Advertising sells – literally

One of the first things many people see in the morning is their favourite cereal box, which in turn means seeing their favourite cereal character. You know which ones we're talking about: the Trix rabbit, the Lucky Charms leprechaun and Count Chocula. Well, now, not only will they be around to help folks start their day, but they're going to be there to tuck 'em in at night too. That's because Minneapolis-based General Mills has designed a line of cereal-themed pillows, which we thought was kinda smart, given that it means consumers will be, um, sleeping with the brand. So we thought we'd take a look at others that have excelled at this kind of thing. What we discovered: advertising sells - literally.

One of the first things many people see in the morning is their favourite cereal box, which in turn means seeing their favourite cereal character. You know which ones we’re talking about: the Trix rabbit, the Lucky Charms leprechaun and Count Chocula. Well, now, not only will they be around to help folks start their day, but they’re going to be there to tuck ‘em in at night too. That’s because Minneapolis-based General Mills has designed a line of cereal-themed pillows, which we thought was kinda smart, given that it means consumers will be, um, sleeping with the brand. So we thought we’d take a look at others that have excelled at this kind of thing. What we discovered: advertising sells – literally.

For Fido’s trek to the farm

Green and yellow might not be the most complementary colours but they seem to be working for John Deere. The farm equipment company sells everything from die-cast replicas of its equipment to tractor-shaped piñatas. Oh, and if your pooch needs a farm-fix, check out John Deere’s pet product line. (www.johndeeregifts.com/)

Addicted to Coke?

Coca-Cola has given us some of the most recognized and beloved advertising characters to date, like those sweet polar bears. The Atlanta-based soft drink manufacturer leaves no market untapped and its branded items have evolved to include other partners too, as in the NASCAR/Coca-Cola line. We’re talking everything from snow globes with a NASCAR-loving polar bear inside to licence plate covers. (www.coca-colastore.com)

Nice crib

Guys and cars, it’s an age-old story. And let’s face it,

red-blooded males love the Jeep brand. How much? Consider that parent company Daimler-Chrysler has allowed the all-terrain vehicle to extend into all kinds of non-automotive-related stuff, like a Jeep Sahara Limited XT Playard. The tan-colored baby crib (seriously) has two locking wheels, night-light and music player – just like the real thing. Other items emblazoned with the Jeep logo include clocks, clothes, and even luggage. (www.gear.jeep.com/JeepGear/)

I’ll pay for that!

What happens when your ads are in higher demand than the product you’re trying to promote? That’s exactly what happened to Indianapolis-based Justin Tysdal, creator of the custom motorcycle company Chopper Farm. After tasking Bradley and Montgomery (BaM), also based in Indianapolis, to produce a campaign, the shop came back with gothic-inspired T-shirts and posters, which carried such slogans as ‘Chrome is Satan’s favorite color.’ The items were meant to be handed out for free at a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D. Instead, it turned out the Ts and posters were hotter than the engines of the bikes that had travelled hundreds of miles to get there. In fact, Tysdal is now selling the apparel, and may never get around to building the actual choppers.