Reader C. was cruising by the beer cooler at his local Hannaford supermarket when he noticed an interesting cross-promotion. There was a mini-shelf attached to the outside of the refrigerator case door, where you might expect to see maybe bottles of chocolate sauce near the ice cream. This mini-shelf in the beer case had… acetaminophen? That’s a pain reliever that can cause liver damage in not-so-high doses, which you shouldn’t combine with alcohol. [More]
Apparently, it’s inevitable that pets that become famous on the Internet come out with their own merchandise. Official licensed stuffed toys, t-shirts, stickers, stuffed animals: it’s all been done. What was the next logical step? Pet treats? Hamster boutiques? No…how about cat-branded coffee? [More]
The future of Disney merchandising will hit a lot more demographics than the mostly kid-oriented stuff of today, if Disney has any say over it. Disney has already angered theater chains by shortening the theatrical release window on its new movie-like product Alice in Wonderland, cutting into theaters’ profit models in order to bump up the DVD release date. But CNBC notes that it’s also launching the “most wide-ranging array of consumer products ever” for a Disney flick–and that includes thousand dollar necklaces, nail polish, and dresses that cost as much as $600.
Starting the middle of next year, Walt Disney will be rolling out a new version of its mall store format that is intended to suck in your child like a fairy princess crack pipe. “The goal is to make children clamor to visit the stores and stay longer,” writes Brooks Barnes in the New York Times, by using things like embedded chips in the packaging to trigger responses from the store’s furnishings, a rotating library of scents that fill the store, and karaoke.
Heather at The Greenest Dollar read How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer earlier this summer, and it made her see Costco in an entirely new way. The point behind all that crazy luxury stuff for sale at Costco isn’t just to sell it, she says; it’s to prime your brain with feel-good dopamine so that you’re far more likely to splurge on the more affordable items deeper in the store.
Yesterday we posted a photo a reader sent in of a toy aisle in his local Walmart that was packed with junk food. We all got commenty on what exactly Walmart was doing—was it a one-off paid promo by Pepsi? A marketing experiment? A power-mad store manager driven crazy by shelving issues? Nah, it’s actually an intentional choice mandated by corporate.
There’s no better way to show your support for the war on Christmas Creep than to strap a bottle rocket to a reindeer ornament, or maybe point a Roman candle at a Santa lawn figure. Now you can do just that, by combining all the explosive fury of July 4th with the heartwarming frivolity of Christmas, thanks to Tuesday Morning.
On the other hand, we think the CVS manager in this D.C. store might want to take a look around and see how other stores are doing it. (Thanks to Rob!)
Furries rejoice! Andy at NonToxicReviews is covering Toy Fair in NYC this week, and he’s just uploaded some footage of the latest in the unending parade of Elmo merchandise: vibrating, giggling gloves that you can wear. We’re almost afraid to see the videos that are going to start popping up once these hit the market.
Pixar’s new movie Wall-E is about (SPOILER ALERT) a crass consumer culture that eventually ruins the planet by completely covering it with pointless garbage. Humanity, unable to consume itself out of an environmental crisis, moves to space, where it endlessly vacations on giant cruise-ship like habitats. The planet is governed by a huge Walmart-esque mega-store called “Buy ‘N Large.” In order to celebrate this anti-consumption message, Disney has apparently been giving out cheap plastic watches, and has launched a “Buy ‘N Large” website where you can buy movie merchandise. [Slog]