Out to Launch

Campaigns for fertilizer tend to lack humor. Until now. Scotts Canada launched three TV spots that promote its Turf Builder fertilizer products in a manner that's reminiscent of hair restoration ads. Remember the Hair Club for Men ads of yesteryear? Here they are in fertilizer form. Men want a full head of hair and a yard full of thick grass. The first ad, seen here, shows the founder of Scotts Thick Lawns for men, laying his sales pitch on thick. Someone thinks thinning grass is a hereditary trait in the next ad, seen here. Thanks to Scotts, his grass is green, he's no longer frumpy and his attractive wife finds him more desirable. "Winter Care" launches later this year, featuring a testimonial from a man who no longer has receding grass lines following the winter season. Watch the ad here. Zig created the campaign and MEC Global handled the media buy.



Let a stranger drive you home. And by stranger, I mean cab driver. Heineken launched an energetic TV spot under its "Give Yourself a GoodName" umbrella that encourages responsible drinking. A group of friends are seen in a car rockin' out to Biz Markie's '80s hit, "Just a Friend." As the spot continues, the driver cranks up the radio volume and viewers realize that the friends are riding home in a taxi. "Let a stranger drive you home," concludes the ad, seen here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the ad.

Sending a delicate package is like walking a tightrope. At least that's how it's portrayed in a mostly animated ad for The UPS Store. A woman and her cuckoo clock are thrust into a world of acrobats, elephants, cannonballs and tightropes -- a cardboard circus that seamlessly packs and ships delicate objects. Once the woman reaches the other end of the tightrope, the spot goes from animated to present day. "Hey, we do a lot more than shipping," says the UPS Store employee to the woman, as the elephants trumpet from inside the package. Watch it here. Love is a battlefield and so is the company boardroom. A man opens a conference room door and finds himself inside a coliseum fighting a gladiator and lions. Oh, my. His trusty UPS associate assembles weapons from cardboard and saves the day. See the ad here. Doner created the campaign and Psyop created the cardboard animation.

True Value launched a print, TV, online and outdoor ad campaign targeting DIYers and first-time homeowners. In one TV spot, a verbal duel takes place between a True Value "Hardwarian" and a DIYer who's done extensive research. It's a close battle, but the Hardwarian one-ups the DIYer at a pivotal moment. Watch the ad here. The next spot shows a man who's embarrassed at screwing up his shower re-grouting project. He whispers his troubles to a Hardwarian, who slips him the product he needs. See the ad here. Print ads, seen here and here, are running in Better Homes & Gardens, Sports Illustrated, Popular Mechanics, This Old House and Outdoor Life, among others. The ads picture Hardwarians in confident poses where they almost resemble super heroes. They are saving the day... MARC USA created the campaign and handled the media buy.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America launched a TV spot that encourages parents to research information about drugs online, so they are better equipped when talking to their kids about the subject matter. The ad takes place in a crack den, where an inquisitive woman saunters in, observes the surroundings and casually asks the group of addicts, "That's crack?" "There's a better way to find information about drugs, so you can talk to your kids," says the voiceover. Watch the ad here, created by Allen & Gerritsen. Media buying was handled in-house.

MTV launched an environmental campaign via its MTV Switch brand that coincided with Earth Day. Viewers are introduced to Cherry Girl through a 60-second PSA that very, very subtly broaches the issue of global warming. Almost too subtly for targeting a young, teenage audience. Here's my take: Cherry Girl works at a dry cleaners, and eats cherries. She spits a cherry pit into a piece of paper, places it in an envelope and puts an envelope into every suit jacket that comes her way. Whenever a customer discovers the envelope, a pit falls to the ground, and over time, cherry trees emerge in an otherwise sterile city. Once a city is filled with trees, Cherry Girl moves on to her next destination. Kind of like David Banner, without the Incredible Hulk angle. Watch the ad here. Cherry Girl also has a Web site, Facebook page, Twitter account and blog. Makes me feel behind the times... The Scarlett Mark created the ad.

Last Friday, Apple ran a daylong print and online campaign to celebrate the 1 billionth app that was downloaded the previous day. And it only took nine months. Print ads ran in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Online ads ran on,, and The online ad showed apps downloading onto an iPhone as a counter kept track. When the counter hit 999,999, a lone app made its way onto the iPhone. Watch it here. The print ad has the same gist, sans animation. See it here. TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and handled the media buy.

A room with a fantastic view can mean different things to different people, but a view of a parking lot would not be defined as "fantastic" in anyone's book. Travelocity launched a TV spot where a vacationing couple booked a room with a fantastic view. But the view looks directly into a parking lot. Take two. The couple enters their hotel room again, looks outside, and their view has changed from parking lot to ocean, because they used Travelocity to book the room. Watch the ad here. McKinney created the ad and OMD Dallas handled the media buy.
1 comment about "Out to Launch".
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  1. Kelly Samardak from Shortstack Photography, April 29, 2009 at 3:36 p.m.

    That Heineken ad makes me want to get all looped up and annoy cabbies.

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