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In the News: G.I. Joe Markets to the Heartland, Downsized Festivals Stand Better Chance in Economy

Paramount Pitches G.I. Joe to Middle America: In lieu of New York and Los Angeles, Paramount is focusing its marketing campaign for G.I. Joe on less traditional locales to boost interest in the film. The company is spending the bulk of its reported $150 million campaign on outreach to Midwestern states, with outdoor advertising focused on places such as Kansas City, Missouri, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, activations at Kid Rock's current tour, promotions at Minnesota's Mall of America, and a recent premiere at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. [LA Times]

Crowds Flock to Scaled-Back Fairs and Fests: Drops in sponsorships, slashed grant budgets, and general belt-tightening have put fairs and festivals in a unique position this summer. Although many have decided to forgo the 2009 season in an effort to stay afloat, downsized efforts are being greeted with record crowds. Industry professionals attribute this to producers keeping an eye on costs, attendees' need for cheap and local entertainment, and a lack of competition now that so many of these events have been canceled. [AP]

Talk Party Marked End of Era: When did things start to go wrong for the publishing industry? The New York Times' David Carr posits in a column this week that it was Tina Brown's famous Talk magazine launch party on Liberty Island in 1999. The event's free-flowing booze, extravagant locale, and enviable guest list haven't been duplicated by the industry since, and even host Brown admits now: “It seems like that happened in the 18th century.” (Two years ago Brown told us she didn't regret the party though.) [NYT]

Modest Guerrilla Budget Boosts Brand Image:
Natural juice company Purity.Organic had no more than $10,000 to spend on an experiential marketing campaign for its beverage, so it decided to plant 200 seven-foot drinking straws in garbage cans throughout Manhattan, each asking the question: “What are you really drinking?” As a result of the simple stunt, the brand has posted traffic gains for its Web site, and pictures of consumers posing with the straws are popping up on social networks. Pleased by the results thus far, Purity.Organic plans to plant more straws in garbage cans in other markets. [BrandWeek]

Destination Junkets Continue in Recession: You might think that the economy has put a damper on destination film junkets, but you'd be wrong. Even the Blu-Ray release of 17-year-old film A River Runs Through It recently warranted a fly-fishing trip for journalists to Vermont, complete with fishing lessons, shopping, and a visit from actor Tom Skerritt. [Current]