Out to Launch

ESPN Fantasy BaseballFantasy baseball season is here, and even the most unlikely viewers are hardcore fantasy baseball team owners. So says ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball TV campaign. The circus might be in town, but “Clowns” is working hard to select their fantasy baseball players. When one clown selects David Wright as a player, his fellow clown is shocked, given that better performing players are still available. Despite a rethink, Wright carries the day. It gives new meaning to send in the clowns. See it here. A “Sensei,” rather than breaking a board with his feet, makes important changes to his fantasy team instead. His smartphone remains intact, a triumph for technology. Watch it here. The last ad, “Lucha Libre,” shows three wrestlers slugging it out while positing potential fantasy baseball trades. Who knew these guys could multitask? Wieden+Kennedy New York created the campaign.

StateFarm Bobby Knight happy looks similar to Bobby Knight angry in one of two ads for State Farm running throughout the NCAA Tournament. When a State Farm agent finds Knight extra policy discounts, Knight screams with happiness as remaining office workers cower under their desks. See it here. I was waiting for Knight to express his dislike for State Farm’s similarly colored red sweaters. A policyholder and State Farm agent play it cool in “Fan Cam.” The pair attends a basketball game and dance in sync on a jumbotron while discussing how to save extra money. If only real agents were this accommodating. Watch it here. DDB Chicago created the campaign.

Coke ZeroCoke Zero launched “Last Request” during the NCAA Tournament, the latest work in the brand’s “Enjoy Everything” campaign. A young man is before a firing squad in a foreign land. His last request is a drink. He’s given a can of Coke Zero and upon learning the drink has zero calories and tastes like real Coca-Cola, the man gets brazen and continues to make last requests: a sandwich, turkey dinner and pool party. The spot ends with the fat lady singing as the prisoner is released. See the ad here, created by CP+B.

Coke EuroCoca-Cola launched “The Spirit of Euro” in Poland and the Ukraine, coinciding with the Euro Cup. The spot begins with a glimpse of Santa Claus, leading viewers to believe an ill-timed holiday ad is upon us. “The spirit of Christmas makes you a better person,” begins the voiceover. Say goodbye to holiday cheer as Santa is passed mid-air by a lively football fan flying a giant football shoe that runs on bottles of Coca-Cola. Naturally, the exhaust comes in the form of soccer ball-shaped carbonated bubbles. They fall on city residents, transforming them into crazed football fans. What's the real-life excuse? Watch the ad here
 ,created by SANTO and directed by Carlos Lascano of Bent Image Lab.

DowDow Chemical Company launched a great TV spot, under the theme: “Solutionism. The New Optimism.” “Train” highlights a useful invention: vibration reduction technology reduces track noise, allowing a quieter train ride. We see a train packed with travelers. Some are reading, applying makeup or playing guitar. The common thread is each passenger is saying “shhh” as they pass through cities. An outdoor wedding reception goes uninterrupted, a man naps on his couch and a woman waters her garden; they hardly notice the train pass by. Love the music used in the ad; it reminds me of something from a Woody Allen movie. See it here, created by Draftfcb Chicago.

Dish NetworkDISH launched a pair of TV ads promoting the Hopper, a home HD DVR that lets users automatically record four networks of prime-time TV and save it for up to eight days. In “Doing Nothing,” a couple drive down a dark, curvy road. The husband brags that he’s recording four networks worth of HD programming without doing anything. The wife says he must be doing something -- like breathing and driving the car. The hubby proves her wrong by holding his breath and jumping out of the car. The wife remained very calm for someone riding in a car without a driver. Then again, who wants to stay married to a guy who auto ejects? See it here Don’t ask a Bostonian family to pronounce Hopper. It might cause an argument. Watch it here. Barton F. Graf 9000 created the campaign.

Newport Beach FestivalThis year’s Newport Beach Film Festival, April 26 to May 3, celebrates the history of film. A supporting TV and print campaign features
photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s iconic dancer, film’s first muse. The TV spot brings Muybridge’s dancer to life and has her gracefully performing on a busy highway. Cars swerve to avoid hitting her as she gracefully glides from lane to lane. Traffic stops and drivers get out of their cars to watch the artistry.  “Film. Everlasting.” closes the ad,
seen here and created by RPA.

Manzanita SolLatinWorks
launched a television spot for PepsiCo on Univision to promote its Manzanita Sol beverage. "Sumo" is part of “No Todo Es Blanco Y Negro” (“Not Everything is Black and White”) campaign for Pepsi to reach Hispanic consumers in the U.S. The black-and-white ad takes place in a restaurant where two men argue over the age-old question: boxers or tighty whities. Suddenly, a man walks in, and it appears that he’s wearing nothing. And he’s in color, drinking a Manzanita Sol. A table menu moves to reveal the man’s choice of underwear: Sumo-style. Watch it here.

Hilton AppRandom iPad App of the week: Hilton Garden Inn
launched BizWords, an iPad app that helps business travelers decode workplace business speak. The app features a crowd-sourced collection of trending business buzzwords from across the country, along with frequently used local terms. Think of words like DIY, circle back, critical and synergy. Users can add their favorite terms and definitions. A leader board tracks the frequency of buzzwords. Organic created the app, available for free in the App Store.

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