Sunday, January 6, 2008

Mil-looney-um 2000

Let's turn back the clock to the dawn of the new millennium and take a look at a Looney Tunes marketing campaign that didn't really go anywhere --- the "Mil-looney-um". In late 1998, Warner Bros. issued press releases promoting their "Mil-looney-um" campaign which was supposed to be a huge marketing blitz with tie-ins galore leading up to the year 2000. A portion of the press release:

Warner Bros.' classic Looney Tunes characters celebrate the millennium with the irreverent "Mil-LOONEY-Um," a companywide marketing initiative spanning the world beginning third quarter 1999, led by Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

In the United States, the Mil-LOONEY-Um campaign includes Kids' WB!, The WB Television Network's children's programming service, which will broadcast specially created animated interstitial programming weekdays. In addition, Kids' WB! will feature a Mil-LOONEY-Um-themed "watch & win" contest on Saturday mornings during November and December.

Additionally, Warner Bros. Studio Stores will host special in-store events in locations nationwide, including the Warner Bros. Studio Store at One Times Square.

Warner Home Video product will feature Mil-LOONEY-Um branding via on-pack stickers and Mil-LOONEY-Um moments included in the preview trailers. Warner Bros. Online will have a dedicated Mil-LOONEY-Um area on its Web site with streaming video of interstitials, online polls and shockwave games.

In the end, the "Mil-looney-um" was kind of a bust. I am not sure if not as many companies as hoped signed up or WB just lost interest or what... but all that resulted was a tie-in with Subway sandwich shops (including a commercial of the LT gang ringing in the new year and Taz devours their six-foot long party sub), a series of Smucker's jelly jars and Kraft throwing "2" and "0" shapes into their Bugs Bunny macaroni & cheese.

The promised tie-in with Kids WB never came to be and neither did the official "Mil-looney-um" website. The only newly animated interstitial intended for Kids WB didn't even surface on TV, but among the previews at the start of two Tweety-themed VHS collections in the short-lived "Looney Tunes Presents" line of videotapes.

I am not sure if any of Warner Bros. Studio Stores participated in the "Mil-looney-um" hype as the press release promised. I know the WB stores were near the end of the line by then (finally going out of business completely in 2001).

Oh well, maybe Warner Bros. will get its act together for the next millennium...


David Gerstein said...

Some WB stores lasted longer overseas. The Copenhagen, Denmark branch at Kastrup Airport was open till sometime in 2002, as I recall.
It was painfully easy to see why they shut. I was witness as the Kastrup store's giant screen played Looney Tunes shorts and drew customers in... and then switched, ten minutes later, to Scooby-Doo episodes, whereupon potentially customers turned around and left.

Anonymous said...

I blame it on that stupid merger betwen AOL and Time Warner back in 2000. If that merger didn't happen, Warner Bros. Studio Stores from all over the United States and around the world will still be around, and I will have a happy time enjoying and buying some Looney Tunes souvenirs right now. Thanks a lot Steve Case.

Anonymous said...

IMHO the best thing to come out of the Mil-looney-um idea was the great 48 hour marathon of LT&MM they ran on Cartoon Network. Those were the days...

Nick said...

That animated interstitial did show up on Cartoon Network in the UK, as I recall, who were running day long marathons of Looney Tunes at the time.

Nilie said...


I think it was one of the last animated Lola Bunny appearances ever.

And I recall another add on good old cartoon network too, the football ones, remember? All the looneys playing soccer?

Oh I wish I had a copy of this video, you take me way back, when I was convinced these adds were lost forever in my own memory!

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