Kool-Aid Man is hitting the road for the first time ever this summer with a 30-city ‘More Smiles Per Gallon’ tour. Visiting fairgrounds, baseball games, zoos and other kid-friendly places, Kraft’s 50-foot Kool-Aid cruiser will operate in conjunction with a ‘Gimme Some of That Smile’ sweepstakes. Kids in eight of the destination cities will be able to compete for US$1,000 prizes by offering up their biggest smiles. A grand prize winner chosen from the eight finalists gets to be grand marshal of the Kool-Aid Days festival in Hastings, Nebraska on August 14 and receives a US$10,000 savings bond.
Burger King is featuring a scary line of sound-capable plush called Silly Slammers this Halloween. The premiums, which will be available with Kids Meals in October, include a pumpkin, eyeball, witch, bat and ghost that make a noise and light up when slammed into a hard surface. A US$3-million campaign will support. Silly Slammers are marketed by Cincinnati, Ohio-based Gibson Toys and currently retail at about 65,000 retail outlets across the U.S.
Kids up and down the east coast will get the chance to meet a full-size Theodore Tugboat starting this fall. Series producer Cochran Entertainment, based in Halifax, Canada, has commissioned a seaworthy 65-foot wooden Theodore replica, weighing in at 105 tons, to visit ports of call along the eastern seaboard and promote the PBS series. Kids will also be able to follow Theodore via Cochran’s site on the internet (ww.cochran.com) as he chugs along with a 400-horsepower engine, captain and two crew members.
HIT Entertainment is marking the U.S. debut of animated preschool property Kipper with a multimillion dollar promotional campaign gearing up this month. More than 12,000 Subway outlets across the U.S. are featuring Kipper premiums in Kids’ Pak meals with a national ad campaign on Nick Jr. supporting. Hallmark Home Entertainment is also offering US$1 rebates off Kipper videos with the premiums. The videos will retail for US$9.98 starting July 20.
Subway is also cross-promoting Frito-Lay’s Cracker Jack product starting this month. Locations across North America will feature premiums based on the classic candy-coated popcorn confection in Kids’ Pak meals from July 19 to August 22. Toys available include a Sailor Jack Compass, a Cracker Jack Periscope, a Sailor Jack Fan Whistle and a Bingo Magnifying Glass. Single-serve Cracker Jack bags will also be available for sale.
Sears is hoping to up its coolness factor with tweens through a back-to-school Backstreet Boys campaign. The department store chain will sponsor the Boys’ North American tour this fall and a TV campaign kicking off in August will feature a new song from the group.