Out to Launch

by , Aug 5, 2009, 4:00 PM
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This song has legs. Citizens of South Africa unite and dance to Beyoncé's hit song "Single Ladies" in an ad for Vodacom. The ad's main character tours the country, makes friends and forms a dance troupe. Dance montages take place at the beach, on a train platform, construction site, trailer park and convenience store. Our man gets an A for effort. The spot ends with the dance scenes viewed from a cell phone. "Connect more. Live more," urges the tag, illustrating the Internet as easy to use. Watch the ad here, created by Draftfcb Johannesburg.

Old Spice created four online videos to promote its "Swaggerize Your Wallet" contest. The creator of the winning ad wins $10,000. One video shows the difference between using soap and Old Spice Swagger. One arm gets tan and muscular; the other becomes scrawny and turns to dust. See it here. Chainsaws perform better when their owner uses Sawgger deodorant. Watch it here. An arm-wrestling match goes bone-breakingly wrong for a Swagger-less man. See it here. Karate chopping cement blocks proves difficult for a man using regular deodorant. Post-Swagger, he grows a new, stronger arm that completes the job. Watch it here. Videos, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, are running on YouTube, dailymotion.com, break.com, vimeo.com and veoh.com.

Coupons.com bowed its first ever TV ad campaign using the tagline: "There's a better way to save." "Free Samples" follows a mom pushing her baby through a grocery store. She rolls past cheese-and-cracker samples and devours the tray. Even her baby is bothered by her voracious ways. Her case was extreme, but haven't we all gone crazy for free food?  See it here. The ad was created in-house and directed by Jason Zada from Tool of North America.

Gatorade launched a great TV spot Sunday to promote its limited-edition Michael Jordan bottles, in stores throughout the month. A mosaic of Jordan, slam-dunking a basketball, was erected in Chicago from 14,641 bottles of Gatorade and 16 hours of hard work. The bottles pay tribute to Jordan, who will be inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in September. The time-lapse ad begins with a crew of workers and bottles of Gatorade and ends at night with the finished product aglow. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.

We go from the ridiculous to the sublime. Knob Creek Bourbon placed ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal thanking its consumers "for nothing." The latest batch of Knob Creek hasn't fully aged yet, leaving the brand sans product until November. Each batch is aged for nine years and creative informs consumers that the aging process won't be compromised for a quick buck. See the ads here and here. I like the print ads much better than a package I received in the mail a month ago. It was an empty bottle and a press release. Doe Anderson created the ads.

Georgia Power launched an adorable TV spot starring trained dogs that sniff out energy savings for homeowners. The ad stars Ryder Hamilton, a fictitious dog trainer Georgia Power hired to teach canines to help homeowners save money and energy. George the Basset Hound is tasked with finding the more efficient lightbulb: compact fluorescent or incandescent. George whines, and Ryder interprets it as an answer for compact fluorescent. A voice off-camera says, "I didn't see him pick one specifically," which doesn't sit well with Ryder. See the ad here, created by The Richards Group.

It didn't take long for a brand to create an ad poking fun at the recent New Jersey corruption headlines. Virgin Mobile launched a timely print ad in Metro, complete with a teaser box on the front page, directing readers to the full-page ad. "Kickbacks without the handcuffs" read the teaser ad, shown here. Readers who turned to page three found an ad for Virgin Mobile "announcing kickbacks that'll make New Jersey proud." If a consumer and their friend each sign up for a Virgin Mobile plan, they receive free minutes. See the ad here. Toy New York created the campaign.

This ad launched a couple of months ago, and never fails to make me smile. Visa launched "Music," a feel-good commercial promoting the use of Visa Debit as a secure way to make online purchases. Athletes, businessmen, bikers, prom-goers and cowboys sing a line from Rick James' "Superfreak." The spot ends with a woman using her Visa Debit card to purchase the song online. "Who isn't a little freaky," asks voiceover actor Morgan Freeman. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Random iPhone App of the week: Publishers Clearing House launched PCH Trivia, a game created by Triviatown that gives gamers a series of trivia questions to answer and allows users to enter the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes once a day. In addition to the free trivia App, PCH also offers a free gaming app. All this technology makes me miss Ed McMahon even more.

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