Out to Launch

Don't cut the umbilical cord -- reattach it. The algorithm gets trendy. Corona creates an island in under 60 seconds. Let's launch!

MSNBC launched a series of dry-humored ads promoting "Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann." One ad shows Olbermann concluding his show, with a voiceover naming the various emotions viewers will feel: livid, dejected and despondent are a few options. Watch the ad here. The next two ads concern food. Olbermann opines on the removal of trans fats from Girl Scout cookies, then proceeds to order five boxes of goodies. Watch the ad here. Olbermann then takes a harsh stance on the imminent fall of Fidel Castro... on the phone with the Cuban restaurant where he's ordering lunch. Click here to watch. The final ad describes the wide range of topics discussed on the show. Watch it here. Filter created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house. 

The Addams Family is dark. So, too, are M&Ms. Put them both together and you've got a great little black-and-white ad promoting M&Ms Dark Chocolate. M&M-shaped characters are shown as the theme song to the popular '60s series plays. Cousin Itt doesn't make an appearance, but then again, we wouldn't be able to see his M&M logo. "Thing" has a cameo at the tail end, holding a bag of treats. Watch the ad here. BBDO New York created the ad and Mediavest handled the media buy.

Corona Extra launched a 60-second TV spot during the season finale of "Survivor: Fiji" that made me want to shout, "I am a rock, I am an island." But I didn't. "Finishing Touch" begins with the eruption of an underwater volcano and its evolution into a gorgeous untainted tropical island. The "finishing touch" is two bottles of Corona Extra placed on a tree stump by a man and woman, Corona's signature closing shot. A 30-second version of the spot will run during "Late Show with David Letterman," "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Saturday Night Live" and "SportsCenter" throughout the summer. Click here to watch the ad. Cramer-Krasselt created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Smirnoff launched "Signature" last week, focusing on the brand's heritage and evolution throughout the years. The ad uses the Smirnoff signature pen stroke to trace the brand's journey from Imperial Russia, to Europe and America, concluding with its current position as the world's leading premium vodka and spirit brand. It's quite the little soap opera. Click here to watch it. The spot will air as two 30-second spots on cable networks including ESPN, F/X and Discovery Channel, and as a 60-second cinema ad. In addition, the Smirnoff.com Web site received a makeover complete with user-generated component, encouraging visitors to share milestones from their own lives. JWT created the ad, AKQA New York created the site and MediaCom handled the media buy.

Ask.com launched a TV, outdoor, online and print campaign that's all about the algorithm. The campaign positions the algorithm as the ingredient that powers Ask.com and binds the search engine's products together. Four friends are talking about using the algorithm in "BBQ" -- although it quickly becomes clear that one man has no idea what it is and does a poor job pretending that he does. Click here to watch the ad. "Daddy" is hysterical. A child tells his dad that a classmate was teased at school because her parents use a "lame algorithm." The father then tells his son, "your mom and I get everything we want with the most powerful algorithm on earth," as the child exclaims, "I knew it!" Watch the ad here. The outdoor teaser campaign features strange lines such as, "The Unabomber Hates The Algorithm" and "The Algorithm Constantly Finds Jesus." Weeks later, the ads were rebranded with the Ask.com logo. Click here, here, here, here and here to see the teaser ads. Crispin, Porter + Bogusky created the campaign and handled the media planning. Mullen bought the offline media and Agency.com purchased the online media.

Mother New York created a Mother's Day gift that reestablishes the lifeline between mother and child: the MaternaChord, an Umbilical Reconnection System. The best part of the ad shows a mother and daughter eating out and the waiter having to move the cord so he can put their plates down. "It's tingling," says the daughter. "That means it's working," mom replies. Watch the 80 seconds of humor here.

Random factoid: window puppet shows are illegal in New York City. Equally shocking, the taste of Diet Mountain Dew is similar to regular Mountain Dew, sans calories. Those are the two tidbits I walked away with in the latest ad for Diet Mountain Dew. Man performs innocent dual-handed puppet show from his apartment window. S.W.A.T. team swoops in from all feasible angles to apprehend the law violator. Click here to watch "Puppet Show." BBDO New York created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

This campaign launched in February, but how can I resist talking about a headless turkey? The Washington State Dept. of Health launched the second arm of its anti-tobacco campaign. The first, "No Stank You," targeted young people; the latest, "Cold Turkey," targets adults. TV spots feature, you guessed it, a cold, headless turkey along with the underlying message that "You can't rely on cold turkey alone," when it comes to quitting smoking. Three spots feature a featherless, headless turkey that symbolizes the smoker's wavering willpower. The turkey is caught smoking in an alley, a refrigerator and at a bar by its human counterpart. When asked why it's smoking, the turkey offers thinly veiled excuses such as stress and hunger. Click here to watch the ads. The spots end with the phone number 1-800-QUIT-NOW, for the Washington State Tobacco Quit Line. WONGDOODY created the campaign.

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