Out to Launch

Stride ads last longer than the gum's flavor. Phil Mickelson meets his biggest fans. Mark your calendars: Cinco de Mayo is around the corner. Let's launch!

Everyone wants to be college age in a series of videos for AirTran Airways' "Fly Free 'til You're 23" promotion -- especially senior citizens looking for freebies. In "Gamer," a sprightly old man plays a boxing video game against a younger opponent. "I'm 21 and you're about to get Jump Streeted," says the older man to his rival who probably wasn't born when "21 Jump Street" was on-air. Grandpa doesn't let arthritis prevent him from winning. See the ad here. "Theatre" stars a woman named Mabel whose age-inappropriate attire sends off a red flag to a movie ticket employee. Mabel scoffs at the idea of getting a senior-citizen discount by shouting "Do these boots look orthopedic to you?" Watch the ad here. Another video finds two old geezers making fake IDs that claim they're 21 years young. See it here. Ads, running in New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Boston, Philadelphia and Milwaukee markets on collegehumor.com and ESPN.com, drive traffic to http://www.airtranu.com/, where students can enter a contest with a grand prize of free flights until the age of 23. How grand. Cramer-Krasselt created the campaign and handled the media buy.

All AT&T needed was a set of hands and some paint to wonderfully promote its international wireless coverage via a print and outdoor campaign. "Works in over 200 countries, like China," reads one ad featuring a set of arms and hands holding a BlackBerry and painted to resemble the Great Wall of China. Click here to see the ad. Creative touting coverage in India paints two hands as elephants, while an ad for Japan, my favorite, features two geishas propping up a mobile device. See the ads here and here. The intricate ads are running in airports across the country along with travel and leisure, business and in-flight publications. BBDO New York created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buy.

The Jordan Brand launched "Maybe it's my fault," the final spot in a four-part series supporting the Jordan 23 shoe. Another motivating, inspiring ad, even to this non-basketball player. "Maybe I led you believe it was easy when it wasn't... that my game was built on flash, and not fire," says Jordan as viewers see visuals of Jordan's accomplishments and a long list of what it took to get to achieve them. "Maybe it's my fault you didn't see that failure gave me strength. That my pain was my motivation," he continues. "Maybe I destroyed the game or maybe you're just making excuses," concludes Jordan as he lectures a group of young players. Watch the ad here. Wieden+Kennedy New York created the campaign.

Lucky for the woman in a pan-European TV campaign for Vauxhall's Opel Agila car, she left her important presentation in her car the night before. The spot opens as a woman, clad solely in a bed sheet, locks herself out of her home as she retrieves the morning paper. This is not a problem, for the woman simply zips through town, grabbing clothes off a clothesline, shoes from a dumpster and a flag from a passing parade. Couple this with her make-up application and hairstyle change, and our heroine makes it to the office on time, presumably giving a great presentation. Watch the ad here. A print ad positions the female-centric Opel Agila as a car capable of navigating through busy streets and hectic social lives. See the ad here. StrawberryFrog Amsterdam created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Phil Mickelson lets his sense of humor shine as he meets and brainstorms with his biggest fans in four TV spots for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. "A Meeting with Phil" uses unscripted banter between Phil Mickelson, golf commentator David Feherty and actual Mickelson fans. In "Advice," Mickelson listens to feedback on improving his golf game. Hitting the ball "straighter" and "farther" are some suggested ideas. See the ad here. Phil's biggest fans compete for attention in another ad, seen here. Spectators who've actually been hit by Phil's golf balls appear in a third ad. When a woman cops to being hit in the back as she was talking on her cell phone, Mickelson replies, "I feel slightly vindicated." Watch the ad here. My favorite ad features Mickelson doppelgangers describing the perks received when mistaken for the golfer. "Great seats at restaurants, better tee times" and, wait for it, "women," are thrown out, as the Asian Phil look-alike nods in agreement. See the ad here. Fallon created the campaign and handled media buy.

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, and Corona launched a TV spot commemorating the holiday. "Cinco" begins on a beach, (where else?) with a visual of a Corona Extra and lime. The camera follows a couple heading toward a beach party while the view of the Corona shifts to reveal five Coronas with limes on ice. The last bottle says Cinco on the label and melds into the tagline, "Happy Cinco de Mayo." See the ad here. Cramer-Krasselt created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Last year, Stride gum created a series of 400-pound granite ads, placed in 10 locations around Boston. "Even our ads last forever," reads the copy chiseled into the 66" x 48" tablets. And it looks like the company created something that lasts longer than the much-hyped flavor of its gum: a geologist, taking into consideration Boston's average snowfall and rainfall, predicted that each poster will last until 4015, like cockroaches and Cher. See the ad here, created by JWT.

Liberty Mutual launched "Journey" and "Music Notes," two TV spots that are running before and after "American Experience," a national PBS program. A young boy walks through a series of historic events, such as the first plane flight and the Titanic disaster, in "Journey." Click here to watch. In "Music Notes," a banjo plucks the tune "God Bless America" as various people and events are shown throughout history, creating music notes. Watch the ad here. Hill Holliday created the ads and media buying was handled in-house.
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