Out to Launch
Screaming in the airport. A screeching high for gas prices. Reexperiencing a childhood trauma. Ad campaigns may be kind of stressed-out this week (as am I, subbing for vacationing Out To Launch writer Amy Corr) but, heck -- let's launch anyway.
Can an airport be the "point of sale" for a trip to a theme park? Yes, if one by one, all the flights on the trusty departures board come up "canceled" -- and a head pops up on the board noting that "more fun close to home" is available at Six Flags. That's what happens in a spot designed to make the point that a trip to Six Flags is much more fun and relaxing than plane travel. Except, the Six Flags guy is so hyper, making his point so loudly, that I went into stress overdrive. Check out the spot here. "Airport" was created by Ogilvy, with media buying handled by MindShare.
Wow! Another nerve-wracking experience with another new campaign. Since I have asthma, I found the PSA for the American Asthma Foundation almost too realistic. The spot shows a man sitting peacefully on a park bench -- until a pair of hands appear and place a plastic bag over the man's head. Three solo drumbeats introduce the words "This...Is...Asthma" as the man struggles to breathe. Thankfully, he eventually frees himself from the bag. I've never had an asthma attack that was quite that bad, though I do remember some fairly traumatic hospital visits when I was a child. The 30-second public service announcement (PSA) marks the first awareness advertising undertaken by the one-year-old AAF. The campaign, created by DeVito/Verdi, began airing in May in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. I'd say the ad succeeds very well in increasing awareness of the perils of asthma. I'd be surprised if it wasn't successful. . Watch it -- gasp -- here.
In another scary ad, gas is now $92.50 a gallon. And the woman who attempts to use her "Easy" button to get a discount is foiled when she's told the button only works at Staples. Two other variants of the same concept are less frightening, because the prices for the products are within the realm of retail reality -- $219 for a pair of jeans (I've never paid that much, but some women do) and $319.07 for groceries. "Groceries" is the funniest of the bunch -- the irritated clerk ups the total to $323.40, scanning the bag of opened potato chips being chomped on by the customer's son. The 15-second spots, also supported by print, in-store and online, were created by McCann Erickson New York; media chores were handled by Mediacom. See the ads here, here and here.
Finally, a more peaceful vibe. A State Farm out of home campaign running in California -- of course -- offers tranquility and bliss, but for your car. "Experience Peace of Drive," is the tag for 2- and 3-D outdoor, street installations, and pop-up "car spas," along with billboards, cable car posters, bus shelters and bus wraps. Gotta envy those cars, which get the full spa treatment, from aromatherapy candles to massage to yoga to the equivalent of cucumber slices on one's eyelids. I just wondered about the acupuncture ad. Wouldn't acupuncture virgins (I'm experienced, thank you) wonder if the car had maybe been attacked by spear-throwing Indians in an old-time Western movie? BooneOakley handled both creative and media-buying duties. See the ads here, here, here and here.
Another, more peaceful campaign promotes the San Francisco Zoo.
A series of bus shelters ads showcase distinctive animal features like butterfly wings and peacock feathers. When people stand in front of the ads, they take on these features. The ad copy encourages people to have their pictures taken and uploaded to an e-mail address where they can subsequently be posted as part of an online gallery (www.oursfzoo.org). Ultimately, the best photos will appear in a print ad. "Critter Quest" campaign was created by BBDO West.