By HELENE COOPER Infused with a new crowd of idealistic young political worker bees, the U.S. capital is suddenly hip again.
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bumble Show phonetics
verb [I + adverb or preposition]
to speak or move in a confused way
bumbling Show phonetics
adjective bum・bling ━━ a. ぎこちない, 不器用な.
confused and showing no skill:
I've never seen such bumbling incompetence!
The noun worker bee has one meaning:Meaning #1: sterile bee specialized to collect food and maintain the hive
A ‘Bee’ for Effort
The publicity blitz has been relentless for “Bee Movie,” a cartoon movie featuring the voice of Jerry Seinfeld that DreamWorks Animation is bringing out on Friday. Coincidentally, a marketer of high-end baby strollers has a “Bee movie” of its own — a video clip, two and a half minutes long, that promotes its newest model, named after a bumblebee.
Not that, as Mr. Seinfeld might say, there’s anything wrong with that.
The video clip, produced in the style of a glossy Broadway musical, introduces the Bugaboo Bee, a compact, lightweight and foldable stroller with a “baby nest” for infants and a reversible seat for older children. The clip, which presents actors portraying fathers in an energetic demonstration of the stroller, is the centerpiece of a campaign for the new product from Bugaboo International, a company in the Netherlands known for its premium-priced baby products.
The clip — directed by Vince Marcello, of a production company called Tempered Entertainment — can be watched on a section of the Bugaboo Web site (bugaboo.com/us/us/bee/bee_film) as well as on video-sharing Web sites like YouTube and Vimeo and Web sites devoted to parenting.
The video was also presented last month on the giant electronic signs on the Reuters headquarters building in Times Square.
And for parents who love musicals, or musical lovers who are also parents, the video clip is included on a DVD being given to buyers of the stroller.
In addition to the video clip, the Bee campaign has advertisements appearing in magazines and on blogs; signs on telephone kiosks; and promotional materials for retailers like window posters and booklets titled “Go Bee.”
The campaign for the Bee, which retails for $529 in the United States, is being created by the Bugaboo agency since 2004, a shop with the offbeat name of 72 and Sunny. The agency has an office in Los Angeles as well as in Amsterdam, where Bugaboo International is based.
The campaign, with a budget estimated at $500,000 to $1 million, is indicative of the efforts being made by mainstream marketers to increase their use of nontraditional media as consumers migrate to the Internet from television, newspapers and radio. The video clip is essentially a television commercial that is online rather than on TV.
“This movie is something that for us is very new,” says Madeleen Klaasen, international marketing director at Bugaboo International in Amsterdam, “different from what we’ve done before.”
“We want to get more and more of an understanding of how non-paid media, how buzz online, can help the product and the brand,” she added.
About a third of the campaign is online, Ms. Klaasen says, a third is in print and a third is outside the home.
The online component recognizes that parents are increasingly turning to the Internet for information, she adds.
That is particularly true for younger, urban parents — the target audience for the Bee, which is smaller and more maneuverable than other Bugaboo products like the Chameleon and the Frog.
“The United States represents one of our largest markets and this new category really fits the needs of the U.S. consumer who is more used to compact strollers,” Ms. Klaasen says, and to “life on the go and a lot of travel.”
“Maybe they hadn’t bought Bugaboo before,” she adds, referring to urban parents, “because they live in the city and don’t have storage. We wanted to do something that shows the performance and why the Bee is different.”
In the video clip, four fathers with Bugaboo Bees in tow are racing across town to join their wives and babies. The four actors playing the fathers — dressed to suggest they are yuppies and hipsters — offer some acrobatic dance steps as they demonstrate the features of the Bee like how easy it is to maneuver through crowded urban streets and how quickly it can be folded into the trunk of a taxicab.
The music on the soundtrack during the production number is — what else? — “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korsakov.
The actors are joined by performers dressed in costumes who stand in for the city sights like street signs, traffic lights, sidewalk clocks and even the taxicab.
In all, the clip is somewhat evocative of moments from a couple of Gene Kelly musical MGM movies with urban settings, “On the Town” (1949) and “An American in Paris” (1951).
The video clip “is our first film” for Bugaboo,” says John Boiler, a co-founder and co-creative director at 72 and Sunny in Los Angeles, and “it expresses a big idea: mobility for modern parents.”
“It all starts with the product,” he adds, “designed for urban use, constantly being popped open and closed, and narrow enough to fit through turnstiles.”
Mr. Marcello, a choreographer and director, was hired for the video, Mr. Boiler says, because “we wanted someone from the musical world, not from commercial production.” Mr. Marcello’s credits include the comedy-horror-musical film “Zombie Prom” (2006).
On YouTube, the video clip has been uploaded by several people. The most-watched of the postings has drawn more than 5,600 viewers and gets a four-star rating out of five.
The comments about the clip range from “Wow,” followed by eight exclamation points, to a sardonic request about “knocking a couple of bucks off the price of that beautiful stroller.”
Mr. Boiler says the occasional snarky comments are the price a marketer has to pay to take part in the new media like video-sharing Web sites and blogs.
As an example, Mr. Boiler cites a remark on a blog popular with people who work in the advertising industry that the video clip was — in the words of the visitor to the site who left the comment — “the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
“If it’s not resonating with them,” Mr. Boiler says, “I can live with that.”
Mr. Boiler says he prefers to recall a comment left on another site that describes the video clip as “fantastic” because “it’s a product demo and a musical.”
A somewhat unexpected aspect of the clip is that although it is intended to stimulate sales of the Bugaboo Bee among urban parents, the actors playing the four couples are all in male-female pairs — omitting any depiction of the same-sex parents who can be found in city neighborhoods.
Mr. Boiler, asked about that by a reporter, replies: “You know what? You’re the first person to suggest that. It’s interesting. Literally, it never crossed our minds. That’s an interesting suggestion.”
It is good to know that stroller marketers do not consider selling their products to gay or lesbian parents to be any kind of a, er, um, bugaboo.
If you like In Advertising, be sure to read the Advertising column that appears Monday through Friday in the Business Day section of The New York Times newspaper.
snarky Show phonetics
criticizing someone in an annoyed way and trying to hurt their feelings:
There was some idiot at the back of the hall making snarky comments.