Out to Launch

Breaking news: It's not Wednesday, You are not over the hump yet. Out to Launch steps out of bounds to run daily this week and bring you a supersized dose of Super Bowl ads. Go Giants!

Pepsi invites viewers to a party at "Bob's House" in an ad launching pre-game. If the ad serves as a precursor of the quality of Pepsi's in-game ads, then expect great things from the brand. Hint: Justin Timberlake appears in one ad. More on that later in the week. Time to focus on Bob's friends as they search for his house. There's no sound in the spot, for Bob's friends are deaf, and communicate using sign language throughout the ad. I guarantee that someone will think they've sat on the mute button before realizing the ad is playing normally, much like a series of soundless Converse ads currently running. The two friends are driving down Bob's street, but neither one knows which house is Bob's. After sign-fighting, the driver comes up with a clever way to find Bob's house; he slowly drives down the street honking the horn. You know where this is going. Homes that turn on their lights to investigate the ruckus, not Bob's. The house that remains dark? We have a winner. Watch the ad here. BBDO New York created the ad.

If SalesGenie is nothing else, they are a company with a sense of humor. The company rightfully won the title of "worst ad" last year. Refresher: the ad involved a down-and-out salesman, a hot woman and a sports car. The fact that I remember that much from the ad is huge. Rather than shooting for, say, the second worst ad of the big game, it's hoping to reclaim the "worst ad" title, according to the company's press release. In reality, the company can't go anywhere but up, right? Right? Each of the three ads running is animated, and one features... a genie! The first ad, launching pre-game, opens with a villainous character sipping a mai tai on the beach; a plane carrying a Salesgenie banner flies by, much to his chagrin. By phone, he orders his cohorts to shoot the plane down -- but the pilot, a beautiful genie, escapes unharmed. Her parachute lands atop the villain, and she tells him, "Don't mess with Salesgenie" as familiar music plays. The next ad, bowing in the first quarter, stars a down-and-out salesman (this sounds familiar) whose boss threatens to fire him if he doesn't double his sales. An online search eerily resembling Google's homepage leads the man to Salesgenie.com. The spot ends with the salesman taking the trophy for salesman of the year. The third quarter ad is a doozy. Two panda bears open up a bamboo furniture store that's devoid of customers. It doesn't help that the owner, Ling Ling, likes to eat the merchandise. The bears stay out of the zoo thanks to a psychic panda that recommends Salesgenie. I am at a loss for words, but I'll say this: $2.6 million and here's the "winning" ad. Creative Mint handled the animation production for the spots, created in-house.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is launching a spot during the first half of the game targeting parents of teenagers about prescription drug abuse. A drug dealer loiters outside a convenience store, lamenting the loss of business to household prescription drugs. "Teens don't need a drug dealer to get high. Safeguard your prescriptions. Safeguard your teens," concludes the ad, seen here. This is ONDCP's first paid TV advertising targeting parents in two years, and is part of a larger campaign using print and online components that will run through May. Check out the campaign at TheAntiDrug.com. Draftfcb New York created the ad.

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