Out to Launch

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Seattle's Best Coffee intends to be "Anywhere Great Coffee is Needed." Don't expect additional services from the brand's one-track-minded baristas. Three TV spots place SB baristas in unusual positions. Yoga class takes a strange turn when a SB barista appears underneath a woman's yoga mat as she's embarking on cat pose. He's offering her coffee while she is on all fours, on top of him. As kooky as this sounds, it's my favorite ad. She takes a swig of iced coffee and the barista hides under her mat, but not before saying, "Namaste." See it here. A woman stuck in a tree following a hang-gliding mishap thinks help is on the way, except a wandering barista simply throws her a cup of coffee (hot, to boot) and keeps on walking. "You know what goes good with coffee: ladders," says the stranded woman. Watch it here. In the final ad, a park ranger takes on an angry porcupine with the help of a barista hiding inside a bush. See it here. Print and outdoor ads, seen here and here, are much less quirky, showcasing piles of empty coffee mugs. Creature created the campaign.

2Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo created a TV and digital campaign for Nike Japan that makes participating in a relay race possible for runners of all levels. RUN Fwd: is inspired by "Hakone Ekiden," a marathon relay in Japan, where 20 universities have 10 elite runners race for two days from Tokyo to Hakone and back. And I thought the idea of running a Ragnar Relay sounded hard... The campaign encourages runners to use Nike+ to run at least 3 km before passing the baton via email to create a virtual Global Ekiden team. The TV spot begins with the isolated sound of a runner's heavy breathing and the sight of beautiful country and city scenery. UK footballer Wayne Rooney's name appears onscreen as the first virtual runner. He passes the baton to actress Misako Yasuda, and so on. Each runner covers as many miles as they can. I love the scene of an unseen runner hauling it uphill -- it's not easy, but the surrounding view is worth it. Watch it here.

3Also keeping in shape is Mr. Peanut, who's participating in a "Tree-athlon," a swimming, biking and running event he wins every year. His secret? Great shoes and eating Planters NUTrition for fuel. "Your shell is your temple," says Mr. Peanut, while he's hoisting his first-place trophy. Watch the ad here, created by Being NY.

4This campaign is provocative but it can save lives. What's more important? Self chec, a nonprofit organization dedicated to early detection of cancer, launched "Felt by Millions" Dec. 20. This great campaign encourages people to save lives by checking themselves for breast or testicular cancers. Four print ads feature males and females performing self-examinations. Women are shown with their shirts opened, checking for lumps. Men are shown with their hands in their pants, checking for masses. Copy reads, "Love yourself first. Save lives. Start with yourself." See the ads here, here, here and here, created by Arnold Worldwide.

5Huggies launched "Soirée," an adorable TV ad promoting its Little Movers diapers. Babies will move, and move quickly. Be prepared for a chase. Time stands still in the ad, once a little one has his diaper changed. Spaghetti spills, a fish tank loses water, cake flies and drinks fall, until Dad, exhausted and covered in frosting, catches his active baby. The kid's happy as a clam. See the ad here, created by JWT, New York, directed by Fredrik Bond, produced by MJZ and visual effects handled by MassMarket, New York.

6LEGO launched "The Brick Thief," a short film that inspires creativity. One brick, two bricks, three bricks, four...What can you do with these few on the floor? Promoting LEGO CL!CK, the film begins with a man short on LEGOs. He dips his hand into a group of doors at his fingertips. Each leads to a set of LEGOs to "borrow" from. One door leads to a backyard, where a small dog growls at the invasive hand; another door leads to a turkey cooking in an oven, resulting in a hot hand and no LEGOs. His creations morph into a boombox, causing the man to dance around and high-five the protruding hands looking for their missing bricks. The spot ends with a LEGO version of the brick thief created by a young boy. "It only takes a few bricks to make something CL!CK" closes the video, seen here, and created by Pereira & O'Dell.

7NHL star Alex Ovechkin is the IT man for campaigns promoting the NHL and Reebok skates. This time around, Ovechkin is doing some nighttime filing at ESPN headquarters in "Spy." Or is he? In the latest ad for ESPN's long running "This is SportsCenter" campaign, Steve Levy finds Ovechkin filing papers in the dark. Levy says, "What are you, a Russian spy or something?" Ovechkin awkwardly laughs as teammate Semyon Varlamov opens the ceiling and whisks him off, ala "Mission Impossible." Close call. Watch the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York.

8Not surprisingly, Ovechkin has a cameo in a TV ad promoting VERSUS' coverage of the NHL all-star weekend, including the NHL draft and all-star game. In "Heroes," Ovechkin skates past a tractor-trailer on an icy road, Sidney Crosby is outfitted with high-tech hockey gear and Jonathan Toews skates down a skyscraper, putting a new definition on extreme sports. See the ad here, created in-house.

 

9Random iPad App pf the week: Dofl Ball is a game for iPad that's similar to air hockey, with players flinging a ball back and forth, trying to get it past their opponent. But what if your friends aren't around, but Rocky the dog is nearby? You're in luck; Dofl Ball has pet mode. Play on, player. Firstborn created the app, available for free in the App Store.
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