Krusty Brand Seal of Approval: Energy Drinks

The Canine Mutiny4

“Wow, Trucker’s Choice.” – Lisa Simpson

One of the basic positions of this blog is that the continuing production of Zombie Simpsons is due primarily to merchandising.  “Simpsons” merchandise generates twice as much revenue as advertising, and with none of the overhead of actually producing the show.  Moreover, the success of merchandising is directly related to how fresh the characters remain in the public mind.  For a similar example, see this recent New York Times article about Warner Brothers’ efforts to get the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck back into the spotlight:

Ask a first grader to identify Bugs Bunny and the response more likely than not will be a blank stare. Dora, sure. Mickey, alive and kicking. But Porky who?

Worried that the low profile of the Looney Tunes cast of characters among children is the start of th-th-th-that’s all folks for the historic cartoon franchise, Warner Brothers is embarking on a five-alarm rescue effort.

There’s no subtlety or shame about what this is about either:

Sales of Looney Tunes merchandise have been sliding for about eight years, but still ring up over $1 billion annually on a global basis via 1,000 licensees. (To compare, Winnie the Pooh generates about $5 billion annually for Disney.) The hope is that “The Looney Tunes Show,” supported by the theatrical shorts, will fuel new product lines.

“We have to invest quite a bit of money in the content first,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Brothers Consumer Products. “Once there is new content out there, then retailers will become more interested in it.”

They’re producing new content, a television show at $750,000 per episode, with the explicit purpose of selling more branded crap.  (Whether or not it’s a good idea to make a new show for that reason, instead of because someone had a good idea or actually created something, is a whole other discussion.)  The parallels with Zombie Simpsons are obvious.  If/when the show goes off the air, the brand instantly becomes less valuable to News Corp and FOX.

Which brings us to today’s affront to common sense, the Flaming Moe energy drink: Flaming Moe Energy Drink

This is not the first time they’ve made an “energy drink” (which is a misnomer, but nevermind) out of an alcoholic beverage from the show.  Back in 2007, in what I assume was a movie tie-in, there was a Duff energy drink.  Like that, this is mindless, lazy branding at its best.  There’s nothing the least bit special or innovative about this drink, it has nothing to do with the show or with the Flaming Moe.

It’s just a generic energy drink – mostly caffeine, some filler – that happens to have a copyrighted drawing on the can.  And while I am not a connoisseur of energy drinks, my strong suspicion is that this is probably not the world’s finest concoction.  The appeal is strictly cosmetic, it has nothing to do with the actual product.  Presumably the market here is impulse buyers, the curious, and the collectors (can’t forget them).






To see just how little thought was actually put into this, check out the Amazon product page (red lines added electronically by Channel 6):

Flaming Moe Energy Drink2

Generally, when I read the sentence “Not intended for use by children” I assume that means five-year-olds.  But that’s just me.  Now, I’m not going to get righteous about the fact that they’re selling this to kids.  (Nor do I see how the can is a choking hazard.)  But it’s patently obvious that no one bothered to properly classify this item – or even to proof read the product page.  From the time someone said “Let’s make a Flaming Moe energy drink” right up through the product page going live, no care or thought was put into anything.  It’s also worth noting that this is listed on Amazon under “Toys & Games”.

Shoddy, poorly conceived, and ill executed, things like this are why Zombie Simpsons continues to exist.  Of course, Zombie Simpsons itself is shoddy, poorly conceived, and ill executed, so at least they’re consistent in their apathy towards their work.

5 Responses to “Krusty Brand Seal of Approval: Energy Drinks”

  1. 1 Jason
    7 June 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Just a guess … the ring pull is probably the choking hazard. I take it this means five year olds don’t eat canned pudding either.

    Shitty merchandise though.

  2. 7 June 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Zombie Simpsons is like whenever they try to make “new” Looney Tunes cartoons, where it’s basically just a sloppy, lifeless rehash of the good years, made by people who grew up with it. All the geniuses who made it what it was (Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, etc.) checked out a long time ago.

    (Please note that in this allegory, Tex Avery is Conan O’Brien.)

    • 4 D.N.
      8 June 2010 at 1:21 am

      I remember back when “Tiny Toons Adventures” first came out, and old-school Looney Tunes fans were (rightfully) outaged. After that, Warner Brothers was peddling T-shirts and merchandise depicting the classic Looney Tunes characters as mean gangster rappers, then they made that godawful “Loonatics Unleashed” cartoon, reconfiguring the Looney Tunes characters into anime-inspired superheroes (I swear, it didn’t look all that different from “The Mattel & Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour”). This new Looney Toons “sitcom” series or whatever it is sounds like Warners’ latest effort to bugger their stable and make their characters cool and trendy and totally in people’s faces. Avery, Jones, Clampett, Freling and McKimson must be rolling in their graves.

  3. 5 Mad Jon
    8 June 2010 at 8:20 am

    “Our Recommended age: 5 years and up”

    It actually says “Fire Made It Better” in a little red circle. I think the FOX legal team is either getting bored or not logging enough billable hours.

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