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By Becky Ebenkamp
Domo, the chocolate Twinkie-like Japanese critter that Target tapped for a Halloween promo last year, is now shacking up with 7-Eleven.
A six-week program, hitting Oct. 1, includes a proprietary Domo Slurpee in Red Apple flavor, which will be sold in a still-in-development brown-flocked cup to match the creature's coat. Special straws featuring detachable fuzzy Domos in hip hop and wrestling costumes are being discussed. A Domo Attack! energy drink and other licensed merchandise is also on the table.
Why Red Apple? "Because Domo doesn't like apples," said Rich Collins, CEO of Big Tent Entertainment, which currently serves as Domo's worldwide marketing and licensing agent outside of Asia. Collins described the deal as a 360-degree program that's a perfect match for 7-Eleven's teens and young adults and the Domo demo. "That way, you don't have to worry about Domo stealing your Slurpee," he said.
Evan Brody, marketing manager for Slurpee and Big Gulp Brands, was a bit less fanciful: "Domo lends itself well to the store and our proprietary products and our consumers who... love crazy Japanese [stuff]."
Marketing will include Webisodes this fall that relay Domo's quest for a Slurpee and how he gets a brain freeze in the process.
Part of the fuzzy rectangular critter's lore is that he's egg-hatched and has a habit of passing gas. Domo began life as the mascot for Japanese TV station NHK, and caught on as a viral sensation with cameos in Web videos. He’s best known in the U.S. for his video shorts on Nickelodeon.
Licensee Dark Horse will produce a line of exclusive Domo designer toys and Tokyopop will debut an abbreviated version of its fall-release Domo Manga comic book for 7-Eleven. Phase 4 will launch the first Domo DVD in the U.S., which will be a roundup of shorts, Webisodes, fan-created animations, commercials, Japanese spots and other quirky stuff.
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