Out to Launch

Allstate launched two new TV spots starring "Mayhem," also known as Dean Winters, an actor I remember best from "Oz." These ads are great. I can't get enough of them. "Lawn Game" launched last week, with Mayhem playing the role of a son riding a sit-down mower and listening to a football game. Unable to multitask, Mayhem rides the mower onto a sidewalk of small rocks that ricochet into a home, shattering every window. Dad's car and sailboat also receive Mayhem treatment. See it here. "Quarterback" shows the rise of a high school fourth-string quarterback to starting QB. He's also a transfer and unfamiliar with the school's layout. So he leads his team into a crowded street, and not the football field. A distracted driver takes down a trio of parked motorcycles. Watch it here. Previous Mayhem ads include Winters as a deer eating leaves one minute and becoming road-kill the next; a random windstorm; a cute jogger with pink weights and headband who sidetracks a driver; a teen girl driving a pink SUV who receives a disturbing text; and a lawyer that freaks out while driving (he purposely spills hot coffee in his crotch), causing a driver to hit him. Keep the Mayhem coming. Leo Burnett created the campaign.

Mother is clearly an agency that doesn't stress out about moving offices. The agency mingled with its new neighbors by creating faux storefronts at Mother's new digs. The first was a seller of rare animal hot dogs. Panda meat, koala bear, sea turtle and orangutan, anyone? No endangered animals were served to pedestrians. The next storefront offered cosmetic surgery for pets. The general consensus was the store was better suited for the West Coast. Then there was an insect funeral home that takes care of business when a moth dies. Last came the transsexual moustache clipping business, with a variety of moustache styles. Watch the video here or visit Mother's new office in Hell's Kitchen.

Burger King wants guys to offset their stupid with some smart and keep certain confessions to themselves, unless you're into awkward moments. Anyone plucked out of the "Jackass" franchise could have starred in "Ball Machine," where a guy stands dangerously close to a baseball machine doling out pitches. He bought a BK breakfast burrito for $1 to offset his stupidity, but he's hit in the chest before eating it. See it here. A man admits to enjoying a BK-stuffed steakhouse and trying on his roommate's clothes after he leaves. Creepy. Watch it here. In the director's cut of "Jorts," the BK-loving guy still has the hots for his oblivious roommate. He's wearing his crush's jorts and stroking them lovingly. See it here. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the ads, directed by Brian Lee Hughes of Skunk.

McDonald's is bringing a little New York to Hong Kong. Happily, it's not the smell of hot garbage. It's yellow cabs and a Chicken Bacon Deluxe, part of the brand's "M Selections" line of sandwiches. Promoting the sandwich launch is a fleet of New York yellow cabs that will pick residents up and bring them to a McDonald's, free of charge. Customers will also be given a coupon to sample the CBD. The service is running until Oct. 23. A TV spot promoting the sandwich features two grown men greeting each other like teenagers, with a signature handshake. I haven't seen teenagers dole out handshakes like this in ages, nor have I ever heard of a CBD sandwich stateside, but I'm rolling with it. Take note of the portion size in the ad. I'm lovin' that. See the ad here and picture of a cab here. The Hong Kong offices of DDB, Tribal DDB and OMD made this campaign happen.

Another day, another video game ad that impresses me. This one comes from Xbox 360's "Fable III," on sale Oct. 26. "Revolution" takes place in Albion, 50 years after the events of "Fable II." A corrupt king is about to be dethroned, thanks to a new leader that enlisted citizens to help him fight. A statue of the king is destroyed, reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's statue toppling. Add the tune "Young Men Dead" from The Black Angels, and you're left with an entertaining 60-second ad. See it here. "Revolution" launched October 14 on Spike, Comedy Central, MTV, ESPN, Adult Swim and TBS, among others. agencytwofifteen created the ad, with visual effects handled by Psyop.

Pop Secret and the Kernel family are back to pay homage to another movie. Previously, it was "The Dark Knight." This time around, it's "When Harry Met Sally." I expected the brand to play off Meg Ryan's infamous scene in Katz's Deli. I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't. It's New Year's Eve and a guy (an animated popcorn kernel) is home alone, watching "When Harry Met Sally." His roommate sees this and is about say something when Mr. Sentimental recites Billy Crystal's famous last words: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody..." only to have the sentence completed by the macho roommate: "you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Both popcorn kernel guys pop, and then vow never to mention the moment again. See it here. Ads are running on ESPN, USA, TBS, TNT and Lifetime networks. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created the ad, with animated handled by Nathan Love.

On Friday, Sony Electronics debuted Sony Internet TV, which gives users the ability to watch HDTV, surf the Internet and enjoy apps on one screen. Oh, and it's powered by Google. Supporting the launch is "Big Screen," a 60-second ad that brings people outdoors to experience Sony Internet TV on a giant screen. A massive tweet is sent from the screen, urging people to travel downtown and interact with the TV and other onlookers. People are watching "Jeopardy," then looking up an answer on Wikipedia. Add a cute dog video from YouTube, a movie off Netflix, a soccer game, and conclude the day by being on the 10 p.m. news. See the ad here, created by 180LA.

My Frankensteiner is alive! Kayem hot dogs launched a Web site that allows visitors to design and customize their own hot dog. Just think of the calories you're saving. Users can select a variety of conventional and unconventional hot dog toppings, from hot sauce, mustard, ketchup, guacamole, cheese, coleslaw, salsa, bacon, gravy and onion, among other goodies. Add as much or as little of each topping you want, then flip the switch and share your creation with friends. The VIA Group created the site.

Random iPad App of the week: Dexter Morgan is an app. Mark Ecko Entertainment created a game starring Showtime's serial killer/blood spatter analyst in Miami. Dexter kills murderers who cannot be brought to justice through a court of law. The game allows players to aid Dexter in selecting his next victims, while making sure he's not caught. Gamers can also help Dexter with his day job, which is both fascinating and legal. The game is available for $7.99 in the App Store.

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