Sunday, 25 October 2015




Publicists have known this for years – strange bedfellows can make for interesting news items. This week several press releases crossed our desk that linked very different influences into a singular item worthy of media attention!

Did you know Jedi warriors like Mac and Cheese?  Or that Beer and Bourbon make for a much sought after limited edition Day of the Dead beverage? And coffee and pimples make for a sales winner.

Two iconic brands deeply rooted in popular culture, are teaming to make the coming release of a new Star Wars movie forceful. Kraft and Disney are now a PR Jedi Knights duo slaying the competition for media pick-ups!

The just launched KRAFT "Star Wars Macaroni and Cheese" campaign includes a limited edition Star Wars themed product box, Star Wars / Mac and Cheese TV commercials, and the KRAFT Star Wars Room ( – an interactive website giving fans exclusive access to explore rare Star Wars memorabilia, including the afore mentioned boxes of limited-edition Star Wars KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese and collectible character posters.

In a Kraft press release issued earlier this week, Scott Glenn, Brand Manager for KRAFT Macaroni &Cheese, explained why his company has teamed up with Disney Films. "We're bringing to life the nostalgia that many young parents feel about Star Wars and KRAFT, and creating new and exciting ways to experience them together as a family. Our Star Wars Room gives fans a new way to feed their inner Jedi with exclusive access to limited-edition collectibles housed in one amazing shrine."

Collector's edition Star Wars KRAFT Mac & Cheese is on food store shelves In Canada and the United States.  There are four collectible character boxes, featuring left and right faces of Yoda, Darth Vader, R2D2 and C3PO. Shoppers can buy limited-edition collector's posters depicting Star Wars KRAFT Mac and Cheese noodle characters in action and select character portraits.

According to a recent California press release the roots of a recent black head removal product can be traced back to the time its inventor spent in an LA coffee shop!
Neil MacKenzie
One of this year's biggest Web surprises is the sudden success of Neil MacKenzie who started his Aotearoa Beauty Company from a laptop in a coffee shop.” reads the press release. “Neil’s brainchild is the Aotearoa Blackhead and Blemish Remover Kit, a collection of surgical style tools to remove blackheads."
“Everybody in the tech world is focusing on apps and social media. But what the average person really wants is a way to remove blackheads and pimples," continued Neil MacKenzie. “Who knew blackhead removal was going to be as hot as the latest iPhone? I just figured there are a lot of people who would like make their face look better,"
“It is important not to squeeze or pop Pimples and Blackheads with your fingers,” he tells consumers. The Aotearoa Blackhead and Blemish Remover Kit contains five blackhead and pimple removing tools packed in a handy leather case carrier. The tools are double ended and made from stainless steel. They never rust and can easily be cleaned and sterilized.

The Ember Coffee Mug
Clayton Alexander is an American inventor who thought up General Electric’s futuristic light bulb, the GE Infusion. 

He has now teamed up with the well-known design company -Ammunition - to develop “the world’s most advanced coffee mug”.
The Ember Mug uses “patented heating and phase change cooling technology,” reads the company’s press release. 
“Ember mug creates an unforgettable drinking experience that will change the way we enjoy coffee or tea. The Ember mug will begin shipping in April 2016.”
The Ember mug will rapidly cool your hot coffee or tea down to a chosen temperature and will hold it at that exact temperature for hours on end. Experience the pleasure of enjoying your drink, in its perfect state, from the first sip to the last drop.
“I started Ember to solve a very simple problem: how to keep the coffee you love at the perfect temperature for as long as you like,” said founder and CEO Clayton Alexander. “By merging Ember’s patented temperature-control technology with beautiful design and an incredible user experience, we knew that we could appeal to discerning coffee drinkers.”
Ammunition has given the cup a simple, elegant design has no buttons or complex instructions. Simply rotate the dial at the base of the mug to easily adjust  the temperature. The mug can be controlled on its own, or through a Smart Phone and an Ember mobile app. The app allows drinkers to create temperature presets for all of your favorite drinks and even adjust the temperature of your coffee or tea remotely.


Two types of booze are combined for a new Day of the Dead beer. A Penticton, British Columbia craft brewery is using an unconventional method of fermenting beer in Tennessee Whisky barrels to produce two limited edition beers for November’s Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead.
The Bad Tattoo Brewery has purchased used whisky barrels from a Tennessee distillery to produced two new types of beer.  Martin Lewis, the manager of Bad Tattoo explained in a press release. “We’re only (making) 1,200 bottles of the 2015 Dia de Los Muertos Cerveza Fuerte and 600 bottles of Dia de Los Muertos La Resurrección.
Designed to interact with the residual Tennessee Whiskey found in the barrels, Bad Tattoo’s uncommon brewing technique infuses (the beer) with notes of dried fruits and warming spices, and will offer the palate underlying flavours of bourbon, oak, vanilla and toasted coconut.”
Bad Tattoo is releasing the beer on November 1, at a British Columbia Day of the Dead event. Inspired by one of the largest and most celebrated holidays in Mexico, Bad Tattoo is transforming its brewery into a Mexican-style arena complete with beautiful altars to celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones. The beers will be paired with two unique Mexican-style pizzas -- Mole Chicken and Nacho pizzas.
“We believe Mexican culture is one of the most fascinating cultures worldwide, so we’ve given the new beers Spanish names,” says Lewis. “A big part of traditional tattoo culture is skeletons and skulls, which coincides with the essence of this Mexican holiday. By combining the two, we created a fun and unique event that is a celebration of life.”


John Bernnardo
CAN A MOVIE ABOUT THE BAD LUCK US $2 bill spell success for the fledgling Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival? In a press release issued Friday the Film Festival announced that it would be premiering John Bennardo's Documentary About the sad sack US $2 bill.

So profound is this belief (that the $2 bill is unlucky) that many would leave the bill on the table rather than pocket it. Talk about leaving money on the table," reads the release. “Every time you spend one, something happens. There's a lasting connection and even a nostalgic feeling that often arises."

Will the movieThe 2 Dollar Bill Documentary" help the Film Festival when it premiers November 6th? Fort Lauderdale is a betting a deuce it will!

FINALLY A GAME TABLE FOR SKINNY CONDOs.  Condos are the residence of choice for millennial. Flashy. Trendy. Fun. But, in most cities condos lack one thing  -- space.
Brunswick, the makers of  professional  and high-end home pool tables realize that the modern condo just doesn’t have the space needed to play pool, so, it has reached into the past to find something that will fit!

“The Treviso Shuffleboard is  a classic-contemporary work of art. The (16 x 3) foot shuffleboard table comes with four red pucks, four black pucks, stainless steel abacus scorer, table brush and shuffleboard wax,” reads a recent Brunswick press release. It notes that the condo friendly Shuffleboard retails for $8,000 US.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Star Power Sells - Scent of a Dead Star, Designer Tequila and the Rolling Stones; and, a high-performance watch designed by a cupcake.

Andy Kaufman Perfume.  Rolling Stones Tequila. 
Johnny Cupcake G Watch. Name Recognition for Out-of-Character Products.

This week it is all about how fame sells even when: the star is long dead;  the rock and roll riots ended decades ago and, the newest watch in the store has been designed by a T-Shirt company! … Stephen Weir's Blog looks at the weekly whack of strange press releases that crossed my desk over the past seven days.

Dead Comedian Andy Kaufman has his own stink! -  On the 11th of October LA perfume maker Xyrena announced  that it has introduced a new scent.  Andy Kaufman Milk and Cookies is now being marketed in the United States to, according to the a Xyrena press release, to "honour of Kaufman's life and works."

Andy Kaufman has been dead for 41-years. In his lifetime there was never a perfume bearing his name or likeness .... but his estate has!  ""It's great to have Andy brought back, in any way, even if only in a bottle, " explained Andy's brother, Michael Kaufman.

Why is it called Milk and Cookies?  The perfume maker says it was inspired to make the new fragrance because of  "Kaufman's historic performance at Carnegie Hall in April 1979, after which he took the audience of 2,800 people out for milk and cookies."

Last words from the press bumf - " Milk and Cookies opens with top notes of sugar and sweet butter then develops into a heart of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and a delicate note of creamy milk, followed by bottom notes of vanilla extract and white musk."

At least no one was murdered when the Rolling Stones toured Canada and the United States in 1972 as had happened 3 years before at Altamont, California. But even without a body count, the 1972 was an historically violent cross-continent tour that saw a riot in Vancouver ( 60 arrested, 15 injured), a police tear gassing in Arizona, drug busts in Texas ( 81 arrested at Houston concerts),  mass arrests in Washington DC, a fire bombing of the Rolling Stones' equipment truck and a riot in Montreal and a final concert in New York City that ended with 'Mick and the Boys' bringing in pies which they proceeded to throw at the audience during their last number!

Last week, the Tequila maker Jose Cuervo, took Los Angeles fans for a ride through rock n' roll history on the 'Tequila Sunrise Bus Tour'. This was a rolling party to see The Rolling Stones' most iconic gigs during that infamous tour of 1972.  This time around no fans were hurt, or arrested, probably because there were no actual Rolling Stones involved in this tour beyond them lending of their name and the band's distinctive "Tongue and Lip Design" logo to this marketing exercise.

According to a press release issued by Jose Cuervo, "forty lucky local groupies got a taste of the legendary music venues and after-party haunts that The Rolling Stones rocked, like the The Roxy Theatre, the Chateau Marmont, The Viper Room, and many more."

Jose Cuervo says that it played a " pivotal roll in The Rolling Stones' notorious 1972 North American Tour. After the band tasted their first ever Cuervo Tequila Sunrise cocktail at The Trident bar in San Francisco it was named their official tour cocktail and accompanied them to 32 cities and 48 shows. "

Why the decision to celebrate the concert tour some 43-years later?  Commerce, of course. Jose Cuervo is releasing two limited edition tequila bottlings of Cuervo Especial and Reserva de la Familia.

They are urging fans of the Stones to "get your limited edition bottle of Jose Cuervo: The Rolling Stones Tour Pick and taste the glitz, glam and controversy that made the 72' tour the benchmark of an era and cemented The Stones as the world's greatest band. "

First thing you should know about Johnny Cupcakes is the US based company doesn't make cupcakes. It designs and sells T-shirts.  When you buy a T-shirt you get your purchase in a box that makes it looks like you just did your clothes shopping in a bakery!

Second thing you should know about Johnny Cupcakes is that the company doesn't make watches either.  But that hasn't stopped the release of a new Johnny Cupcake G-Force watch. And, when you buy the watch you do get your purchase in a box that makes it look that you bought your timepiece in a bakery!

Casio Watches and Johnny Cupcakes have teamed up to come up with a high performance watch with a Johnny Cupcake look.  Coming to malls across North America this November is the new Johnny Cupcake G-Shock watch. "Arriving in one of G-Shock's most popular and recognizable styles - the GDX6900 - the timepiece is designed with pink, blue, and white sprinkles on an aqua background," reads the watch company's press release. "The cascading sprinkles are an ode to Johnny Cupcakes' ever-present cupcake motif on the packaging in addition of the timepiece. "

Casio does not explain why it thinks consumers will want to spend $200 Cdn on a wristwatch with a unique sprinkle motif.  Could be the first of many Cupcake partnering for Casio. "Fans of Johnny Cupcake and G-Shock will be sure to see this collectible timepiece as one of many. Adding to the colorful color and unique sprinkle motif, the exterior casing features an engraved Johnny Cupcakes insignia of a skull and crossbones, with a cupcake silhouette replacing the skull. "