Out to Launch

by , May 18, 2011, 4:45 PM
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1The 2012 Honda Civic comes in five different models to match any personality or undead driver. "To Each Their Own" matches a quirky character with a different Civic. "Apartment" follows each character's morning rituals as they ready for work: a Luchador, lumberjack, monster, zombie and ninja. See it here. Our lumberjack brings his pet fox on dates, and outfits his ladyfriend with proper forest attire that's ideal for fishing and hiking. Watch it here. Even zombies can have a bad workday. His undead demeanor improves once he's in his Civic. At the driving range, however, he loses more than his shirt. See it here. Lastly, a female ninja can outmaneuver her enemies in her Civic and wind down by eating licorice. Watch it here. RPA created the campaign.

2Chrysler launched a pair of TV ads for its Chrysler 300 featuring true stories where hard work paid off for a football player and fashion designer. "Homecoming" stars NFL player Ndamukong Suh as he takes a drive down memory lane through his hometown of Portland, Ore. Suh passes his old high school and barbershop while viewers see childhood football pictures of Suh and countless trophies from his youth. The spot ends as Suh arrives at his parent's house, happily greeted by his mother. See it here. "Attitude" follows Detroit-born fashion designer John Varvatos through a record store in New York. After purchasing some vinyl, Varvatos drives to his studio, plays his record and starts creating his next great design. Watch it here. Both are great stories, but neither grabs me the way Chrysler's Super Bowl spot for its 200 model did. How about you? Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

3I have a hard time watching "Ice Road Truckers," fearing for the safety of the men and women who risk their lives driving big rigs on dangerous roads. This ad for Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport and Outlander was equally rough to watch. The brand brought these two vehicles to Yungas Road in Bolivia, aka "Death Road," to demonstrate the traction and maneuverability provided by the duo's all-wheel drive system. It's the first commercial ever to be shot on "Death Road." This 90-second spot shows how close to the edge drivers are on the 43-mile stretch of dirt road, without guardrails to protect them. Add rain and nearby waterfalls to the mix, and you can see how the road got its nickname. Did I mention it's two lanes, even though it's only configured as a single-lane road? See the ad here, created by 180 Los Angeles. In addition, try to test-drive the road online -- if you dare.

4Glidden Paints launched "Everyone Can Paint," a TV spot that shows that anyone can paint, even nuns! Huh? Cowboys, kids and 20something women are also labeled as non-painters who complete a job easily when using Glidden. The spot ends with people filling a sports stadium with carefully aligned paint cans that, when viewed from above, form the face of a non-painter seen in the spot. See the ad here, created by DDB New York and ETCETERA

5"Daybreak" is calming and made entirely of paint swatches in a TV ad for Sherwin-Williams. Hot air balloons, mountains, trains, city buildings and trees are crafted from paint swatches, showcasing the brand's 1,500+ paint colors. The ad, seen here, is running on ESPN, TBS, TNT, A&E, Cooking Channel, DIY, Food, HGTV, History and Lifetime, among other networks. A print ad, seen here, features a cake made from swatches. McKinney created the campaign.

6Stanley Steemer has been scoring high with its TV campaign following a pair of technicians who take their work seriously. The attitude remains the same in two new ads. The techs are treated like heroes after breathing new life into dingy carpets. A young girl draws a picture, frat boys celebrate and a Texan man gets huggy. The lead tech wonders if he should be dubbed a hero and quickly comes up with a response: Yes. See it here. In "Mystery Spot," the tech chastises a family for an unknown stain that no one will admit to making. Watch it here. Young & Laramore created the campaign.

7The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network teamed up with the Ad Council and NBA to launch "Think Before You Speak," an initiative aimed at eliminating anti-gay language among teens. When a teen refers to an opponent's moves on the basketball court as gay, Grant Hill and Jared Dudley from the Phoenix Suns step in to inform the player that this language is not acceptable anywhere. The PSA drives viewers to ThinkB4YouSpeak.com for further information and to take a pledge against using anti-LGBT language. See the ad here, created pro bono by ArnoldNYC

8No matter how many princesses this frog kisses, he's still going to be a frog. Vitaminwater launched "Frog" this week, starring an amphibian that will travel great lengths to kiss a Vitaminwater-drinking woman. The frog follows one woman from a park to a restaurant to steal a kiss. Once he realizes he hasn't changed, he moves on to the next woman drinking Vitaminwater. He rebounds quickly. See the ad here, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

9Tag Heuer launched a print and outdoor campaign in France to promote its Mikrograph watch that displays 100ths of a second.  The "Mechanism" campaign encourages wearers to seize the moment, illustrating this concept with mechanical animals doing precisely that. A frog captures its lunch with ease in one ad, while a hummingbird takes nectar from a flower in another. See the ads here and here, created by CLM BBDO.  

10Random iPhone App of the week: McCann Erickson San Francisco created GraffCity, an app that lets you graffiti walls, cars and entire buildings without that whole breaking-the-law thing getting in the way. Users can choose the spray can or finger paint option, along with varying brushes and colors. Augmented reality allows users to use their iPhone or iPod Touch just as they would an aerosol can to virtually tag any wall or surface selected. Tags are saved just as the artist creates them and are viewable to anyone who has the app. Tags can be uploaded to a GraffCity profile, a Facebook profile, or emailed. The app is available for free from the App Store.


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