Commentary

Out to Launch

An oversized ad made its way onto the exterior of the Bank of America Tower in downtown Phoenix last week, just in time for the NBA All-Star Game. Was this included in the stimulus package? The T-Mobile campaign features Yao Ming, Dwayne Wade and Dwight Howard in two ads; one measuring 190' tall by 188' wide, and the other 190' tall by 94'6" wide. More than 1,400 individual, weather-resistant, see-through panels were used to create the images. It took more than two weeks to install the ads. See the pics here, here and here. Elite Media installed the ad, which was created by Hornall Anderson. Optimedia and OOH Pitch handled the media buy.

Brand Jordan launched "Field Generals," starring NBA stars and Brand Jordan athletes, Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks, Rip Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets and Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets. The spot follows these team leaders on court, during a game. It's very primal, more so when Hamilton dons his facemask. The ad gives this non-basketball fan a newfound respect for the game. "Lead the charge," concludes the ad, seen here. Wieden+Kennedy New York created the ad.

MetroPCS offers unlimited talking and texting for $40 a month, sans contract. Sound crazy? Even unicorns are skeptical. The company launched two TV spots starring unconventional characters, such as unicorns, mermaids and Medusa. The first ad stars Medusa and a newspaper-reading dragon. Medusa is excited about MetroPCS while the dragon thinks the plan sounds good, "if you're gullible." Watch the ad here. A mermaid and unicorn talk cell phone plans while relaxing in a hot tub. The unicorn describes MetroPCS as "a little far-fetched to me." Some creatures. See the ad here. The Richards Group created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Escalators can be frightening, especially for gawky teenage boys who don't use Swagger from Old Spice. The awkward boy turned into NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, who also drives the Old Spice car. Now Stewart can slam the hood of a car down with one fist, is surrounded by beautiful women and wins races. Watch the ad here. Previous Swagger ads starred NFL player Brian Urlacher and LL Cool J. The campaign includes two print ads, seen here and here; the first has pictures of Stewart before and after he used Swagger, while the other celebrates Stewart's partnership with Old Spice. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

In an ABSOLUT world, the theme song to everyone's life would be Louis Armstrong's "A kiss to build a dream on." I see nothing wrong with that. I can't help but smile after watching the ad -- and it has more to do with the music than the ad itself. The latest ad for ABSOLUT vodka launched during the Grammy Awards and begins in a grocery store where cashiers and customers embrace. Movie tickets are purchased with kisses given through glass panes, and the number of kisses signifies how many tickets you need. Across the globe, taxi rides are paid with hand-to-pane-glass-to-hand contact (how very "Pushing Daisies"), while hugs and kisses are the currency for bus rides. See the 30- and 60-second spots here and here. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the ad and Carat handled the media buy.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort has partnered with Horizon Air to offer 1-hour flight service to Los Angeles. Talk about a fast change of seasons. A supporting TV ad takes place at the beach and follows a man looking for treasure with his metal detector. We then see a man in winter gear cross-country skiing on the sand. The two men glare at one another and return to their activities, until another skier clobbers the treasure hunter. "Mammoth Mountain just got closer" says the ad, seen here. David&Goliath created the campaign and Initiative handled the media buy.

DIRECTV bowed a print ad in the Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition called "Coucha Sutra." As in how many different positions can one maneuver into while on the couch? This includes solo acts, pairs, small groups and large groups. My favorite positions were Mr.Peepers, The Bat Cave, The Red Sea and The Manwich. See the ad here. SI was an ideal venue to showcase the ad, created by Deutsch Los Angeles.

Craftsman launched a print campaign and revamped its Web site, now aptly named the Garage of Knowledge. Print ads feature close-ups of new Craftsman products being used by their owners. "When a man misses a nail, the only thing bruised more than his thumb is his ego," reads copy in one ad for a hammer that you don't swing. See the ads here, here and here. The Web site is easy to navigate and features information on products, along with additional links to purchase items directly from Sears.com. There's a leftover pumpkin on the site that allows you to create a skeleton crafted from Craftsman tools. I know it's February, but I still made one. Y&R created the campaign.

1 comment about "Out to Launch".
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  1. Deborah Krier from PNTA, February 18, 2009 at 4:29 p.m.

    I hate the new layout--everything runs together. I find it much harder to scan and quickly find the content that interests me.

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