Out to Launch

Google Maps mash-ups. Staples builds a wall. Guinness gets ready for St. Patrick's Day. Let's launch!

Tylenol has launched two ads promoting its Rapid Release Gels and Web site. "Holes" focuses on Tylenol's Rapid Release Gels, emphasizing that the holes are the cutting-edge technology behind the gels and simulates a pill dissolving in water. The ad is running through September. "Bowling Pin" goes after Tylenol's competition, Advil, Aleve and Celebrex and promotes the Tylenol Web site. With bowling pins being knocked down in the background, the spot defines the three competing drugs as NSAIDS and notes that Tylenol is not an NSAID. Those curious about what the heck an NSAID is and why it's important are encouraged to visit Tylenol.com for an explanation. The ad will run intermittently throughout the year. Both campaigns are running on Network TV, Cable and Syndication. Deutsch created the campaign and Universal McCann handled media planning.

Staples has built a great wall in its latest campaign that debuted Feb. 26. "The Wall" goes back in history to ancient China. The 30-second spot shows an Emperor on a hill with a small group of allies behind him. A large army of warriors is making their way toward the Emperor just as one of the emperor's cohorts pulls out a lacquer box that contains the infamous Easy Button. The Emperor gives the command to push the Easy Button. Within seconds, the Great Wall of China is erected, preventing the enemies from reaching the men. Unfortunately for the Emperor, the Great Wall has sprung up behind him, leaving him alone to face the enemy. Mediacom handled the media buy and McCann Erickson created the ad.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. Guinness has launched its latest "Brilliant!" ad to ring in the holiday. "Dance" features the Guinness Brewmasters as they channel Michael Flatley (Mr. Lord of the Dance) in honor of St. Paddy's Day. The two get so carried away step-dancing that they wind up falling through the floor and into the basement, stating, "Maybe all we need for St. Patrick's Day is our Guinness." The ad is airing on national cable networks including ESPN, USA and F/X until March 17. BBDO New York created the ad; Mediacom handled the media buying.

Now for the first Google Maps mash-up of the week. Promoting the new season of "The Sopranos," HBO teamed up with Google to take visitors on a geographic tour of highlights from season 6 (last season) of the hit show. Each of the 15 points on the map is supported by videos of scenes from each location, as well as relevant cast and plot information. The map can be explored via a timeline or by episode. The site launched on Monday and will be live indefinitely. Deep Focus created the map and handled media buying. In addition, Klipmart created an online campaign promoting the return of "The Sopranos." The units include a video promotion of the upcoming season, a video review of the last season and still photos of the main characters. Ads can be found on AOL, Yahoo, CBS Sportsline, Gamespot, MP3.com, TV.com, Defamer, Gawker, Salon, Sports Illustrated, and WWE. I was waiting for a stereotypical Italian reference and I found it in the Bada Bing banner, running exclusively on Playboy.com. The Bada Bing unit features a button that enables viewers take a small video and launch it to fill their computer screens.

Another Google Maps mash-up comes from Nike, in conjunction with AKQA. Nike launched RouteFinder, a way for runners in London to create, measure, save and share their running routes with a group of runners all over the capital. Nike's Run London site and Google Maps combination allows visitors to search the city by postcode, distance, or type of run (hilly, flat, park etc.) for routes other runners have created. Alternately, they can create a run of their own by clicking points on the map. They can even save a list of favorite routes, send them on to friends and browse the top-five routes of the season. Four hundred and fifty runners who attended all three of Nike's timed runs in the past took part in the beta test program. They were directed to a password-protected version of the feature, and invited to return feedback to help refine RouteFinder prior to launch. Check out the site here.

The Advertising Council has partnered with StareWays, a company that places ads on staircases, to promote its ongoing Obesity Prevention program. The ads can be found at Newark International Airport and encourage travelers to take small steps to get healthy. The ads fit perfectly with the campaign that draws traffic to Smallstep.gov. Visitors are directed to "Leave Your Breakfast on the Top Step" by walking up the stairs instead of using the escalator. The PSAs will run throughout the winter. McCann Erickson New York created the campaign pro bono.

This week's Web site launches include a fishy game and a talking viral campaign.

Just in time for Lent, Moroch Partners has launched a bilingual gaming site for McDonald's that promotes the Filet-O-Fish and Double Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. The goal of "Shark Bait" is to swim your Filet-O-Fish sandwich away from four hungry sharks without hitting the walls of the fish tank. The longer you hold on to the sandwich, the more sharks appear in the tank. Check out the instant replay feature. The top 50 players' scores from around the country will be displayed on the site. The site is part of a multimedia campaign that includes Spanish and English language TV and radio spots, rich media banner ads, outdoor, and point-of-purchase components.

Which side are you on? I'm leaning toward titanium. OgilvyInteractive has created a Web site promoting Lenovo's new titanium thinkpad notebook. The site offers information on the latest notebook, and an area to vote for the preferred thinkpad--black or titanium. The majority of the regions prefer titanium 6 to 1. Visitors can send customized e-mails to friends in an effort to sway them to vote for their favorite thinkpad. Choose a perky blonde, an uptight CEO, or a robot to convey your message.

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