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Melts in your mouth, not in your ... hook?

Melts in your mouth, not in your ... hook?

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Late last week, I told the boss that I was going out of town for the weekend to attend the Crown Royal 400 at the Richmond International Raceway.

 

What was Jim's response? “Be sure and bring your camera along. I bet that there’ll be lots of ‘Cars’ promotional stuff going on at this race. So get plenty of pictures, okay?”


Photo by Jeff Lange

Per Mr. Hill's instruction, I brought my trusty digital camera along. And while I did get to see a very exciting race (Dale Earnhart Jr. beat Denny Hamlin by a mere 0.572 seconds), I didn't see a single "Cars" promotional item the entire time that I was at the Richmond International Raceway.

I'm serious, folks. I hiked from the very top of the grandstand all the way down into the infield. I toured every single part of the Raceway that was open to the public. And I didn't see so much as a bumper sticker that promoted that upcoming Disney / Pixar release.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Mind you, the total absense of "Cars" promotional stuff at this past Satuday's race probably shouldn't have surprised me. Given that the Richmond International Raceway is owned & operated by the International Speedway Corporation (AKA the ISC). And given that the ISC is the bitter rival of SMI (AKA Speedway Motorsports, Inc. The corporation that owns the Lowe's Motor Speedway, the racing venue where the world premiere of John Lasseter's next film is being held  later this month) ... Well, I guess you can understand why the RIR was a "Cars" free zone (so to speak) this past weekend.

Mind you, that isn't to say that there wasn't some promotion for an upcoming Walt Disney Pictures release going on at the Raceway this past Saturday's race. I mean, check out No. 38. Elliot Sadler's car ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

I know that it's probably difficult to see much of anything (Besides the giant white M&M that's on the hood) on the full-sized version of Sadler's car. Which is why I'm also including a close-up of the toy version of No. 38.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Do you see what's on the trunk of Elliot's race car? Yep, that's a copy of the teaser poster for Walt Disney Pictures' July 2006 release, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."


Photo by Jeff Lange

"But why are all the M&Ms on Sadler's car dressed like pirates?," you ask. Well, that's because Mars Incorporated (I.E. The $18 billion food conglomerate that owns the M&M Brand Candies) signed a deal with the Walt Disney Company to help promote this Gore Verbinski film. In which the packaging for several different varieties of M&M's (for the next few months, anyway) will be emblazoned with images from "Dead Man's Chest."

And given that No. 38 is sponsored by M&M's Motorsports ... Well, then it only stands to reason that Elliot Sadler's car (as well as all of the merchandise that Mr. Sadler's race team is currently selling) ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... will feature the M&M characters dressed up as pirates and/or the "Dead Man's Chest" logo. With the hope that these images will then be enough to get race fans excited about this upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel. 


Photo by Jeff Lange

"But what's the deal with the giant white M&M  on the hood of Elliot's car?,"  you query. Well, that's to help promote the special limited edition M&M Candies that Mars Inc. just put on sale last week. Called "White Chocolate Pirate Pearls," these candies were (obviously) created to help make the public aware of the upcoming release of this new Jerry Bruckheimer production.

In addition to these limited edition white chocolate candies, Mars Inc. will also be sponsoring (now through June) a "Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" -themed scratch & win sweepstakes. Which will (hopefully) help make the public aware of this upcoming Walt Disney Pictures release as well as of the new white chocolate M&M's.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Anyway ... That's the story that I brought back from Virginia this week. It's not exactly the "Cars" -related article that Jim was hoping for. But given that this piece does feature a racing car that is promoting an upcoming Walt Disney Pictures release ... I don't think that Mr. Hill has much to complain about.

Your thoughts?

FYI: In addition to being JHM's official photographer & archvist, Jeff Lange also produces a best-selling series of Disney theme park DVDs. Among his more recent titles are "Cruise Line Classics 2," "Original Fantasmic" and "Disneyland's 35th Anniversary." For further information on these DVDs as well as all of the other titles in Jeff's catalog, please follow this link.

 

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  • Well, if you _really_ squint, that red one does bear _some_ resemblance to Mr.Depp…

    Seriously though-- I am wondering why they didin't just run with this theme for the entire film? Surely virtual M&Ms would have been more cooperative than live talent…

    (Sorry for the delay in my responses-- left a goody at the tail end of the McDonalds discussion this morning. Been on vacation, you see.)
  • Wasn't it just reported that The Mouse was going to lay off using junkfood to push their stuff?  http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/archive/2006/05/08/2288.aspx
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