Out to Launch

Even Batman drinks milk. Bridezillas take Manhattan. Court TV takes the shirt off your back. Let's launch!

Food Network is looking for "The Next Food Network Star" and launched an integrated campaign to support the new series. Concluding on June 25, viewers will select the winner of a Food Network cooking program by voting live at FoodNetwork.com or by sending a text message via cell phone. Food Network created a 10-day online advertising blitz with an emphasis on AOL sites. AOL will deliver rich media units road-blocking the Top 5 trafficked entertainment portals where users will interact with streaming video and sign-up for e-mail reminders. Online ads are also running on Yahoo!, TVGuide.com, and Eonline. There's also a traditional aspect to the campaign, including local and national TV buys on broadcast, cable, and digital stations; spot radio buys in 20 markets, including San Francisco, Portland, Las Vegas, and Chicago; print ads featured in Us Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and Inside TV; and outdoor ads in New York City and Los Angeles. I saw an enormous scaffolding billboard close to Grand Central Terminal. Media Storm-South Norwalk, CT handled media planning and buying. The campaign was created in-house with the help of AND co.

To promote "The Takedown," a new show airing on Court TV, Night Agency hit the streets of New York, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Richmond, Va., and Memphis. Men sported "Don't Lose Your Shirt" messages on their backs, looking eerily similar to the famous GoldenPalace.com tattoos, and conned innocent passersby with three-card monte tricks. Bystanders were then directed online where contestants could enter a chance to win a trip to Vegas and play some blackjack. The show revolves around a reformed con artist who attempts to "take down" high-tech security systems. The catch here is that the con artist was hired by the very company he is attempting to "take down."

How much fun is it to dive into a giant wedding cake, while dressed as a bride, get completely messy, all for a chance at winning $50,000? I wish I could answer that. To celebrate the second season of WE's "Bridezilla," 20 brides-to-be jumped into a giant wedding cake in Times Square to search for a ring box worth $50,000. The event was produced by the michael alan group, New York.

GM Certified Used Vehicles launched a campaign this week urging consumers not to stress when it comes to buying a used car. Using the tag line "GM Certified Used Vehicles: No Worries," the campaign uses a flash card approach to depict used car problems GM Certified owners tend to forget about. Images consist of a tow truck, hitchhiking, call box, flares, hydraulic lift, breakdown lane, and leaky oil. The campaign also highlights the benefits of buying a GM Certified Used Vehicle, such as a 110-plus point inspection, a three-month/3,000-mile warranty, and competitive financing. Print and online ads are running in Essence, People, Sports Illustrated, and Better Homes & Gardens, and on AutoTrader.com, AOL Autos, and Kbb.com. Ads targeting the Hispanic population are running in People en Espanol, Ser Padres, and on MSN Latino. Mullen created the campaign.

Verizon launched a corporate campaign last week consisting of print, TV, and online ads. Using the tag line  "Richer. Deeper. Broader," the TV and print ads show "hyper real" situations to convey the power of a broadband experience. Verizon also launched a Web site that serves as a digital documentary where consumers can tell their stories of how a broadband connection enriches their lives. The TV ads will be seen on national cable networks and the print insertions will appear in a series of weekly and monthly magazines throughout the remainder of the year. In "Enlightenment," a paperboy delivers the morning paper to a house. As he rides off, he is followed by hundreds of boys and girls delivering items ranging from magazines to art, and CDs to movies. Verizon's corporate agency, McGarry Bowen, created the mass media campaign; Burrell Communications and La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados contributed to the effort. Verizon's interactive agency, R/GA, created the online ads and Web experience.

Monster launched a national ad campaign that celebrates people's unique talents, human spirit, and desire to excel and make great things happen at work. The first commercial, "New Monster. New You," will air throughout June in primetime, late night, and early morning on CBS, NBC, ESPN, TBS, TNT, USA, VH-1, E!, Soapnet, and Comedy Central. Set to Electric Light Orchestra's 1970s song "Do Ya," the spot features Monster's redesigned Web site and celebrates the excitement of finding the right job. Additional TV spots, along with print ads in national weekly, monthly, and trade publications, will launch this summer. Media buying and planning was handled by deutschMedia; Brand Content created the campaign.

Arnell Group has created the latest campaign launched by 1800 Tequila. The creative supports 1800 Tequila's existing tag line "A Little Bit Older, A Whole Lot Bolder" with new executions that include: "The Ultimate Night Out," "The Ultimate Body Shot," "The Ultimate Smooth Move," and "The Ultimate Ice Breaker." In "The Ultimate Ice Breaker," a beautiful young woman in a trench coat flashes two young guys who have been too shy to make their move. They all have a good laugh, as the guys are privy to the secret of what she's wearing underneath. The ads debuted in June issues of ESPN, FHM, Maxim, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and Stuff. Outdoor executions will appear in Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Add "milk moustache" as an accessory to the Batman's utility belt. Batman is the latest spokesperson to don the milk moustache while promoting "Batman Begins." The ad debuted in the May 20 issue of Rolling Stone.  The copy reads: "For the hero in all of us. Milk's 9 essential nutrients give me the strength and energy I need to fight the forces of evil. Not drinking milk? Now that would be a crime." Lowe Worldwide created the ad that is currently running in entertainment magazines along with publications targeting young boys.

Blattner Brunner, Pittsburgh wrapped up its first work for Cub Cadet lawn tractors. In "Lose the Belts," it occurs to the Cub Cadet engineers that the solution to drive belts that stretch and slip is to eliminate them entirely. The revelation comes after an engineer trips and accidentally wipes a belt diagram from a dry-erase board. In "Zero Turning Radius," the engineers are inspired to make Cub Cadets turn more tightly after seeing a dog chase its tail and square dancers swing their partners. Both ads use the tag line, "The Science of Common Sense." The campaign targets D-I-Y'ers and will run in "Grass belt" DMAs including Tulsa, Okla. Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh/Durham, N.C. Memphis, Nashville, Kansas City, St. Louis, Des Moines, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. The spots will run on all broadcast networks, and ESPN.

On to the Web site launches.

ABSOLUT Vodka wants to match an ABSOLUT vodka flavor with the personality of vodka drinkers. Enter "Find Your Flavor." The microsite matches users up with an ABSOLUT flavor, then suggests ideal summer cocktails to match your persona. Sample questions asked include: "What items would you choose to save from a burning house?" "What items would you pack for a long weekend?" and "What kind of TV stations do you watch?" Depending on my mood, I've been apeach and citron. Consumers are timed, and have 90 seconds to select their answers. The microsite also includes summer cocktail recipes, a database of flavored drinks, screensavers, and downloads.  Springtime (Stockholm) created the site.

imc² has designed SiteInformant, a newly formed division of interactive agency Informant Ltd. The site supports the marketing efforts for SiteInformant - a service to help marketers automate their market research and business intelligence efforts. Using proprietary technology, SiteInformant automatically scans each page of a competitor's Web site every day, capturing any changes and sending an e-mail notification to subscribers when changes are found. SiteInformant is available as a subscription service for clients.

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