Out to Launch
Stride gum launched a TV and online campaign promoting Stride Shift, its flavor-changing gum. The TV ad "Water" watches a focus group react to flavor-changing gum. It's too much for people to handle, resulting in everyone being doused with water in an effort to rejoin reality. The marketing team observes from a back room uttering, "This could get ugly." See it here. "Slap," running online, shows the focus group members slapping one another in the face when presented with flavor-changing gum. Watch it here. JWT created the campaign.
Stunning imagery is used to tackle a serious topic in an ad for Amnesty International. "Death Penalty" plays off Amnesty's lit-candle logo to speak out against executions. Firing squad, hanging, electrocution and beheading scenes are depicted using statues made out of wax that melt from the heat generated by the Amnesty International logo. "Death to the death penalty. 139 countries have wiped out the death penalty. Only 58 are left to convince," closes the ad, seen here. TBWA Paris created the pro bono ad, directed by Pleix of Warm & Fuzzy.
Dodge Challenger pimps George Washington's ride in "Freedom," a TV spot that loosely recreates a Revolutionary War scene. In a battle between the Americans and British, Washington leads his men into combat in his pure Americana vehicle, Dodge Challenger. You weren't expecting him to be on-horse, were you? "Here are a couple of things America got right: cars and freedom," says my favorite voiceover, "Dexter" star Michael C Hall. See it here. A print ad features a proud Washington standing with his soldiers beside his Challenger. "This is the car you buy because you can't buy a bald eagle," reads the copy. Huh? Because bald eagles are free? Explain. Check it out here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.
Sunday is Father's Day, and Golfsmith launched an amusing spot contending that "Dads Win at Golfsmith." "Water Cooler" makes fun of homemade gifts given to Dads, like a decorated coffee mug and Play-Doh necklace. While two guys sport their gifts from the heart, one Dad grinds the work hallways with his new golf club. The homemade mug breaks at the handle and golfer Dad rubs his new gift under his co-worker's nose. Really. See it here. GSD&M Idea City created the campaign and handled the media buy.
As a runner, I can truly appreciate this campaign. I've seen things at races that my retinas wish they could erase from memory. Walrus created an online campaign designed to put a stop to dolphin running shorts, the very short athletic shorts that have the potential to show every one your business at the slightest stretch or bend. The ads promote CW-X, a maker of tech tights and shorts. Rich-media ads are running on RunnersWorld.com, and a homepage takeover of CW-X features an enlarged version of the rich-media ads. A man in short shorts stretches his legs while the camera zooms in for close-up shot no one wants to see. The site asks visitors to "click to make it stop," which lead viewers to alternative options that offer ideal coverage.
Mr. T doesn't use words to intimidate; one look is all he needs to convey he means business. He protects a woman's transactions made with her MasterCard prepaid card. In "Bodyguard," Mr. T accompanies a woman to the dry cleaners, hair salon and grocery store, shooting anyone within sight a look that speaks volumes. See the ad here, created by McCann Erickson, New York.
Did you think I could make it through an entire column without mentioning the World Cup? Think again. Here's a look at another handful of murals created by Wieden+Kennedy New York and South African artist collective AM I on behalf of ESPN's World Cup coverage. I showed six last week, and include seven in this week's roundup: Here's a look at South Africa, Japan, Ghana, Switzerland, England, Denmark and Australia. I love how the Swiss players each make up a gadget found in a Swiss Army knife, and Australia's Tim Cahill is half-man, half-kangaroo. Three of England's players are pulling heavy stones etched with the year 1966, the last time England won the World Cup.
Where it all began: adidas Japan launched three animated viral comics leading up to the World Cup. One piece, shown here, features Shunsuke Nakamura and the journey of the Japan team prior to the World Cup. The comic explains Japan's team jerseys, which feature a feather pattern from an empowering mythical creature called Yatagarasu (a three-legged crow). When Nakamura gets a free kick, the three-legged crow motivates him and he scores, winning the match. In addition to the animated comics, 13 massive comic frames, each featuring members of the Japan National Football Team and signed messages from supporters, were created to form the world's largest comic strip. Placed in Haneda airport, the piece measured 40,745 square feet, and was confirmed by Guinness as the world's largest comic strip. See it here. TBWA/Hakuhodo created the campaign.
Random iPhone App of the week: Actor Genie recently updated its app, which serves as an aspiring actor's best friend. The app provides insider information like what TV and movies are casting; a directory of agents, managers and casting directors; and insider advice and tips from well-known actors, directors, writers and producers. Users can download the app for $9.99 in the App Store.