The Lowdown is Ad Age’s weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.
Gap trades celebrity roster for supermarket aisle
More than a few consumers might have celebrity fatigue, judging by the frosty reception of Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner spot. Gap is tapping into it by featuring regular people in its summer campaign. After canvassing grocery stores, malls and colleges around the country for its 10 cast members, the San Francisco-based apparel chain is debuting “I Am Gap” this month.
“We didn’t want to be latching on to a random person in culture but randomly show culture the way it is,” said MT Carney, founder of Untitled Worldwide, which worked with Gap to create the campaign of 10 15-second videos.
Kraft embraces the potty-mouth side of parenting
Forget wholesome and family-friendly: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is trying to help moms feel better about swearing in front of their kids in a new pre-Mother’s Day campaign from CP&B. Apparently, its research found 74% of moms admit to cursing in front of their kids (a percentage it said is higher than for dads). “We wanted to celebrate the perfectly imperfect side of parenting,” Rachel Drof, marketing director, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, said in a statement. Alternative phrasing includes “son of a motherless goat.”
Car wash for your butt
Miki Agrawal’s brand is in the toilet in more ways than one. She’s founder of Tushy, which markets an attachment that turns your commode into a bidet, but is better known as co-founder and ex-CEO of Thinx reusable “period underwear.” She was also the subject of a recent Racked expose alleging a “toxic workplace” and a luridly-detailed sexual-harassment complaint from a former employee. Agrawal is back with a new online video campaign from Captain Worldwide for Tushy, due out next week. Watch for key lines like “a car wash for your butt” that “sprays your hiney, super clean and shiny.” At $69, it’s a bargain!
Returning “How are you?” to a question of genuine concern
Philosophy is continuing to champion mental health with its first national advertising campaign behind Hope & Grace, an initiative founded three years ago. The brand, which donates 1% of its sales to mental-health organizations totaling $3 million so far, is asking people “How are you really?” in the public service announcement helmed by Global Senior VP Marie-Pierre Stark-Flora. The PSA is Philosophy’s first work from new agency Badger & Winters.
Nehemiah Manufacturing gets curious
Nehemiah Manufacturing — which sells spun-off Procter & Gamble . brands and products along with startup brands like Boogie Wipes using a workforce that’s about 50% former felony convicts or people recovering from substance abuse — named Curiosity Advertising Cincinnati as its new agency of record.
Taking the snore out of sleep marketing
Pittsburgh-based Foundation Consumer Healthcare, marketer of Theravent anti-snoring aids, has hired the Via Agency Portland, Me., as agency of record in anticipation of a national rollout.
Help for color commitment issues
Paint brand Valspar is out with a new campaign from Mediavest Spark, which turned to the Onion for custom video and distribution “targeting an elusive demographic segment known as ‘enthusiastic actives’ and ‘frustrated actives,'” according to Mediavest. A faux TV shrink helps such unfortunates deal with commitment issues around beige and yellow, urging a visit to AskVal.com for assistance.
Changes in the driver seat at Mini
BMW-owned Mini, which is on the hunt for a new lead ad agency, this week announced a pair of senior management changes in the U.S., including a new brand leader. Patrick McKenna, who had been department head for product planning and aftersales, was named department head for Mini brand communications. Automotive News has more.
Contributing: Jack Neff, Adrianne Pasquarelli, E.J. Schultz, Jessica Wohl