News and Press

Puma gets positive vibration from Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide)

03/15/2004

Quaker City Mercantile, Philadelphia ad agency, created nine TV spots for client Puma, the German athletic shoe maker.

The spots tout the Jamaica Olympic Relay Team as it prepares for the Summer Olympics.

The commercial, which will be shown worldwide, revolves around a Rastafarian Genie of the Lamp, "who magically grants a wish that everyone in Jamaica receive a colorful new pair of Pumas," according to Quaker City Mercantile.

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Puma Campaign Mention in The New York Times

03/14/2004

Puma hires Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) for their biggest television campaign.

Quaker City Mercantile, a Philadelphia ad agency with a reputation for quirky campaigns, has launched German sneaker-maker Puma's biggest U.S. television ad campaign.

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Puma Campaign in The Wall Street Journal

03/08/2004

Germany's Puma AG is launching its first TV advertising campaign in the U.S.

Germany's Puma AG is launching its first TV advertising campaign in the U.S. later this month, in a bid to remind fashion-conscious consumers of its roots in the world of competitive sports.

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Puma Straddles 2 Worlds in Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) Ads

03/08/2004

Puma mixes the appeal of island life with hard-core training in 9 spots by Quaker City Mercantile.

Puma mixes the appeal of leisurely island life with the hard-core training regimen of the Jamaican Olympic team in nine spots by Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) breaking this month.

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DVD Verdict Gives the Verdict on Bikini Bandits

12/15/2003

"The Bikini Bandits Experience"

Image Entertainment // 2002 // 54 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron // December 15th, 2003


The Charge
FREEZE MOTHERF#@&#RS!!!
The Case
"I've been a drag racer on LSD, and
I rode bare-assed on top of the sphinx.
I even had a gorilla on the slopes of kismet,
and man, that was fun for a while you bet but...
Bikini Girls with Machine Guns
Bikini Girls with Machine Guns
Bikini Girls with Machine Guns
That stuff'll kill ya and it's loaded with fun..."
-- The Cramps
After a car accident strands them in Hell, the Bikini Bandits make a pact with the Devil to save their siliconed souls. If they return to Earth and...um...de-virginize a certain Mary, thereby making her offspring a little less...um...Messiah-like, they can go back to life topside as bodacious babes with huge breasts and a love of firearms. If they fail, though, there'll be...well, you know...to pay. Anyway, the whole Bethlehem business doesn't go quite as planned (the archangel Gabriel "Cory" Feldman shows up to spoil everything) so the girls call on Pope Dee Dee Ramone (?) to travel back to Beelzebub and battle it out, miter vs. man-goat. The girls win and decide to hide out in Amish Country where they learn that an evil adult filmmaker (ex-Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra) has kidnapped a mentally challenged young boy and plans to star him, along with several other "exceptional" children, in his own brand of retard porn. On their way to saving the sexual savant, they travel back in time to meet up with a couple of our nation's "dumbest" founding fathers, watch the aforementioned Corey drag race it out with the butt bandit Dirty Sanchez (who "will not be denied"), and eventually find themselves face to face with an army of idiots, all looking for a little low IQ gangbanging. Will the two-piece tarts save the day, or will they simply lay back and let the below average enjoy a little of The Bikini Bandit Experience?
Like opening up the cerebral cortex of a typical 13-year-old hormonally hyperactive Ted Nugent fan and jacking directly into their fantasy fuel, The Bikini Bandit Experience gives a new meaning to the words "stream of consciousness." Combining chicks with tits the size of basketballs, swimwear that barely covers what is there, and an arsenal of firearms and muscle cars is a recipe for a pure simpleton stew. Pot smoking, sauced up scantily clad strippers with shotguns should be a guarantee for success (or at least a little NRA style self-manipulation). And the first big joke in this volley of vulgarity sets us up for something, as Eric Cartman would say, super sweet. Satan (Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan) tells the Heck-raising honeys that if they fail to deflower the Virgin Mary, they will have to watch Corey Feldman dance for all eternity. Right on cue, we jump-cut to a 2003 Corey dressed like it's 1989, doing those horrid ersatz Jacko moves that possessed him sometime around Dream a Little Dream. As the scene plays on, you recognize that Feldman understands that the joke is on him and that we are laughing simultaneously at, with, for, and because of him. This moment is everything this randy, rapid-fire comedy could have been. It's ludicrous, clever, sad, and outrageous. Unfortunately, just like the notion of putting a KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut together into one stoner's paradise of munchie managing goodness, The Bikini Bandit Experience just doesn't know how to administer its anarchy very well.
The first sign that things are going askew is when a potential lesbian scene between one of the breasty babes and the Virgin Mary is interrupted by said Corey, doing dick jokes while obviously not possessing the proper "material" to do so (I know, I'm going to hell, but I have a deal to be in the condos where the rock stars live, so it's cool). Then Dee Dee Ramone shows up and instantly you understand why he hasn't acted much since the infamous "pizza" scene in Rock and Roll High School. After a far too long battle in Hades between the gals and the Devil's oversized laser shooting dildo codpiece (you can't make this stuff up folks...), there's a general "been there, done that" cinematic shrug of the shoulders and we're off to the Amish adventure where, again, not enough is made of the perverted premise (massive mammaries among the rigidly righteous should consist of something more than a music video style montage). By the time we get to the retard porno plotline, we're so lost in the cross-cutting insanity and constant fourth wall flaunting that our patience has been tried, convicted, and sentenced to a brain bending stint in overdrive. And yet somehow, this entire enterprise with its off color/the mark supposed humor and a mess of narrative and structural stumbling blocks is still worth checking out, if for no other reason than the tantalizing title talents and the weird world unto itself they create. Taking a cue from the "Primus Sucks" mindset of self-promotion, this entire DVD mocks as it markets, hoping you agree that the slogan "F*** you, G-Mart" is a war cry against mainstream consumerism and a radical Gen X jingle, all rolled into one.
And you know what...it is. The whole f-it notion foisted by The Bikini Bandit Experience makes the entire package like a trip through the mind of a deranged adult bookstore owner whose fantasies keep getting confused with sales ads and business promotion measures. G-Mart, or Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) Mart, does indeed exist (somewhere in Philadelphia) and they sell all kinds of clothing and merchandise emblazoned with their logo and ideas. Bikini Bandits themselves got their start on AtomFilms as little mini-movies you could download online (and some of the movie -- along with The Adventures of Dirty Sanchez -- is taken from that material). So there is a whole Mike Levey infomercial feel to this DVD. The film itself is a mix of bad video, better filmed bits, excellent animation, and a bunch of old school transitional wipes. Presented in 1.33:1 full screen, it looks acceptable, but it's definitely not going to win any transfer awards. The sound is also a little tinny, not really up to snuff with major label releases (one assumes that G-mart had better things on their mind that a mid-level aural offering). As for extras, we get a bunch of repetitive, self-referencing and satirizing snippets from premieres, music videos, commercials, web spots, television advertisements, interviews, and mindless monkey business, all of which plays into the entire swimsuit sluts with side arms mentality perfectly.
It's no wonder that the Bikini Bandits and this mind-messing movie found a ribald roost over on MTV2 Europe. This capitalism as killer call girl conceit is the basis for every Eurotrash ideal of America and its socio-politico-cultural philosophy. They should be damn lucky that, when duty calls, we step up and kick all kinds of ass instead of kissing it like conquered cowards. It's our love of hot women in g-strings lobbing grenades that make us such successful world warriors. While it's nothing trend setting or linear, The Bikini Bandits Experience is still strange enough to warrant a vicarious visit or two. So F-YOU! Europe! F-YOU! G-Mart! And F-YOU! Bikini Bandits...anytime.
-Bill Gribon

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DVD Verdict Gives Verdict on Bikini Bandits

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Bikini Bandits on Raindance Film

12/01/2003

Bikini Bandits was tipped by the Times as the hottest ticket of last year's Raindance and picked up by MTV for an Xmas day screening. Director Steven Grasse on bullets and tits and selling out.
12/01/2003

The really unusual (some would say disgusting) thing about the Bikini Bandits was that it was conceived not as art, but as a marketing concept. I knew that if we created this 'thing' we could create a whole brand around it. Which explains why there is no plot whatsoever. The plot was irrelevant. It just needed to be an open-ended vibe, a feeling, a thing people wanted to take part of. Of course, this is what I say now. The truth was closer to the fact that we didn't have the talent to come up with a coherent screenplay. We also didn't have the time or money to make a more traditional movie.

Seriously. Though, I own a surprisingly successful advertising agency here in Philadelphia called Quaker City Mercantile. So I know more than most about these things. I read an article once about the birth of Def Leppard. Before there was even a band, the dude had posters, t-shirts, everything. He even printed up fake ticket stubs for shows that never happened. But before long, people started believing Def Leppard was real talk about putting the cart before the horse. Def Leppard is precisely what the inspiration was with the Bikini Bandits If you build it, they will come.'

We launched the g-mart store and the g-mart line of clothing at the same time as the first Bikini Bandits short film. So right away fans had a whole world they could step into.

We also threw fantastic Bikini Bandits parties all over the world. This was done primarily so fans could come inside and experience the world of Bikini Bandits and g-mart for themselves.

What we're doing here is creating a loyal market for out line of products.

And, as independent filmmakers, we're protecting ourselves from the normal bullshit that befalls us. For instance, when The Bikini Bandits Experience DVD comes out in the states this summer, we don't really expect to make much money on it. Why? Because it won't sell well? No, we expect it to sell buttloads. We expect to be screwed by Hollywood accounting but that's okay. Each DVD sold will help sell g-mart clothing and merchandise, and the clothing line is something we entirely control the distribution and profit of.

Think about it, the Bikini Bandits films are nothing more than extended infomercials for g-mart. The performance art aspect of the whole thing is that it's an ad you pay to watch. So some pimply-faced fourteen-year-old buys the DVD and watches it with his pimply-faced friends, then they immediately go online and load up with g-mart merchandise.

So, should you all feel duped by our crass commercialism? No. not at all. Our brand of blatant commercialism is, in its own way, a sort of postmodern Warholian performance art piece. What really cracks me up is that we've managed to convince Atom Films to pay for all seven of the Bikini Bandits films (g-mart commercials). We've managed to secure a big time Hollywood agent (United Talent Agent). And, we have two big ass Hollywood production companies fighting it out to make a big ass big budget Hollywood Bikini Bandits Movie.

That, my friends, is art.

And then there's MTV airing the movie' and running endless promos, which, once again, inadvertently promote g-mart. Of course, if some big assed corporation were doing all this, it would really piss me off, but it's not. Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) is pretty successful, but it is small and independent. We're not owned by some large mega-conglomerate that cheats its shareholders. I built Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) with my own blood, sweat, and tears from the ground up.

It's this do-it-yourself mentality that's at work here with the Bikini Bandits. We like to think of it as a Fugazi with boobs. Meaning, we make our own way in the world and control every aspect of our destiny, like the band Fugazi. Instead of waiting for Hollywood to come calling, we went out and made something they are now fighting to get a piece of. Suckers.

So how come Bikini Bandits managed to get so much attention and press when so many independent filmmakers make films that never get seen?

Relentless self-promotion. We've probably sent out over a thousand press releases since we started this whole Bikini Bandits business. We have a list of magazines from around the world that we send things to. We're also stages a variety of events designed to get the media interested in covering the Bandits for instance, the big ass party we threw at the Cafe de Paris in London after the Raindance screening.

Of couse, there have been some key events that really helped get the ball rolling. When Atom Films first went public they had $10 million to spend on advertising. They chose our film, the first Bikini Bandits episode, to be the keystone of their marketing campaign. They spent more than $1 million alone on MTV airing a 30 second spot for people to go to their website to see our film (of course, Atom is all but bankrupt now, as most dotcoms are these days).

Somehow we got Maynard from Tool, Jello Biafra and Dee Dee Ramone to be in our film, which almost guaranteed media interest. Here's a hint: put bikini girls in your movie. It will make almost anyone else want to be in it.

We got MTV UK interest in airing the movie. This was huge for us. And, it happened by accident. We sent them the music video for the Dee Dee Ramone song "In a Movie" (the Bikini Bandits theme). They told us that instead of airing the video, they'd rather show the movie. We were floored.

We are also really careful about getting email addresses on our website. And then we talk to our fans at least twice a month. We also say yes to all sorts of promotional opportunities that come along the way. Here are a few examples. We did the Gumball Rally last year. We figured the enormous amount of publicity this event generates more than justified the cost of sending four hot chicks coast to coast in a 69 GTO. We also put the film on tour alongside a movie by the Suicide Girls called Four Days in Panties and three hardcore bands. It's called the Backseat Film Festival. And last year we went to the Vans Warped Tour with Troma. It's endless and relentless.

So, my parting words to you independent filmmakers are fuck art. Make something that people want to see, something with boobies. And, most importantly, realize the movie is not as important as the marketing. Lack of self-promotion is where 99% of you royally fuck up. Get out there and sell yourself. This is America, damn it. Or it is from where I'm standing.

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Bikini Bandits on Raindance Film

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