Out to Launch

Subway line brings riders back to the Wild Wild West. Bridgestone launches largest campaign since the 80s. Gay.com "comes together." Let's launch!

PlanetOut and Gay.com launched a print and outdoor campaign yesterday in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Miami, Houston, Seattle, Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Atlanta. The campaign explores the notions of a divided nation with differing ideologies and is the first in a series of images called "Come Together," depicting gay men "uniting" while standing in front of the American flag. The images become increasingly provocative and the series ends with the men in bed together covered by an American flag. The New York ad is located on 23rd St. between 6th and 7th avenues. The campaign was created in-house.

Regal CineMedia Corporation (CineMedia), Chase, and MasterCard International have created a co-branded credit card to reward moviegoers, called the Regal Entertainment Group Platinum MasterCard card. The credit card launches this spring, and point of sale materials, national print advertising, direct mail, and online ads will support the launch. And let's not forget those pre-preview ads. "King of the World," "I'll Be Back," and "Beautiful Friendship" launch on Friday. The spots were created by Johnson & Murphy.

This next launch makes me want to get on the wrong subway for a little detour before I go to work. The inside of the shuttle train (S) to Times Square from Grand Central Terminal has been wrapped to look like the old west to promote the second season of HBO's series "Deadwood." From March 1 to March 29, New York straphangers will be transported back to 1870s Deadwood. The three-car train has been wrapped in western interior based on the show's Gem saloon complete with chandeliers, plank wood paneling, and worn leather seats. This is the first time subway cars have been wrapped for a campaign. HBO and OMD gained approval from New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to pull this stunt off. In addition, a modern-day gold rush is taking place as thousands of gold nuggets have been scattered in Philadelphia, New York City, and will be hidden in San Francisco on March 3. Inscribed with the "Deadwood" logo and a number, gold prospectors will be able to go online to see if they've won $450 cash (equivalent to the nuggets weight in gold - brilliant!) or "Deadwood: The Complete First Season" DVD box sets.

The tag line for New Balance's latest campaign says it all: "There are two motivations in sports. Which is yours? For Love or Money?" The TV, print, outdoor, radio, and online components target 25- to 49-year-olds. The campaign launched this week with a series of teaser ads in USA Today, online, and outdoor in four key markets (Boston/Chicago/ San Francisco/Atlanta) featuring thought-provoking questions about the values in sports today. Sample questions include: Can a losing coach still be a good coach?; If no one was watching you play, would you play just as hard?; and, which teaches a player more, winning or losing? Four 30-second television spots will run in a national cable buy and local market buys in nine markets, including Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, and St. Louis. The spots break March 12 and will run in heavy rotation in the March/April and September/October timeframes. "Coach" celebrates the unsung hero in the lives of amateur athletes. The "Basketball" and "Multi-sport" spots capture the energy and effort of doing drills in amateur sports. The print portion of the campaign appears in March issues of Runner's World, Men's Health, Outside, Health, Fitness, Shape, and Tennis. Boathouse developed the creative and handled the media buy and Euro RSCG 4D handled the online media components of the campaign.

Keeping with sneakers, AudioEngine provided the mix included in a campaign for RBK i Pump shoes. In "White," the motion graphic type says: "I'll hold you close. Your girl is gonna get jealous." And in "Black" the promise is: "I'll fit you snug. Like old school basketball shorts." In both ads, the pump breathes life into the inflatable shoes, giving wearers a customized fit. McGarry Bowen created the campaign.

The "World Poker Tour" Season III returns to The Travel Channel and to celebrate, Agency.com created an online campaign that allows surfers to test their skills at Texas Hold 'Em. After the hand, the banner tells players what the right moves were, so they can become more skillful players. The ads then direct users to the Travel Channel Web site, for more game playing and additional tips. The banner ads are running from February 27 to March 2 on SportsIllustrated.com, ESPN.com, AOL Games, and MTV.com.

The latest ad from wireless provider Cellular South celebrates the array of things there are to talk about when you don't have to worry about restrictions."All Around Us" features a series of dreamy vignettes over a music bed. Ranging from an abandoned shopping cart pirouetting in a empty parking lot, to a man crossing a busy intersection with a giant flower pot over his head, the scenes scream "Hello - I must call and share this with someone." The voiceover concludes, "The world is full of things to talk about. Which is why we give you the freedom to talk about all of them." The ad, which broke during Super Bowl XXXIX, is running on Fox News, CNN, ESPN, Lifetime, USA, TBS, TNT, VH1, and TLC. Cramer-Krasselt created the campaign.

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire (BFNT) has launched an extensive campaign supporting the Bridgestone brand. BFNT launched a TV campaign for Potenza, Turanza, Dueler, and Blizzak, all products under the Bridgestone umbrella. A final spot will combine the four product families while touting the technology of Bridgestone tires. Featuring a remix of the Rosanne Cash song, "The Wheel," there are 22 versions of the commercials, comprised of 30- and 15-second spots in English, French, and Spanish. Ads will be seen throughout the year on VH1, Spike TV, MTV, The History Channel, TNT, ESPN, FX, Comedy Central, TBS, Discovery Channel, SCI FI, and USA Network. In addition, a print campaign will run in USA Today, People, Playboy, Rolling Stone, AutoWeek, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track, Jet, Ebony, Out, and The Advocate. Grey Worldwide created the TV spots and Gish, Sherwood & Friends was the creative agency on the print campaign.

Streetwear apparel brands SouthPole and LOT29 used celebrity faces, and some famous animated characters in print campaigns for their Spring/Summer 2005 collections. Recording artists Keyshia Cole, Loon, Mobb Deep, and Tiffany Villarreal teamed up with Looney Tunes characters, aligning the brands to a youthful audience. Ads show Loon playing a game of poker with Daffy Duck and Tiffany Villarreal in a pillow fight with Tweety Bird. Print ads debut in the March issues of Cargo, ELLEgirl, Latina, Rolling Stone, The Source, Teen People, Teen Vogue, Urban Latino, VIBE, and XXL.

In Web site launches this week:

ABSOLUT WINTER has launched complete with a Texas Hold 'Em poker table. Lots of poker campaigns this week. In the parlor room, three cards are dealt facedown, along with an invitation to take a seat at the ABSOLUT HOLD 'EM table. Visitors are invited to take a seat at one of several tables to play poker (free to play, no downloads required). "Celebrate Winter" provides ideas on beating the winter cold and inevitable boredom. Activities include downloading Swedish snowflakes and a winter window screen-saver, and adding an ABSOLUT pattern to the ABSOLUT X stitch patch.

Goldmarks, a marketing services firm specializing in brand extension licensing, has enhanced its Web site. Expanded content covers a wide range of trademark licensing topics, from selecting an agency to brand license valuation. The site also features a "Links" page with synopsis and hyperlinks to other licensing related Web sites. Goldmarks provides tools and services to evaluate, plan, and develop, brand extension licensed products.

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