A couple of nights back I was watching Channel 8 when, strange, an H&M ad popped up -- strange since there's no H&M in Dallas yet despite your myriad requests. Turns out the hip-n-affordable clothier has launched a national ad campaign -- featuring, as Pete pointed out this morning, none other than Erykah Badu performing Muddy Waters's "Mannish Boy." Hell of a cover too; more about that below. But, first:
It was exactly one year ago that Sue Sernett, H&M's real estate manager in Chicago, told us the chain would be expanding into the Dallas market by, oh, "late 2010 or early 2011." Since then, radio silence. So, upon the occasion of the locally connected ad campaign, I called Sernett this afternoon and asked for an update.
"We're coming," she said. "We're hours away from making an announcement." Well, OK, not really hours, she says, but any moment now -- early next week, more than likely. Maybe. She'll say no more, only: "Stay tuned."
Now, about Badu's connection to the clothier.
Paul Levatino, Badu's director of marketing, says this new spot is but "the first step to a longer relationship" with H&M. Earlier I asked H&M spokesperson Nicole Christie if the chain is planning on releasing the full-length single; she said that "at present we don't have any plans" to do so. But Levatino says "Mannish Boy" -- which was recorded in "a little loft studio" in England during a recent tour stop -- could indeed be made available for download around year's end.
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"They've talked about releasing it in the future -- maybe around a Christmas promotional campaign," he says. "They saw this as the first step to a longer relationship with her."