The put ads where?

Baby shows: No infants were harmed...

Baby shows: No infants were harmed…

Nestlé is not, repeat not, actually slapping its brand on babies. And the newborns featured on the new Nestlé Baby & You series – which premiered on Rogers Television last month – are definitely not named ‘Nestlé,’ à la future classmates christened ‘Porsche,’ ‘Lexus’ and the like.

But the giant Swiss food manufacturer certainly seems to be staking a claim in the nurseries of the nation with this follow-up program to last year’s Nestlé Nine Months series.

And nobody’s saying which came first, Erica Ehm’s pregnancy or the decision to hire the former MuchMusic VJ as host of the 13-parter in which professional infant health-care authorities explore various aspects of a baby’s first year of life.

But could it just be serendipity, that Ehm gave birth to daughter Jessie just two weeks after production of Nestlé Baby & You wrapped?

Foreheads: Is that a Scion on your head?

To introduce its new Scion tC coupe, Toyota took the old expression about ‘really using your head’ literally last month in a blitz of New York City.

Clad in trendy ‘ScionWare’ and handing out packets of mints imprinted with the Scion Web site, a small army of hip young folks sported temporary tattoos on their foreheads touting the youth-targeted vehicle.

The feat was the brainchild of U.K. guerrilla marketing firm Cunning Stunts Communications, which recently opened a New York office. On the agency’s portfolio are similar campaigns in London in which human foreheads became mobile billboards for such marketers as the CNX action-adventure cable channel (owned by AOL Time Warner), Cartoon Network UK and men’s magazine FHM. ‘A forehead ad looks great with the right kind of brands,’ Cunning Stunts co-founder John Carver recently opined in the Wall Street Journal.

Scion expects to sell 60,000 vehicles this year and is aiming for 100,000 in 2005.

In another attention-grabbing gimmick for the Scion, Toyota is turning out 2,100 ‘exclusive’ cars painted a vivid orange hue called ‘Hot Lava,’ which are available ‘for a limited time only.’

By the highway: another roadside attraction

With commute times growing ever lengthier, it makes sense to grab drivers’ attention while they’re at the wheel. And that’s just what’s being done in a variety of ways in Canada and the U.S.

In San Francisco, branded traffic cones and barricades are being used to guide drivers to the target destinations (such as Web sites) of such advertisers including Fox Films, Rheingold Beer and Microsoft.

Adopt-a-Highway signs across the U.S. are being festooned with messages from sponsors such as ‘bouffant billionaire’ Donald Trump, who waited five years for a plum location in New York City, according to Greg Wooden, sales director for Costa Mesa, Calif.’s Adopt-a-Highway Maintenance Corporation, one of the leading companies providing the signage service.

Wooden estimates that, based on official state traffic counts, an average of five million drivers per month see each sign, which is not bad for a monthly fee of between US$200 and US$2,000.

The stadium: because you can’t get cable in the bathroom

Think about it: millions of sports fans spending hours in hundreds of stadiums for thousands of events per year. We’re talking captive audiences who just naturally have to eat, drink and let’s face it, relieve themselves during each outing.

NY’s Street Blimps has not only thought about it, they’ve come up with a turnkey program to brand myriad food and drink concession stands and snack carriers, while Chicago-based AdCommunity is concentrating on washroom opps.

Street Blimps provides ads on everything from counter-top snack racks to cardboard drinks carriers as well as coupons and samples attached to racks or inserted in snack packages.

Meanwhile, AdCommunity places advertising signage on the walls, entryways and exits of stadium washrooms as well as above urinals and baby-changing stations.

Some advertisers have chosen to tie into the theme of their chosen locale. Examples: ESPN The Magazine recently used the tagline ‘Because you can’t get cable in the bathroom.’ And Dodge Durango quipped, ‘Yeah, size does matter.’