4

Domo Arigato, Domo

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There's nothing that makes me want to buy a Taquito and Big Gulp more than a ferocious-looking piece of fuzzy poo.

Yeah, if only I was being facetious. The truth is, I fell for Domo, the rectangular, brown Japanese creature making his appearance all over 7-Eleven stores until mid-November. And yes, ladies and gents, I fell hard.

There was just something about that little plush guy that made me coo with delight. His snarling face was on toys, t-shirts and coffee cups; his flocked body, dressed up for Halloween in four costumes, clung to hard plastic spoon-straws; and even bottles of Domo Attack! Energy Drink bore his likeness, tempting me to swill citrus-tinged caffeine and taurine until I became more high-strung than Lindsay Lohan at a dry hetero wedding. I was even confronted with Domo and friends at the Slurpee dispenser, where he was represented alongside Fuji Frost, an apple-flavored slush that bears the color of a core sitting out in the sun a wee bit too long.

But when I came home to research my new little love interest, I was surprised to discover that he really hates apples. Hmm. Why would the corporate folks at 7-Eleven be so outright disrespectful of their charming new mascot? And that was only the beginning of the dichotomies.

Wikipedia informed me that Domo 1) is known for passing gas, 2) has an alcoholic friend he pals around with, and 3) appeared in a rampant Internet PSA campaign entitled, "Every Time You Masturbate, God Kills a Kitten."

When I asked Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications for 7-Eleven, why her company chose this questionable character, her response made me snicker: "He may have some flaws, but he sure is cute!" True that, sister.

She said they ultimately selected Domo because he is a pop-culture character that appeals to the younger crowd, folks aged 16 to 24, who are a key target audience for the brand.

Already mourning the eventual disappearance of my new pal, I had to ask if she thought we would ever see Domo at 7-Eleven again. "If he decides to visit and customers want him back," was her response.

Here's a hint to those who handle marketing for the convenience store that truly does make me thank heaven at least once per month: Stop feeding Domo apples and keep making more crap with his likeness that suckers like me will want to purchase again and again. Either that, or suffer the consequences of a nation of youngsters fashioning their own homemade Domos--if you know what I mean--and placing them throughout your stores. I promise it won't smell like fruit in there for long.

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