Out To Launch

NASCAR Nationwide Series launched a trio of TV ads to introduce NASCAR fans to new drivers and new cars in an unconventional way. A group of tourists visit a NASCAR track in “Tram at the Track.” Too bad the tour driver sideswipes a handful of racecars, irking the new drivers. See it here. “Under Glass” shows four life-sized racecars encased in glass. When a tourist asks if they’ll see any drivers, the guide leads them to a room where four drivers, encased in glass, struggle to breathe. Watch it here. Lastly, our clumsy tour guide goes to the videotape when he destroys a room while returning a tool. See it here. Jump Co. created the campaign, directed by Matt Pittroff of Twist.


ESPNThe things I learn when watching an ESPN “This is SportsCenter” ad. Like, how do NASCAR drivers go to the bathroom during a 500-lap race? Not something I ever thought of and now I’m all up on Google learning more. I’m more interested in how they eat. Do they have a passenger-side seat full of peanut butter cups and energy bars? This amusing ad centers on driver Kevin Harvick as he spends the day in meetings at ESPN headquarters. Harvick remains in his chair during a sanctioned bathroom break, sipping his coffee. The spot ends with Harvick pausing by a window, listening to the rainfall. He also tells his colleagues that he’ll catch up with them. Hysterical -- and there’s our answer! See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy NY.


Carls JrA Southern gentleman emerges from the sand of a California beach to share Hardee’s made-from-scratch biscuits with the Carl’s Jr. West coast fan base. “From the South” places a well-dressed Southerner, undoubtedly sweating on the beach, sharing Southern biscuits with unsuspecting beachgoers. The sunbathers are initially wary of the Southerner, but he’s equipped with delicious breakfast biscuits, so all is forgotten. See the ad here, created by David&Goliath.


Cosmopolitan HotelThere’s “just the right amount of wrong” in a TV ad for The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas. "52 Stories" shows what really goes on inside an elevator. Most of the time, it’s rather boring -- but then there’s that 1% that’s strange, adorable or juicy. There’s adult twins holding balloons, a couple that goes from shy to making out, and an old woman with three Great Danes that disappear while the woman dances with a gentleman caller. The spot ends with the elevator door opening to the three Great Danes, all by their lonesome selves. Watch the ad here, created by Digital Kitchen.


NIKENike Running launched “Some Time Together,” a Web film about a girl who never stops running in her LunarGlide+ 3 Shields. As someone who just ran her first marathon last month, I not only love this ad, I can relate to it. When you’re training for a big race and need to ramp up your mileage, it seems like running takes over your life. I would get up at 4:30 some mornings so I could log in a 17-mile run and still have a social life. It’s a fine balance. Not to mention, you want your running shoes to be comfortable, or else that 3-hour run will feel like an eternity. In the online video, the woman’s family comes to her while she runs: her parents worry that she’ll catch cold, her grandparents ask if she’s married yet, and her boyfriend complains that they don’t spend enough time together. Four video interviews will be released via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with characters from the film talking about how the non-stop running girl affects their lives. Nike is also planning a set of “Never Stop Running” worldwide challenges. Sign me up. See the film here, created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland and São Paulo.

CoronaCorona Extra launched “Snow Sand,” the latest ad in its “Find Your Beach” campaign. A woman in winter gear begins snowboarding down a mound of sand, onto a beach where her boyfriend lounges and the Corona is chilled. The climate quickly changes to the outside of a ski resort, where the couple relaxes and sips Coronas. “Find your beach” closes the ad, seen here and created by Cramer-Krasselt Chicago.


Under ArmorUnder Armour asks, “Are you from here?” in a TV ad promoting its new UA Micro G basketball shoe collection, inspired by the life story of Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings. Fellow NBA players Derrick Williams and Kemba Walker star alongside Jennings in the ad, which shows a team of young basketball players training hard, regardless of how challenging it becomes. It’s not just the individual work that’s important, but how each player works with the team toward the common goal of succeeding. Go hard or go home. See the ad here, created by CP+B.


SkyrimBethesda Softworks launched a great TV spot for its fantasy role-playing video game, “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” available on 11-11-11. A village is burning, an alarm bell is ringing, and people are running away from town. Naturally, the hero of the ad is running toward town, searching for the problem: a fire-breathing dragon, hellbent on mass destruction. The spot, seen here, launched Oct. 30 on MTV, ESPN and Spike. AKQA created the campaign.


Boo At The ZooThe San Francisco Zoo launched an amusing TV campaign to promote its Halloween event called “Boo at the Zoo.” The black-and-white ad feels like a low-budget 1950s horror movie, with a frightened woman running through her house, trying to escape from an oversized, and poorly assembled, spider. I love when the spider attacks and you can see a prop person’s hand creep into the shot. “This Halloween, get out of the house,” closed the ad, seen here and created by twofifteenmccann and Strike Anywhere.


RoadNinjaRandom iPhone App of the week: Anyone up for a road trip? Lamar Advertising Company created the RoadNinja, a travel app powered by Foursquare that helps consumers find what’s available at upcoming exits, like restaurants, hotels and gas stations. The app also delivers location-specific promotions. Travelers can add reviews, ratings and photos to business listings, share promotions and reviews on Facebook and check-in on Foursquare. Businesses that advertise with Lamar can add a promotion and display their business logo on the app at no extra charge. Digital Scientists developed the app, available for free in the App Store.

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