Out to Launch

Bouncy balls exemplify the color quality of a Sony Bravia LCD TV. Sears and Visa get a jumpstart on holiday ads. Let's launch!

The only bad thing I can say about this ad is that it's not slated for a U.S. run. Yet the ad was filmed in San Francisco! Go figure. Sony turned a childhood toy, a bouncing rubber ball, into a creative ad force to be reckoned with. Sony let 250,000 bouncing rubber balls loose on the infamously hilly streets of San Francisco to illustrate the enhanced color Sony Bravia LCD TVs bring to its owners. The music is also spot on: The Knife's song "Heartbeats" instills just the right mood: check out the ad and tell me if you disagree. "Balls" launched in the United Kingdom on November 6, with a two-and-a-half minute spot roadblocking an entire commercial break before the Chelsea versus Manchester United soccer game on Sky Sports One. The spots also comes in twenty, thirty and sixty-second installments that will run in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand until the Christmas season. The campaign's tag line is: "colour like no other." Bravo to Fallon London for creating the Bravia campaign.

Sprint has launched a TV campaign that's essentially an active case study demonstrating how businesses can learn more about choice and flexibility from the mobile service provider. The spot illustrates, via a customer case study with Ford Motor Company, how Sprint can improve business results. Sprint replaced the desk phones of Ford product engineers with walkie-talkie wireless phones, since the engineers are rarely at their desks but usually on the road or in test labs. TV spots are running on network and cable news networks, and during major sports programming. Print ads are running in major business publications. Publicis & Hal Riney created the campaign.

Visa USA has launched its holiday promotion, "Visa's $1.5 Million Holiday Giveaway," using a combination of TV and online components. The program will award 50,000 winners with $25 prizes, plus a grand prize of $250,000. From November 1 to December 31, Visa cardholders will be automatically entered for a chance to win by using a Visa card to make Visa purchases online or offline. Users can also go online for a chance to win in the "Holiday Instant Win Game." The TV spot "Boat" shows a man in a toy store purchasing a toy boat. Since he used his Visa card to pay for it, he's now eligible for "something big." The small toy boat expands to fill the toy store, popping air-filled toy soldiers in the process. The spot concludes with a voiceover stating, "Even the smallest purchase can turn into something big. Visa: Your card for the holidays." BBDO created the TV spot.

Sears is wishing big this holiday season, with the launch of its first fully integrated campaign in years, entitled "Wish Big." TV ads launched November 6 in a magical town where residents wish big. And receive big. Print ads are running in national publications and playing a prominent role in the campaign for the first time in many years. Sears also unveiled a three-story snow globe--complete with fake snow and real people living inside--in Times Square yesterday. Didn't Yahoo! do something similar last year? In addition, "Little Big Wish Books" will be distributed through Sears Auto Centers, and a daily online "doorbuster" e-mail program launches November 27. Y &R Chicago created the campaign.

In celebration of AMC's MonsterFest 2005, 50 zombies and werewolves invaded Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge, making stops at high-trafficked places such as Penn Station and Times Square. Commuters and tourists brave enough to take a closer look were treated to branded bags of candy corn. The campaign was produced by the michael alan group.

If war re-enactments were this nonviolent, women might actually watch them. Blattner Brunner created a bloodless campaign for North and South Magazine, targeting males aged 45 to 65. The magazines-as-swords (or cannons) creative is running in non-competing history magazines such as Military Chronicles and North and South, beginning this month. The ads use one-word stencil headlines borrowing the look of regimental flags (both Union and Confederate), on which soldiers would paint the names of battles fought and survived.

Draft New York launched a campaign for Computer Associates promoting the management software company's integrated government security products. The campaign targets C-level executives and system integrators. A print ad shows a lightning streak behind Washington D.C. monuments, including the Capitol building and Jefferson Memorial. The copy reads, "Security threats change suddenly," and ends with an 800-number and unique URL. Print ads are running in editions of Federal Computer Week, Government Executive, National Journal, Washington Technology, and Government Security News.

To emphasize the high-performance attributes of Road Runner High Speed Online, the company launched a three-spot TV campaign that brings consumers into an animated world inside their computer--the Road Runner world, where life is richer, more exciting, and safer. One 30-second spot is an animated Broadway-style mini-musical. The three spots will air through mid-December in various national markets. RTC Relationship Marketing created the TV spots and print, direct mail, radio, outdoor and online components of the Road Runners campaign.

This week's Web site launches have me yearning for warmer weather.

Avenue A | Razorfish has designed the official travel site for the island of Curacao. The site gives visitors a look at the island's architecture as well as numerous diving excursions, where tourists can visit everything from airplane wrecks to Lover's Beach (which is tied to visiting a car wrecks dive site. Interesting.). The site was redesigned in an effort to build brand awareness and increase travel bookings.

As part of its new branding strategy, Club Med has redesigned its Web site. Visitors have access to the online pressroom, group sales division, and a travel agent section with an online reservation system. The site provides improved navigation and allows users to view more than 100 resorts in 40 countries and book vacations. Nurun designed the site.

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