It was almost a year ago that I wrote about the Wilkins and Wontkins commercials that Jim Henson worked on early in his career in Washington, D.C.
Commercials are kind of where the Muppets were born, if you think about it. Attention from those commercials and the money they brought in made Jim Henson a name and also helped him to invest in future projects.
As we anxiously await the premiere of Muppets Most Wanted in March, we were entertained last night during during that annual football game thing with not only two different commercials featuring the Muppets hanging out in a Toyota Highlander, trying to make their way to MetLife stadium but also some social media prowess as well.
Pepe the King Prawn (the handsome handsome dude) took over Toyota’s Twitter account and posted tweets, Vine videos, and more as the Muppets slowly moved their way to traffic to promote the new car (roomy enough for many chickens) and also advertising for their upcoming movie.
I thought the idea was genius, and especially wonderful to give Pepe the limelight because 1) there wasn’t nearly enough of him in The Muppets and also 2) he is the king of one-liners.
The Muppets also managed to keep it going without their fearless leader Kermit. (Or the lovely complaints of Miss Piggy.)
Well, the game was pretty much a sleeper (and that’s coming from a non-football fan) but I was really really excited by all the interaction from Pepe and also awaiting the commercial live on TV. (I refused to watch it online before the big day.) I was also left to wonder how effective this kind of marketing is.
Am I going to buy a Highlander? No but I do know about it after all of this.
Will I see Muppets Most Wanted? I had already planned to but I’m even more excited now.
Was I just happy to see the Muppets on TV again? You betcha, and I hope it doesn’t stop.
I’m not going to sit here and wax poetic over what I think Jim Henson would like about today’s world, but I’d like to think he would be pretty fascinated by how full circle and accessible marketing has become. Sure, you are still being sold a product but it feels so much more personal when there is humor, nostalgia, and most of all, interaction.
What did you think of last night’s shenanigans?
P.S. Be sure to check out the new Muppets Most Wanted promo that aired during the game, as well!