gals.