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Kmart, Sears stores stock emergency supplies ahead of ‘Frankenstorm’

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sears Holdings said it was “rushing” emergency supplies to stores on the East Coast ahead of Hurricane Sandy.

The company, which operates the Sears and Kmart chains, said it would stock up on portable generators, chainsaws, gasoline cans, flashlights and other equipment at stores from North Carolina to Maine.

Sandy, though a nominally low-category hurricane, has the potential to produce up to a foot of rain and storm surges up to 11 feet, according to weather forecasts, and it is predicted to become particularly dangerous as it is expected to converge with a storm system known as a mid-latitude trough some time on Monday. 

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Downy Unstopables offers consumers chance at TV spot with video contest

BY Melissa Valliant

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble’s Downy Unstopables brand is giving Americans their chance at "12 Seconds to Fame" with a contest that asks consumers, "How fresh are you?"

Downy Unstopables — an in-wash scent booster that keeps laundry fresh for up to 12 weeks out of storage — launched the contest on Oct. 25, and consumers have until Nov. 23 to upload their 12-second videos creatively revealing their freshest act, look or moves. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges based on personality, creativity and humor, and will be featured in a Downy live commercial to air in December on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

Consumers can either enter through specially marked "12 Seconds to Fame" video kiosks — located in Los Angeles at The Grove, Topanga Mall and Disneyland; in Houston at the Houston Galleria; and in New York at the Smith Haven Mall or the Westchester Mall — or online through Downy’s YouTube page, YouTube.com/Downy.

“Since the product launched, Downy Unstopables has been giving clothes and linens a freshness that is feisty and fun,” said Carolina Rogoll, Downy’s brand manager. “Now, Downy is excited to see just how feisty people across America can be when they’re given the opportunity to make a name for themselves on one of late-night’s freshest shows.”

Downy kicked off the contest on Oct. 27 with a special event at The Grove in Los Angeles, where Mario Lopez — host of "Extra" — demonstrated how to use the kiosk and shared his own "12 Seconds to Fame" video. Attendees enjoyed a DJ’s music, samples of Downy Unstopables, photo opps, interactive displays and giveaways.

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Pampers kicks off online initiative for Latino parents with concert, Facebook contest

BY Melissa Valliant

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble’s diaper brand, Pampers, and international superstar Thalia are celebrating the influential role of music in Latino children’s development with the launch of "Mi Música, Mi Herencia," an online initiative for Latino parents.

Today’s Latino parents face the challenge of honoring their Hispanic roots while embracing American values, and Pampers is recognizing this by inviting parents to download the sounds of the "Mi Música, Mi Herencia" anthem — a medley of classic, iconic Spanish-language children’s songs adapted with a modern twist — on Pampers’ Facebook page, Facebook.com/PampersLatino. Here, Latino parents can download the anthem now through Dec. 14, and are also encouraged to participate in the "Mi Música, Mi Herencia" baby video contest. To enter the contest, parents are asked to film their children dancing to the anthem and then share the video with the Pampers Facebook community by uploading it to the "Mi Música, Mi Herencia" gallery. Their video could be chosen to be featured in a Pampers Latino TV commercial to premiere in early 2013.

To celebrate the launch of the initiative, Pampers and Thalia hosted a special "Mi Música, Mi Herencia" concert on the evening of Oct. 25 at the New World Center in Miami, where hundreds of moms-to-be enjoyed a performance of Latino musical favorites by the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra at the Frost School of Music — marking the first time a concert was held for babies before they are even born. Babies and their families met Thalia and participated in live musical orchestrations, toddler drum circles and musical craft stations.

"Music has always been a huge part of my life from a very young age, and today it remains a very powerful and natural way for me to connect with people, as well as my children,” Thalia said. “I’ve always tried to instill the best in them, as I am sure all parents do, and for me, one priority is to have them always maintain a strong tie to their Hispanic heritage to ensure the best of both worlds."

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