Out to Launch

Well, it's Halloween, but “Craving Man” didn’t have to dress up for his Today Show appearance this morning since he recently began starring in a campaign by Pharmacia to get smokers to quit. Other campaigns featured this week are IBM's estimated $700 million effort by Ogilvy, and Hershey’s new billboard in Times Square. Read about these campaigns and others you may have missed as MediaPost takes you Out to Launch.

International Business Machines Corp. will launch a huge advertising campaign today in a move to promote the company's "on-demand computing" initiative. IBM Chief Executive Sam Palmisano told Reuters on Wednesday that the company plans to spend $700 million to $800 million over the next year on the campaign, which officially kicked off with an eight-page advertising insert in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and San Jose Mercury News today. The campaign began with a spoof ad earlier this week that appeared in the Times Business section and touted a fictional company called Bagotronics that sells a "Business Time Machine" powered by "quark-gluon plasma chip technology." The website bagotronics.com features an infomercial and also offers such fictitious products as "magic business beans" and a "business reality detector." Ogilvy, the London-based advertising that's part of WPP Group, created the ad. IBM's "e-business on demand" campaign will also include television.

The Intel sonic brand called on Big Foote Music, Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners and Epoch Films for help with a new advertising campaign. The result: "Brand Basics," a :30 spot that shows viewers how to look for the Intel Pentium processor when purchasing a computer. As the camera swoops back and forth between shots of shoppers on the sales floor and close-ups showing the Pentium processor at work, a high-energy dance track based on the Intel four note sonic identity energizes the mix.

You may already be aware of the buzz over the innovative advertising technique developed by Joshua Spodek and Matthew Gross in 1999, but in case you somehow missed the hype, Sub Media, the technique that produces 15- to 20-second animated ads on subway tunnel walls, recently began entertaining passengers lucky enough to take the PATH train for their daily commute in New York City. The pictures, printed by the U.K.'s Photobition Group on Kodak transparencies, spring to life as the train speeds by, creating a fluid film and giving passengers the effect of being inside a giant flip book. The first motion-picture ad debuted in New York City on June 18 in the uptown PATH train tunnel between 14th St. and 23rd St. The Sub Media location is visible to an estimated 40,000 people a day. The initial New York ad, for Minneapolis-based Target, featured various uses of Target's red and white bull's-eye logo, including a woman skateboarding around the chain's emblem. "Every major city in the world has a subway system, every subway system needs more revenue and every subway rider has a boring commute," Spodek says. "The potential is to go all around the world."

Hershey Foods is hoping to create hype for the December opening of its flagship store in New York's Times Square, with the unveiling of a 215 ft. tall x 60 ft. wide sign that recreates the original Hershey chocolate factory, complete with smokestacks, from Hershey, Pa. Just in time for Halloween, the 15-story tall sign includes 34 dimensional props, four steam machines, more than 4,000 chasing lights, 30 programmable gel lights, 56 neon channel letters and 14 front-lit signs that feature such candies as Hershey's milk chocolate bars, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Ranchers and Breath Savers. The store itself will enable customers to fill buckets with their favorite Hershey candies as they roll off of genuine factory machinery, and personalize the plumes on 7-oz. Hershey's Kisses. Broadway. Brand Integration Group (BIG), an integrated unit of Ogilvy & Mather, New York, served as design consultants on the project.

For the second consecutive year, Madison Avenue has gotten rid of the spooky and violent elements from Halloween advertising. A more sober national mood after 9/11 and anxiety over the sniper attacks in metropolitan Washington as well as the struggling economy have swayed many marketers from their typical Halloween tactics. The trend is particularly noticeable in advertising aimed at children. Advertisers do not want to scare off consumers from shopping for what has grown into a major American holiday, so they’ve chosen to go with softer, less intense Halloween advertising that, they believe, consumers have come to expect. For instance, a print advertisement for Nestlé showing young trick-or-treaters depicts them dressed as a ballerina, a baseball player, a fireman and a wizard. In another example, General Mills in Minneapolis is targeting families with kids with ads for Halloween cookies that show pumpkins, ghosts, bats and black cats that are all smiling, and carry the theme "Playful fun."

One of the more interesting costume-clad Today Show fanatics who was interviewed by Katie Couric this morning is also the smoking cessation icon and star of a new integrated advertising campaign for Pharmacia. "Craving Man" is coming to life on televisions, computers, in drug stores, and street corners across the country in a comprehensive national effort to support smokers committed to quit. The "Craving Man" campaign empowers smokers to take control of their quit attempt by beating cigarettes one craving at a time. Humor redefines the quitting process, showcasing the smoker-as-hero in the battle to quit. Television commercials feature battles that smokers have with "Craving Man" in vulnerable situations. Smokers fend off, beat, and eventually subdue "Craving Man" to rid themselves of their craving with the help of the new Nicotrol Step-down Patch. Pharmacia, the global leader in tobacco dependence treatment, has developed more products to help more people quit than any other company in the world. The "Craving Man" campaign supports the launch of Pharmacia's newest product in the U.S., the Nicotrol Step-down Patch, a non-prescription nicotine patch designed to mimic a smoker's daily smoking pattern. This is the first work designed by BBDO New York in the U.S. for the Nicotrol brand. The television advertising is part of a multifaceted communications campaign that will bring "Craving Man" to life through professional communications, public relations, trade materials and the Internet.

“Crave Man” may have met his match: CigarGold.com is launching a $200,000 advertising program on the as an inducement for cigar smokers to try the company's products and services. The company is offering five-premium hand made cigars produced in the Dominican Republic for just $.05 each. The five cigars are first quality products that normally sell for a total of $23.80. The radio ads will concentrate primarily on Fox Sports Network, which has succeeded in delivering the company's message and build traffic to the CigarGold.com website. To supplement its radio program CigarGold.com will also be running a similar promotion in the Wall Street Journal. CigarGold.com is owned by the Gran Reserve Corporation, which is wholly owned by Synergy Brands Inc.

Woodbridge, a Robert Mondavi winery, launched a national campaign created by The Richards Group yesterday. The campaign is comprised of TV, print, the Internet and radio, all geared to reach consumers who make wine an everyday part of their lives. One of two 30-second TV spots features two scenarios through a split-screen format. The left side of the screen shows a group of women at dinner, laughing, telling stories and enjoying the time together while drinking Woodbridge wine. Simultaneously, on the right side of the screen, a woman is at home, happily lounging on her couch, painting her toenails, while enjoying an evening alone and drinking Woodbridge wine. The left side goes to black and the words “Girls’ Night Out” appear. The right side goes to black and the words “Girl’s Night In” appear. The spot ends with a voice-over, “Many moods, many occasions. One wine always connects — Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.” A second spot, “Welcome,” featuring two very different surprise parties, carries the same message. The television spots will air on national cable, while the print campaign will break in Travel & Leisure, InStyle, Cooking Light and several other national publications. The campaign is the first created for Woodbridge by The Richards Group, which took over the account in the spring.

Made/London, the start-up agency backed by Leo Burnett Worldwide, has created its first cinema campaign for Italian fashion retailer Stefanel. The 60-second spot builds on a previous print campaign carrying the tag, "Stefanel. Now." In the spot's circus storyline, the handsome husband of the Bearded Lady is caught in an affair with the ringmaster's daughter. The Strong Lady, the ringmaster's wife, throws the two lovers out of the circus. Suddenly the Bearded Lady's spouse wakes from his bad dream, still safely in bed with his wife and her beard, concluded with the tagline, "Stefanel. Now you wake up."

Leo Burnett/London released a campaign to help launch John West's Tuna Snack Pots. The television promotion is part of a marketing package John West put together to back its brand. This marks the agency's follow-up to John West Salmon's "Bear" - last year's second most award-winning commercial. The 30 second spot "Shark" depicts the filming of a documentary where a marine biologist examines a massive shark struggling on a boat deck. A tuna is suddenly tossed out of the shark's mouth, followed by a John West fisherman who then cleans himself and hoses down his catch. The spot ends with the tagline, "John West endures the worst to bring you the best."

The American Red Cross marked the first-year anniversary of America’s Fund for Afghan Children (AFAC) with the launch of a redesigned website. More than $10.5 million has been raised through the fund in its first year to help meet the fundamental needs of Afghan children. Estco Medical, creator of the Medigent software suite that enables life science companies to launch and manage online marketing initiatives, donated software and services for the redesign. The updated site allows people to chart the progress of AFAC and see how much America’s children, local American Red Cross chapters, schools, clubs, corporations and private citizens have collected and donated in terms of both supplies and funds. Sections of the site are geared toward both children and educators with games, activities, information about how the donations are being applied and information about Afghani people, language and wildlife.

-- 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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