Unicorn-icopia of Marketing Silliness

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Is it just me, or are unicorns the next vampires? The mythical horned beasts have been popping up all over lately.

On the big screen, Buttercup the Unicorn joined Woody, Buzz and the rest of the crew earlier this month in Disney’s box office champ Toy Story 3 while a unicorn-obsessed little girl is one of the characters in the upcoming Despicable Me. Last week, the chuckleheads at ThinkGeek were slapped with a cease and desist order over their Unicorn Meat product, an April Fool’s joke that started selling as a gag gift. The product calls itself “the new white meat” and the Pork Board – you know, the folks selling “the other white meat” – failed to see the humor in ThinkGeek’s fake food item. Sparkly meat aside, animators, marketers and jokesters are employing everybody’s favorite magical horse to help sell products and provide giggles online.

There are dozens of YouTube series featuring unicorns and even tons of online t-shirt companies screening the little critters on anything that will stand still. But the Golden Unicorn definitely goes to Wrigley’s: Launched way back in April, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit’s Serenading Unicorn continues to be one of the net’s most-talked-about promotions. With a puppet created by the masters at Jim Henson Studios, Juicy Fruit has created one of the silliest and downright bizarre online advertising campaigns that we’ve seen in quite awhile. The Serenading Unicorn is a fluffy puppet that knows how to sing (or lip-sync) heartfelt hits by Culture Club, Michael Bolton and Boys II Men. The concept? Juicy Fruit wants you to send something sweet to somebody you love. Since they haven’t figured out how to send a piece on gum online (yet!), you can send the next best thing – the serenading unicorn. Using the special website or Facebook, lovers of unicorns and soft rock can receive musical serenades from the singing unicorn. The little guy is a huge hit, boasting nearly 60,000 followers on Facebook, and has popped up in trending at Twitter. He even has his own channel at Playlist.com. The supreme goofiness of a unicorn singing “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” while a guy in an owl costume plays guitar is apparently to sweet to resist. The success of Wrigley here is really all about being silly and during the summer it certainly works.

But let’s hear it from you: Are unicorns on the verge of a major comeback? Perhaps you’re more of a Pegasus fan. Can you believe I just wrote 400 words about unicorns? Discuss below!

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