Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brian Callerame: Spambassador

Back in the days before the naked mangled carcass of the once noble SpamMobile was auctioned off to the highest bidder, it was piloted by wanderlusting adventurers who took pride in the long and storied history of America's favorite canned meat.

One such "Spambassador" was Brian Callerame.

The Winter '05 issue of UNLV Magazine profiled Brian who gave some interesting insights into what it's like to sit behind the wheel of the world's largest can of Spam.

You can read the article HERE.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wiener (Mobile) Dog

Halloween is almost here and the best way to celebrate is to dress your pet up as your favorite productmobile.

This custom costume is courtesy of "meganmcgrane"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Product Mobiles as Guerrilla Marketing

The Permuto Discoveries blog has made a list of 18 examples of the most memorable guerrilla marketing campaigns and a couple of product mobiles made the list.The list also contains several examples of interesting marketing stunts, some that worked better than others.

You can read the blog entry HERE.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fictional Product Mobiles

Not all product mobiles actually have the benefit of reality. A few exist solely in the world of TV and movies. Here are a few examples:
Reminiscent of the Meow Mix Mobile, the Shaggin' Wagon carried Harry & Loyd from Rhode Island to Aspen (well, it almost got them there) in the movie Dumb & Dumber. It proudly advertised the ill fated "Mutt Cutts" mobile pet grooming service.
On the TV series King of the Hill, the Bugabago served as both mobile advertisement and effective killing machine in the service of Dale Gribble. "Dales Dead-Bug" pest control service took it's marketing quite literally.

A direct to DVD comedy that you and I have never heard of called "Wieners" featured a custom Wiener Wagon sporting the face of SNL regular Keenan Thompson and a giant hot dog on the roof. It was made by Prototype Source, the makers of the real Wienermobile.
 There may be more examples on the big and small screen so we'll all have to keep our eyes peeled.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interview with Filmmaker Bob Barbieri

A few years ago we produced "Fast Food," a short documentary about product mobiles. Now an all new documentary from Versa Video Productions is on its way with even more four wheeled wonders to show off.

Bob Barbieri is one of the producers of "Road Icons: The Wacky World of Productmobiles" and we spoke with him recently about his upcoming production.

FF: What gave you the idea to do this documentary?

BB: Our company, Versa Video, is based in Santa Barbara, CA. Some years ago, we were hired by a mid-west ad agency to document the construction of the Pfizer Revolution Mobile, which was being built to promote a pet care product.

The Revolution Mobile was designed and built by Prototype Source, also of Santa Barbara. Over time, we shot footage of other vehicles being fabricated at Prototype, and the more we shot, the more we thought the subject of productmobiles would make an interesting subject for a documentary.

We knew the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile always received wide media coverage, but what other vehicles were out there, and who was building them? So were started making calls, and found the agencies that did the mobile marketing programs for the vehicles, and we worked with them and sometimes directly with the product manufacturers, like Zippo and Oscar Mayer.

FF: How hard was it to track down and research all these vehicles?

BB: Fortunately, the product manufacturer is emblazoned on the side of any given vehicle, so they weren’t too hard to track down. Sometimes finding the right person to speak to took a number of calls, but once we connected, we found that everyone was supportive and enthusiastic about the project. Research came from a wide variety of sources: the manufacturers, interviews with team members and builders, old magazine articles, and the internet came in handy as well.

Once we had a plan in place, we started the process of tracking vehicle schedules, and then meeting up with the productmobiles and their crews in various cities. At first we went to locations that were relatively close to us, like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but then we needed to go wider if we really wanted to get all the productmobiles on the road. So we did a cross-country tour to get as much footage as possible, and the states visited included Colorado, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. Along the way, we interviewed productmobile “ambassadors”, builders and fans, and also shot a lot of driving footage using a special rig with a remote pan/tilt head for our camera that utilized a broadcast Canon image stabilization lens.

FF: Which vehicles are included and what are your favorites?

BB: Some of the vehicles included in the documentary are the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (classic), Mini-Wienermobile (built on a Mini-Cooper S), Spammobile, Meow Mix Mobile, Zippo Car, Dunkin’ Donuts Great One, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Turtle Transit’s Elvis and Rhino, Planters Nutmobile (aka Mr. Peanut’s Hotrod), Tonka’s Mighty Dump Truck, Kellogg’s Tonymobile, and the Hersheys Kissmobile. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Goldfish is always a great crowd-pleaser with those giant sunglasses and that huge smile.

FF: Were there any vehicles you wanted to include but could not?

BB: One vehicle that was no longer on the road at the time we were shooting was the Eckrich Fun House, so that didn’t make the cut. Pace Picante Salsa had a unique Chuckwagon we wanted to include in the program. We caught up with it in Las Vegas at a national rodeo event, and the next day we were going to shoot all the driving footage of the vehicle and interview the crew.

When we went to the van in the morning, it had been broken into, and a significant amount of our gear had been stolen, including our remote pan/tilt head and stabilization lens and other crucial items. So we postponed the shoot and made plans to catch up with the Chuckwagon at a later date, but for various reasons we could never connect with them again. So that was one that definitely got away!

For more information about the documentary check out the website:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Prototype Source Article

The new issue of the Santa Ynez Valley Journal has an article about Prototype Source and some of the product mobiles they've created.In the brief article Prototype Source co-owner Dorian Duke is quoted and a few past projects are mentioned. Unfortunately there's no news on any upcoming product mobiles.
Click HERE to read the article

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kissmobile in Exile

The Hershey's Kissmobile continues its self imposed exile at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, PA.

Originally booked through May of this year, the AACA Musuem's website now says that it will remain until at least through January of 2010.

If you can't make it all the way to Hershey, PA to see the chocolate hot rod you can still enjoy this very short, very shaky amateur video footage:

Just think of it like footage of a Bigfoot sighting...if Bigfoot was as large as a giant novelty promotional video...and if he stood perfectly still...and if the cameraman was having a seizure...

After the Wienermobile, the Kissmobile is usually thought of as one of the most successful product mobiles and is the most likely to be able to tour again after the economy recovers. So all eyes look towards Hershy, PA as a chocolate loving nation holds its breath, waiting for the return of the Kiss.

For more information, check out the AACA Museum's website:

Or the Hershey Insider Blog

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Not a Product Mobile" Part 4: Little Debbie Cupcake Car

And now we continue with part 4 of the "Not a Product Mobile" series. Yea! (You can also still check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3!)

I've always been of the opinion that when it comes to product mobiles, a wacky paint job just doesn't cut it. So while my sadly myopic view of promotional vehicles is rife with arbitrary technicalities that prevent me from allowing the Little Debbie Cupcake Car to join the club, the sporty snack cake more than makes up for it with several interesting features. The first? A cross country tour!

What? An honest-to-goodness tour?!? It's been so long since anything but the Wienermobile traveled I almost forgot it was an option.

The Little Debbie Share-A-Thon will visit 21 cities to promote their new cupcakes.

Several of the cupcake-ized Smart Cars will not only be making appearances but the snack cake lovers will also get a chance to win one.
Apparently October 18th is "National Cupcake Day" (what are the odds?) and to celebrate, Little Debbie is giving away 1,000,000 cupcakes, a Cupcake Car and several other prizes.
It looks like some parades can expect a visit from the Little Debbie Cupcake Float, which I also don't classify as a Product Mobile but it moves and is cool to look at so it made it onto the blog.

And here's your chance to see the cupcake cars in motion:

You can get more information from the tour's website:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Poultry Parade Permutation

Some people would argue that a truck shaped like a chicken that was promoting oddly named candy bars would be a perfectly fine addition to any parade.

Persnickety parade purists however might argue that only floats float their boat. That's what we can only assume happened in this instance as we witness photographic evidence of bizarre alterations to the previously mentioned Chicken Dinner Candy Truck.

Parade peer pressure wins again as we are left pondering the necessity the above modification. The Chicken Dinner Candy Truck as always been shrouded in mystery so perhaps we'll never know real story.

The pictures are from the Forensic Genealogy website.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Outside the Vox

The Voxmobile makes the somewhat bold claim of being "perhaps the fastest promotional vehicle ever."

The George Barris created beauty has a storied history, having changed hands more times than a hookah at a Grateful Dead concert. The car's stories, stats and Hollywood pedigree are lovingly chronicled in the current owner's "rockumentary" (get it?).

But enough of my yappin', Let's boogie:

You can feel even more of the love at Voxxy's official website:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Burger King

Awhile back we introduced you to a couple of Burger Cars, hot off the grill.

A proud owner of one of these Burgermobiles was interviewed about his own personal patty wagon. Check it out:

This particular example of fast food is the creation of Orchid Promotional Vehicles:

And promotes the Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill in Kansas City, MO.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Clown Car

Houston's CW affiliate, Channel 39, has posted several pictures of Ronald McDonald's Shoe Car on their website. Here's a sample:

They covered the Shoe Car from every conceivable angle. You can see the exhaustive photoessay on their website, click HERE to view it.