Out to Launch

Every week new ad campaigns and websites are launched, and it’s hard to keep up with them all. This week Mr. Rogers is planning to address the events of 9-11 in five new PSAs, big name retailers are set to debut innovative fall advertising efforts, and Zenith Electronics Corp. announced details of a $30 million campaign to promote its new HDTV. Here are the details.

In five new public service messages that will air on PBS stations nationwide, Fred Rogers, the long-time star of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, will address the events of Sept. 11 and offer ways in which parents can explain the first anniversary of the attacks to their kids. The PSAs are from Family Communications, Inc., the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit company founded by Rogers. PBS stations nationwide also will air “ZOOM: America's Kids Remember,” a half-hour program targeted to both parents and kids in which kids discuss such issues as coping with loss, feeling helpless and respecting differences.

DURACELL announced the debut of "Trusted Everywhere," a campaign for its world-renowned alkaline battery. The campaign will run on a variety of popular primetime programs, including the season premieres of The West Wing and Will & Grace, as well as on daytime and syndicated programming. The campaign was developed by The Acme Idea Company of Norwalk, Conn., and represents a significant departure from the brand's historical performance-based communications stance to a more emotional platform.

Mercedes-Benz USA will soon launch a campaign for its 2003 E-Class sedan. Three national ads, including both print and outdoor via Merkley Newman Harty Partners, New York, continues MBUSA's "Unlike any other" theme. Three 60- and 30- second TV spots break this month on local primetime and national cable during shows like Friends, NYPD Blue and Good Morning Miami. In October, print ads will be featured in newspapers and magazines along with radio and outdoor.

Diageo's Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey will roll out a new campaign in October per Grey Global Group's Mediacom Worldwide. The TV campaign, which will run through early 2003, will include TNN, the first of Viacom's MTV Networks to accept ads for distilled spirits. In addition to TNN, the Crown Royal campaign will air on networks including Bravo, Outdoor Life, Court TV, Oxygen and USA Networks.

Retailer Eddie Bauer is launching a $12 million dollar integrated campaign that re-emphasizes the company's outdoor heritage. Featuring gorgeous American landscapes, the multi-faceted campaign is an effort to establish the company's authority as a dominant player in outdoor-inspired apparel. Created by Mullen of Wenham, Mass., the American Landscape campaign includes national magazine, newspaper, radio, outdoor billboards and in-store executions. The eleven cities scheduled to participate in the effort are Seattle, Portland, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Kansas City, MO, Salt Lake City, and Denver.

Joining Bauer, retailer Aeropostale will launch its first advertising campaign with a two-and-a-half-minute short film on Viacom's MTV. Called Backseat, the film is part of an estimated $8 million deal with MTV. Thirty-second teasers started on Sept. 4 and the short film, designed to be reminiscent of a music video or independent film, airs Sept. 17 during the premier of The Real World, Las Vegas. The first and only indication that the film is a commercial message will come at the end when the Aeropostale logo flashes on the screen. Aeropostale decided to abstain from print and TV in favor of a non-traditional approach because the company didn't want to preach or “do anything in a commercial box," according to David Lipman, chairman, Lipman, N.Y., Aeropostale's ad agency.

Limited's Victoria's Secret will bring a broadcast of its fashion show to network TV this fall that will include musical performances, interviews, model profiles and behind-the-scenes peeks into the models' dressing rooms.. The so-called fashion show will be broadcast on Viacom's CBS Nov. 20 during the network "sweeps week" period and will star models Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Gisele Bundchen strolling down the runway in the specialty retailer's latest fashions. CBS picked up the program this summer after Walt Disney Co.'s ABC declined.

Directed by highly acclaimed Carlton Chase, Deutsch NY's first television work for Westin Hotel & Resorts launched as part of a new, multi-million dollar integrated global advertising campaign. A black and white film captures elegant shots of Westin's amenities of "Modern Luxury." One of four 15- second spots features a guest indulging in the comfort of Westin's signature all-white luxuriously layered Heavenly Bed. With Ulysses in hand, he comfortably falls asleep in "the bed that won't let you get past page two." The first two television ads debuted on September 3rd and will run on national cable, including CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, A&E, Fox News and The Weather Channel. The second two spots will break in late October.

Zenith Electronics Corp. has launched a new TV campaign promoting its 60-inch plasma high-definition TV. A new movie trailer-style spot, in both 15- and 30-second versions, is loaded with digital special effects and animation. In the commercial, a family taking an intergalactic voyage in a spaceship sits transfixed as it watches huge aliens and killer monsters on Zenith's crisp-looking 60-inch screen. The father says, "I told you this thing was awesome," referring to the HDTV. The spot ends with the tagline: "Digitize the Experience." The $30 million campaign, created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Avrett Free & Ginsberg, New York, is the company’s "largest national advertising presence in decades." The spots will run on broadcast networks, while print ads will appear in consumer lifestyle and entertainment publications, including Time Inc.'s Time, Entertainment Weekly, Money and Sports Illustrated. The effort also includes a significant Internet component: Consumers can go to Zenith's website, and enter their ZIP code to access a listing of all the HDTV programming available in their area.

-- This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Lindsey Fadner. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.

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