Out to Launch

You thought that monkey on your back was heavy, try running with a horse. Vittel bottled water gives drinkers super-human strength in a trio of ads running in France. The first ad, seen here, begins with a horserace. The jockeys shoulder the horses -- physically -- around the track until there's a winner. "It must be the water," closes the ad. Who needs a motorboat to bring you water skiing when you have a friend with strong legs and a paddleboat? That's all a class of fledgling water skiers need in the second ad, seen here. A woman moves across town in the final ad, shown here. Rather than move to a different home, her friends pick up her house and move her! Ogilvy & Mather, Paris created the ads, directed by Lionel Goldsteinand produced byHenry de Czar, Paris.



Absolut Vodka launched "Drinks," a print and outdoor campaign paying tribute to various Absolut cocktails using the tagline, "Every Drink is an Exceptional Experience." Actresses Kate Beckinsale and Zooey Deschanel (whom I initially mistook for Hilary Duff) channel multiple characters in the campaign, shot by fashion photographer Ellen Von Unwerth. Absolut Bloody is my favorite ad. Beckinsale brings Bloody Mary to life, standing behind a mirror that's been shattered to bits. See it here. In an Absolut Cosmo ad, Deschanel rocks a blond wig, hence my thinking she was Hilary Duff, in an intergalactic retro lounge. Beckinsale wears lime green well in an ad for Absolut Tonic Twist. I'm also a tad dizzy. The final ad shows a scantily clad, larger-than-life Beckinsale crushing oranges and towering over buildings to promote Absolut Crush. The campaign will run in Maxim, GQ, Details, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, Interview, Flaunt and Antenna, among others. TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York created the campaign.

L.L.Bean launched a holiday ad that puts "Snow Motion" in slow motion. People hike, kids throw snowballs, dogs frolic in the snow and a girl catches snowflakes on her tongue. "Every penny counts. So does every moment," says the ad, advising consumers to slow down, appreciate the little things in life and shop the L.L. Bean catalog for deals. GSD&M Idea City created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled media buy.

DISH Network uses the "C" word extensively in its holiday ad: Christmas. Each cheerful person is an actual Dish network employee. The satellite dish installer impresses me because he's standing on a ladder, singing and holding a soon-to-be installed dish. Talk about multitasking. See the ad here, created in-house.


This ad makes me laugh every time I see it. It shouldn't. Michelin launched "Saddest Road," -- yet all I see is comical. Let's get the unfunny part out of the way: drivers don't want to hit animals, but sometimes, unfortunately, it happens. And it's not funny. So why are all the animals in this ad half-dead and happy? I've never seen roadkill take injury so well. The ad claims that Michelin tires can stop 14 feet shorter than its competition, meaning less road kill. The spot closes with happy animals singing and dancing -- with tire tread marks across their bodies. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

Nicorette launched a TV and print campaign supporting smokers who are trying to quit. Using the tagline, "Nicorette Makes Quitting Suck Less," the TV spot illustrates the constant struggle smokers face when attempting to quit. A man driving to work sees another driver holding an unlit cigarette. Our driver's front seat passenger is his "suckometer," measuring his craving to smoke, which reads at "sucks a lot." After taking a piece of Nicorette, his cravings subside, but his back seat passenger chimes in: "This carpool still sucks." See the ad here. Nicorette is also running an Open Letter to smokers in ESPN, People, Time and Entertainment Weekly, encouraging smokers to set a New Year's resolution goal to quit smoking. TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York created the campaign and Mediacom handled the media buy.

U.S. Cellular launched the first of four TV ads that use "Real People"and their real phone numbers to promote the mobile company's free incoming calls, texts and pix offerings. Meet "Monte." He's a foodie who videos himself eating and posts the results online for friends to watch. I tend to take pictures of my culinary conquests, but Monte takes it a step further. "Some people like to videotape trains and watch that all day. I can watch myself eat. I get such a kick out of it," he says. Viewers are encouraged to call Monte and share their perfect sandwich finds. Watch the ad here, created by Publicis & Hal Riney San Francisco.

Bailey Lauerman created a print campaign, package design and Web site for Mission Bean Coffee, a for-profit company created by a Nebraska nonprofit, The People's City Mission. The nonprofit provides a bed, meal and cup of coffee to the homeless of Lincoln, Neb. All proceeds help feed the homeless. Print ads, seen here, here and here, deliver the company's simple message. "No matter how much you enjoy this coffee, there's someone out there who will appreciate it more," reads one ad.

Random iPhone App of the week: Timberland launched "Expedition Timberland," an app promoting Timberland Mountain Athletics and Earthkeepers by encouraging outdoor lovers to discover adventures in big cities. "Expedition Timberland" guides users to hiking trails, neighborhood walks, secret spots for relaxing and places that boast the best city views. In addition, a game called "Timber Trail" allows players to select the right Timberland gear for different adventures; and a gear section provides product information and a WAP site containing a wealth of Timberland products. Ansible Mobile and Mullen's mediahub created the app, available at the App store.

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