Out to Launch
I always knew I wasn't alone in my love for big hair bands from the '80s. Medical Hair Restoration (MHR), providers of hair transplant surgery, launched a nationwide branding campaign that includes three 60-second TV spots you're sure to remember. The commercials launched this month on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, VH-1, E!, Discovery, Fox News, Animal Planet and Travel Channel. In a move to break away from the hair transplant industry's more traditional and conservative late-night infomercial style of advertising (who remembers Sy Sperling?), three 60-second spots feature a 1980s tribute hair band -- The Hair Dudes from the New York/New Jersey area. The ads spoof other products and services that men and women use to try to make them feel more confident and powerful. One ad focuses on how to make more money buying real estate foreclosures; another on developing tighter abdominal muscles; and the final ad spoofs a sexual dysfunction. Just as the balding men in each ad is making their pitch, The Hair Dudes appear, after heavy use of pyrotechnics of course, to declare that the only way to achieve greater lifestyle satisfaction is to regrow hair with a permanent hair transplant from MHR. The spots were produced by Tampa Digital Studios.
I might have mentioned this once or twice, but I LOVE guerrilla marketing campaigns. Eat them up. Needless to say, I was excited to hear about an upcoming guerrilla effort created by Cossette Post for Carlsberg USA. Cossette Post has created the Carlsberg Passport that will be dropped in cabs, bars, libraries, malls, and other popular locations. Good Samaritans will find in the passport a photo of a fellow American, information on Carlsberg USA, and an invitation to "Drink with a world of friends." The campaign begins on February 1 and continues through April in key cities including Chicago, Boston, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. The faux passports include 12-pages of company facts, "stamps" from countries around the world along with information on how to toast in 34 different languages and how to ask "May I please have a Carlsberg beer" in everything from French to Romanian. A national TV campaign will follow.
Coors Light ran ads during the NFL playoffs highlighting the "Cold Hard Facts" about the Super Bowl and showed fans gearing up for the game with their Coors Light. The company ran ads in heavy rotation throughout the playoffs but is not running ads during the actual Super Bowl. Yet they are the official sponsors of the big game. Will Anheuser-Busch take advantage of this? They should. The ads show visuals of the Rocky Mountains and a football stadium, with an announcer explaining that as the Super Bowl approaches, millions of bottles of Coors Light will be tackled, fans will get in touch with their inner linebacker, grown men will dance, games will be won, voices will be lost, and hot dogs will be washed down with Coors Light. The ads were created by Foote Cone & Belding Chicago.
Reuters.co.uk launched a month-long outdoor advertising campaign last week running in key London tube stations. The campaign is part of Reuters' plan to grow its online audience in 2005. The campaign targets professionals commuting into major business and financial areas of the capital. Tube placements include the complete take over of an escalator at Liverpool Street and on escalator spaces in Cannon Street and St Paul's. Reuters is also targeting commuters by handing out branded tube maps at London stations. Branded coffee cup sleeves can be found in 18 in-house cafes and 60 independent coffee shops throughout London. The campaign was created by Howdy.
Visa debuted a Visa check card campaign targeting the Hispanic population with Spanish-language national and local TV, print, and radio ads. "Movies" compares the inconvenience of paying with cash versus the speed and convenience of using a Visa check card. The television commercials will air on Telemundo, Univision, Telefutura, Galavisión, TV Azteca, Fox en Español, ESPN Deportes, and GolTV. Radio spots began airing in December in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Albuquerque, N.M., and Phoenix. Print ads launch in spring 2005 in Spanish-language entertainment, lifestyle, and parenting publications. The campaign was created by Lopez Negrete of Houston.
Quiksilver launched a TV campaign last week that ties in with the company's sponsorship of ESPN's Winter X Games Nine. Quiksilver has several of its signed athletes competing, including snowboarders Todd Richards and Danny Kass. Created by 72andSunny, the spots broke on ESPN, FOX Sports, and ABC. The Richards and Kass spots use the fun, kitschy surf movies from the 1960s (like Gidget and Beach Blanket Bingo) as visual inspiration. "Medals" riffs on the fact that Richards is older than Kass, and has won a lot of medals. Kass, however, has a trophy of his own kept snugly in his snowboarding pants.
TaylorMade has launched a 30-second spot called "Tee Box" that proclaims the company's No. 1 status (in terms of tour play and unit sales) by using tee box imagery and tour players crushing drives with TaylorMade drivers. The campaign launched January 22 on National Cable and Network TV. Print launches in the March issues of Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, T&L Golf, SI Golf Plus, Golf World, and Golf Week. NYCA created the campaign.
Showtime Networks has partnered with Apple gift cards and iTunes Music Store for a first quarter Showtime campaign. Consumers who sign up to receive Showtime and subscribe for at least three months will get a $25 gift card good at any Apple retail store or a $25 iTunes gift certificate. The promotional period runs now through March 31. Showtime Networks will support the campaign via off-air, cross channel spots running on cable and satellite affiliate systems. The concept was Showtime's idea, but EMP, Entertainment Marketing Partners, brought the two companies together.
The latest version of Corbis' worldwide "Keyword" campaign places the keyword "Chameleon" with an image of a vertically striped shirt against a vertically striped wall. The campaign teams up keywords with images that are unexpected, yet somehow mesh well. Chameleon was created by Bondo & Remer Seattle and can be seen through the end of the month in national magazines including Communication Arts, Creativity, CMYK, Graphic Design USA, HOW, STEP Inside Design, and international publications such as Applied Arts, Creative Review, Design Week, Eye, CB News, and Dazed & Confused.
The History Channel promoted the Jan. 17 premiere of its two-hour documentary entitled, "French Revolution," with a heavy dose of online ads. Entertainment content sites offered users a sneak peek of the special through a five-minute "Behind the Scenes" video featured within editorial content. On the actual airdate, the campaign concluded with prominent placement on the home pages of Web sites including IGN.com, MSN, NYTimes.com, RealNetworks, TVGuide.com, WindowsMedia.com and UGO.com. Horizon Interactive created the campaign.
In Web site launches this week:
Punxsutawney Phil is chasing his shadow on GroundhogChase.com, a promotion from the Pennsylvania Tourism Office celebrating Groundhog's Day - it's Feb. 2, so mark your calendars! Ripple Effects Interactive created the site, that feature videos of the groundhog running after his shadow through a Pennsylvania cityscape. My favorite has the shadow eluding the groundhog by dressing up as a nun. The site lets users forward information to their friends via e-mail, and offers an online poll where users predict whether or not the groundhog will catch his shadow.
Late last year, ANIMAX produced a series of six animated 'webisodes' for the Starlight Starbright Foundation. "Coping with Chemo" helps teens with cancer deal with the impact chemotherapy has on their lives and their bodies. The webisodes track the process of two young people -Isabel and Marcus- as they first learn they have cancer, and then have to cope with the initial treatment and follow up.