Out to Launch

Home Depot, Aflac and Saturn were among the advertisers that broke new TV work on CBS' telecast of the 45th annual Grammy Awards this Sunday. Also breaking new campaigns are Adidas and Thomasville Furniture Industries. Read on for details.

Home Depot kicked off an estimated $350 million campaign with a 60-second spot from The Richards Group in Dallas that introduced "You can do it. We can help" as a tagline. The ad showed customers walking through a store and friendly sales personnel. A voiceover defined what Home Depot is with lines like, "It's more than a store--it's where you go when you need to know how." The ads play up Home Depot's do-it-yourself clinics, which teach people home improvement skills, from building tables to repairing electrical outlets. Its all-women clinics have surged in popularity over the last 12 months.

Aflac aired a new spot featuring its spokesduck in Las Vegas. In the 30-second ad, two elderly women watch a wedding and wonder about the name of an insurance company (usually quacked by the Aflac duck). The camera pans around the feet of the women, as if trying to spot the duck. But he is nowhere to be found until the scene cuts to a Wayne Newton concert, where the duck is enjoying a rendition of "Danke Schoen." The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York created the ad. "Ask about it at work" continues as the tagline.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco is breaking a new Saturn ad in both 30- and 60-second versions. Entitled "People Shopping," people are seen wearing "For Sale" signs. In another scene, driverless cars are the contestants on a game show where the prize is a person. A third shot shows the Saturn lineup (L-series sedan and wagon, Vue sport utility and Ion sedan) moving slowly through a car dealership lot where people are standing in rows, like vehicles normally would be. An Ion finally stops in front of a young woman. She reacts joyfully, knowing she has been picked. Voiceover: "You look and you look. And then one day when you find the right car, it's almost like the car finds you." Tagline remains, "It's different in a Saturn."

Adidas is embarking on a new national branding campaign beginning this month. The campaign uses color to capture the raw emotions of sport and layers it with the 3-stripes, the authentic symbol of sport. Based on sports-inspired color stories, the campaign highlights a range of color and product appealing to athletes and consumers at every level. The global concept developed in conjunction with TBWAChiatDay utilizes both print and outdoor advertising elements. The concept is a year-long campaign and will evolve seasonally. Prints ads are beginning to break in top sport and lifestyle publications. Targeting both men and women the buy includes Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Maxim, Glamour, Shape and YM. Starting in March, nine cities throughout the U.S. will showcase special out-of-home packages that take the adidas message to sports venues and key shopping districts. Premium wall locations and the use of tactical outdoor units (transit shelters, taxi tops) will further broaden the campaigns reach. The adidas New York wall across from Madison Square Garden (8th Ave and 35th Street) was recently completed, as well as the Miami wall adjacent to the downtown area. Additional outdoor markets include Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Los Angeles. In-store materials and online efforts will also serve as integral components of the campaign, providing consumers the complete story within the shopping environment.

A campaign from Thomasville Furniture Industries is promoting Humphrey Bogart, who died in 1957, as a standard-bearer for "legendary style." The television and print campaign, by McCarthy Mambro Bertino in Boston, is for a new line of furniture and accessories inspired by the actor, called the Bogart Collection, which Thomasville is selling in its own stores as well as through furniture retailers. The campaign, with a budget estimated at $2.5 million, is indicative of the continuing interest evinced by Madison Avenue in deceased celebrities. The Thomasville ad insert describes Bogart as “an American icon" who has "endured the passage of time," asserting that "you too can experience the feeling of Bogart's era in your own home, piece by piece, room by room." To underline the idea that the furniture is contemporary though its inspiration is from the past, the print ads show photographs of Bogart in black and white and the product line that invokes period geography and history with names like Bel Air, El Morocco, Hancock Park, Melrose, Mocambo and Romanoff's in color. Similarly, the commercial begins in black and white, at a 40's-style party where one guest is a Bogart lookalike, and ends in color, when the products appear on screen. The commercial is appearing on the morning shows of the broadcast networks as well as on programs on cable networks like A&E, E!, HGTV and Lifetime. The print ads are running in magazines like Oprah, Real Simple and Vanity Fair. In May, Thomasville and the Bogart Collection are to sponsor the "Classic Hollywood" week on "Biography" on A&E, which is to include a new episode on the life of Bogart.

La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados, a leading U.S. Hispanic advertising agency, and The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) have announced a new statewide public service announcement (PSA) campaign to encourage California youth who have not yet established their state residency to continue their education beyond high school. The bi-lingual (English and Spanish) campaign is titled "Go For It!"/"Ya Puedes." It is designed to build awareness among young California residents and their parents that now, due to Assembly Bill 540, tuition rates are more affordable for eligible immigrant students interested in attending California's accredited public community college and universities. The campaign consists of an English :30 TV spot and a Spanish :30 TV spot - both titled "Hungry"; three :60 Spanish radio spots, and bi-lingual posters for distribution to high school and college counselors. The campaign will run statewide. In the TV spot, a young person on a city sidewalk peers longingly through a large plate glass window. Two other pedestrians join him. As they continue to focus on what's on the other side of the window, they lick their lips and seem to be drooling. They lean towards the window and press their hands on the glass. Their body language gives the impression that they are unable to participate in what is going on inside. They seem to be watching people eat in a restaurant, but they are not looking into a restaurant. The camera pans to what they are watching to reveal that it is students in a library. The ad then shares MALDEF's Bill 540 message to "Go For It!"/"Ya Puedes."

AGENCY.COM and itraffic have launched a new ad campaign for the Discovery Channel's premiere of "JFK: Death in Dealey Plaza." The objective of this campaign is to encourage fans to tune into the show, scheduled for tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST. The campaign is launching in the NYT, ABC News and HowStuffWorks.com. All three sites will be building out a special "Unsolved History" section within each of their sites. NYT will include several articles pulled from the NYT archive from the day of the JFK assassination as well as a slide show about the historical events surrounding the tragedy. ABCNews.com will include special content detailing the techniques used on the series, including ballistic and forensics procedures. Finally, HowStuffWorks.com will include detailed content about how the series uses modern technology to re-capture history.

In Expedia.com's latest ad, "Lodge," we meet a couple planning a fun-filled family vacation. While our heroic dad is researching hotels on Expedia.com, he comes across a hunting-lodge resort. In a flash-forward comedic sequence, he imagines a dark and stormy night during which his two tiny tots are frightened out of their wits at the sight of the lodge's decorum: mounted heads of bear and bisen. Their blood curdling shrieks echo throughout the imaginary lodge as they clutch each other under the shadows of taxidermy. Dad quickly realizes that a hunting lodge may not be exactly the type of hotel experience that his family really desires and opts for a poolside vacation instead. Created by Deutsch L.A., the new commercial breaks this week on network and national cable TV and humorously demonstrates how using Expedia.com and its travel tools can help consumers easily find and book the perfect trip-whatever their requirements.

Pitney Bowes is launching a multi-media marketing campaign this week to redefine its brand for a new target audience: the C-suite. According to the Stamford, Conn.-based company, the effort, via of Ogilvy & Mather unit OgilvyOne, New York, will include print, Internet outdoor and airport saturation, including airline club lounges. New tag throughout the $10 million campaign: "Engineering the flow of communication." The campaign uses humor "to dramatize the serious business impact of misdirected, late or incorrect communication." One ad includes the text, "Satisfaction guaranteed or your monkey back," then goes on to show the increased costs, alienated customers and missed revenue opportunities businesses face as a result of inaccurate communications. The ad then focuses on how Pitney Bowes' integrated solutions can significantly improve a business' communications flow.

Scott Kay Platinum announced the re-launch of its company website. The newly designed website offers a multitude of innovative and compelling elements, perhaps the most striking of which is video. From the moment a viewer logs onto the new site, captivating video invites the viewer in. Immediately following the opening video, the home page appears while clean and elegant navigation bars bookcase text and images. Video is used throughout the site to introduce specific sections. The new scottkay.com does not require a high-speed connection or a typical video player to view video.

-- This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Lindsey Fadner. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.

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