Out to Launch

Genworth Financial sets husband against wife in its latest match (ad). Lindsay Lohan has a mustache. Zea Restaurants is sorry. Let's launch!

Jose Cuervo International has launched a TV ad in the United States to promote responsible drinking. Created by the Arnell Group, the ad tries to be playful while reminding consumers of the importance of having a designated driver. Entitled "Reverse," the spot opens with a group of friends about to drive away from a party. But the ad actually runs backwards, as if the tape is being rewound. Focusing on the driver, the camera watches a group of friends as they back up to the house. They move back inside through the party to the critical point in the evening where the driver is offered his first drink. The soundtrack also runs in reverse, so even his response, "Not tonight, I'm driving," plays backwards, which requires the use of subtitles to clarify what he's saying. It then reminds consumers to "Please drink responsibly," and that, "You can't rewind the night." The ads are airing on VH1, E!, FX, USA, and Spike.

Lindsay Lohan has celebrated a milestone. And it has nothing to do with her love life or underage club hopping. She is the 200th celebrity to don a milk mustache. The milk mustache campaign is in its tenth year and Lohan's new look launched last month in a bevy of national magazines (mostly teen-targeted publications). Her message is: "I may be on the way up, but I still drink milk. About 15 percent of your height is added during your teens and the calcium in milk can help. Who knows, maybe one day you'll see your name in lights." Lowe created the campaign. For those that love useless trivia (like me), whose face launched the milk mustache campaign 10 years ago? Naomi Campbell.

In the latest Hummer spot from Modernista!, a Dad and his two boys get more of a toboggan ride that they expected. They push off from the top of a mountain, but instead of a quick ride to the bottom, the ride through untouched powdered snow seems to last for an eternity. The camera takes us back up the mountain retracing the toboggan tracks back to the pinnacle where parked in the clean snow is the reason for the remarkable ride - the Hummer. "Toboggan" will run through the end of the year and into early January.

Tis the season... New Orleans-based Zea Restaurants is launching a campaign in response to complaints by chain restaurants Ruby Tuesday and T.G.I. Friday's, after the two threatened legal action. The two restaurant giants filed "cease and desist" letters in late November in response to a campaign that positioned Zea as an alternative to the mega-chains. The original campaign targeted consumers familiar with chain restaurants and used a humorous approach to inform them that Zea offered a different experience. In one radio spot, an announcer says, "Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday," playing off the lyrics of the Rolling Stones', "Ruby Tuesday." Another spot includes the line, "Thank God it's not Friday's." What's a restaurant to do when faced with a David vs. Goliath situation? Launch another campaign apologizing for picking on the big chains. In the latest campaign, Zea promises not to use the names Ruby Tuesday and T.G.I. Friday's in its advertising. The ads go on to say that, to show that there are no hard feelings, "the day between Monday and Wednesday will now be called Takakatobyday and the day between Thursday and Saturday will be called Faddidle-doodleday." The ads also invite Ruby Tuesday and Friday's (whose names are beeped out in a radio spot) to use Zea's name in all of their advertising. Zea has also launched a Web site in response to the threatened legal action. Sullivan-St.Clair Marketing/Public Relations created both the original and "apology" campaign.

Genworth Financial has launched a second TV commercial that continues to feature married tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff. Genworth's ad debuted on Dec. 9 during "The Apprentice," in which Genworth played a starring role (if you were watching, there's no way you could have missed this ad. I have it ingrained in my head). The ad will run regularly on cable outlets beginning next month. The first commercial introduced Genworth Financial to the public; its latest spot communicates what the company does. "Winner Takes All" was created by Klamath Communications, New York.

Bosch has launched a branding campaign in New York City and where better to do it than Times Square? Bosch is showcasing its "Your Life. Our Inspiration." campaign on a five-panel billboard, on a wallscape and on a large video screen above the NASDAQ ticker. Print ads will run in People Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, USA Today, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle. TV spots will also run in top media markets such as Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, and New York during primetime television. Bosch's advertising will highlight its newest major product introductions to the U.S. market. The campaign runs through January 2005 and was created by Hamon & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.

American Express has launched a global card brand campaign introducing the tag line "My life. My card." featuring Robert DeNiro, Tiger Woods, Ellen DeGeneres, and professional surfer Laird Hamilton. Each ad is unique to the person it represents. The story line of each spot reflects the places, causes, and achievements that are meaningful to each person. The global campaign launched on the heels of a concluding legal battle by the U.S. Department of Justice that cleared the way for U.S. banks to issue American Express-branded cards, something banks around the world have been doing for more than seven years. The TV campaign launched in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Canada. The United States campaign also includes print, cinema, and outdoor components. American Express will also connect the "My life. My card." campaign with key sponsorship properties, including the NBA and major tennis championships. Ogilvy created the campaign.

The Chicago Tribune is launching a brand campaign that incorporates animation and iconic graphics into messages that demonstrate how someone's day was made better by interacting with the Chicago Tribune. Pretty confident, aren't they? The TV, print, outdoor, online, and direct marketing components were created by DDB Chicago, and broke on Dec. 13. The campaign shows people showing what their life was like before and after coming into contact with the Tribune -- either in print or online. The campaign's tag line is "What's in it for you?"

Big Brothers Big Sisters wants to share some holiday magic with the world by creating the world's biggest online greeting card. Visitors to the organization's Web site, can upload a photograph to be included in the digital montage that will make up the greeting card. The campaign runs from December 1 to January 1 and features a microsite, designed by Draft Chicago, where visitors can sign the greeting card, upload their photo, and make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Once the "Be Part of Something Big," campaign is complete, the pictures will be compiled into a mosaic to produce a larger image that will reflect Big Brothers Big Sisters' volunteers, donors, and supporters. So far, more than 1,600 people have signed the card.

De'Longhi USA is introducing its Magnifica "super automatic" espresso machine (one button grinds and brews) to the United States. SFGT created the campaign that targets a wealthy 25- to 54-year-old demographic (HHI of $250K). With the espresso machine starting at $899, that seems like a good idea. Ads launched in the November and December issues of Departures, Wine Spectator, and Robb Report. Online ads are running on various gourmet food Web sites.

In Web site launches this week:

There's a play on words here somewhere... AKQA has relaunched glacéau vitaminwater's Web site. The flash-based site educates consumers on how vitaminwater is relevant throughout their day. When consumers first arrive on the site, a particular flavor of vitaminwater will be served up based upon the time of day and that flavors functionality. For example, if it's 7:00 am, essential (orange-orange) will appear touting its benefits of morning nutrition, not to mention how it favorably compares to OJ. Additional features to the site include a store locator so consumers can purchase glacéau products and smartwater information.

AGENCY.COM has relaunched Scotch-Brite.com. The site provides information on Scotch-Brite's entire line of products - including sponges, wipes mops, and its newest innovations like the disposable toilet scrubber. To help make cleaning simple, a "solutions" path was created to offer time-saving tips for the toughest cleaning jobs in the kitchen, bathroom, and beyond.

Beyond Blossoms, an online florist, has launched. Beyond Blossoms offers hand-tied, pre-arranged, European style, flower bouquets that are shipped nationwide. The site offers flowers including snapdragons, lisianthus, and orchids and users earn rewards points with each flower purchase so customers can get free flowers. Users can search by flower type, occasion, price, or color so customers can make a decision quickly and easily.

Tuesday Morning, a closeout retailer of upscale home accents and gifts, has re-designed its Web site. The four year-old site went from HTML to Flash-driven and showcases the high-quality home accents and gifts the company sells for 50% to 80% off retail. Slingshot designed the site.

Out to Launch will not be published next week. Look out for a fresh batch of campaigns on January 5. Happy Holidays everyone!

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