This week’s news cycle has brought in an interesting story with a peripheral link to the Jonai, and a less retold bit of their storied past.
The New York (freakin’!) Times decided to do a story on the front page of their Arts section about the plight of the Clique Girlz, a super-young girl pop act which has been struggling to get a foothold in the consciousness of its tween demographic (and may be in the midst of breaking up, anyway, making the NYT story shockingly ill-timed).
Apparently, former Disney-king and current Topps-candy-csar Michael Eisner has proposed these Girlz build some momentum behind their brand with a sweet endorsement deal, one which ought to be familiar to us all: Baby Bottle Pop!
In essence, the original campaign was successful enough that the bigwigs assume that a band’s revision of the Baby Bottle Pop jingle and packaging tie-in – just as the Jonas Brothers did while in the low transition period from SONY/Columbia to Hollywood Records – is a surefire way to have as strong an impact on both the candy-brand and band’s pop-career as it did in the last go round. A likely story?
A couple of excerpts of the article, and a chance to relive the glorious campaign, after the jump!
The idea behind the endeavor is simple enough…
Topps, the candy and collectibles company that Mr. Eisner bought in 2007, has signed the Clique Girlz as commercial spokeswomen for Baby Bottle Pop, one of the Top 10 nonchocolate candy brands. The candy has two parts, a nipple-shaped lollipop top and a bottle-shaped container filled with fruit-flavored powder. Consumers are meant to lick the top and dip it into the powder. The performers will have their photo on Topps packaging, appear in television ads on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Toon Disney, and in a print campaign set for teeny-bopper must-reads like Twist magazine.
Topps will also emphasize the group on the Baby Bottle Pop Web site (babybottlepop.com), offering webisodes, ring tones, games and a tour tracker, starting next month. The centerpiece of the deal calls for the group to “re-imagine” the Baby Bottle Pop ad jingle, well-known among 6- to 12-year-old girls. “They haven’t popped yet, but the elements are there, and we’re superexcited,” said Ari Weinstock, director of marketing for Topps.
The Jonas Brothers signed a nearly identical life-support deal with Topps in the period between getting dropped by Sony and being signed by Walt Disney Records in the summer of 2007. Mr. Weinstock credits the campaign with helping the band catch Disney’s eye. A spokeswoman for Disney Records declined to comment.
The impact the Jonases brought to Topps, with the solid cult fanbase they had already on board with them despite a rough 2006, and the one they soon grew once Disney began to promote them in early 2007, is abundantly clear, and – in my opinion – a tough bar for the new group to meet.
For Topps, signing up the Clique Girlz carries little risk. If the band doesn’t strike a chord soon, Topps moves on. But if sales are as strong as Interscope hopes, the Baby Bottle Pop brand could get a boost. The Jonas Brothers certainly gave it one: Mr. Weinstock, citing Nielsen figures, said sales of the candy increased 7 percent in 2007 over the previous year, and increased 12 percent in 2008. “Quite impressive for a mature brand,” he said.
Read the whole story here.
I can see that Topps might feel the need to refresh the old Jonas approach, which still sits online, perfectly preserved and ever-more out of date. But is this really a model that can be duplicated – can anything honestly top the last lucky break?
OK, instead of worrying over such questions for a minute, just relive the original glory…
My favorite!! The full-length video.
This candy commercial, which I found online shortly after the “Hold On” video piqued my interest, was largely responsible for Phase II of my early Jonas besottedness…
Just before I clicked the link, I remember thinking “Baby Bottle Pop” was a clever, tongue-in-cheek song title meant to describe the kind of music they were producing (I didn’t own “It’s About Time”, yet). A few head-boppingly pleasant moments after I clicked, though, I was pretty much sold…on the Brothers, if not the pops. Apparently I am not alone. Almost two years later, the obscure video is pushing 2 million views and still getting hits and comments daily. LBF still requests this on the iPod regularly. And I can more than stand it on repeat – a reworked candy jingle. I also think it is a nice way to show how they sounded like themselves before they signed on to Disney.
The broadcast commercials:
Bonus Making Of!!
I find it kind of funny that Topps really wants to think the success of this had much to do with a clever corporate & PR machinations that will work with just anyone.
And I have at this point even seen Disney PR trying to do the same, as their up-and-coming stars increasingly litter the internet with Jonas-esque silly & personal YouTube videos and SayNow interactions and posting of old family photos and videos. Executives seek to reproduce the magic of the Jonases’ alleged “springboarding to fame from Hannah Montana platform”* as they try to pull off a similar feat with Demi Lovato (who I like, it’s just not the same). All of this rarely goes off with the same spark the Jonases managed, though.
So can you really lather, rinse and repeat all the routines the Boys accomplished in from their quiet, humbled late 2006 to the massive (and still humbled!) start of 2009?
It is a great credit to the achievements of the Boys & their team that moguls are certainly interested in trying.