Out to Launch

Nike's MVPs (Most Valuable Puppets) are back in a series of TV spots promoting Nike Basketball gear. The first spot features puppet versions of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant driving with the top down and dishing plates of trash talk. The topic: whether a lion (James) would eat a black mamba (Bryant). Both deliver compelling points to their argument, but the spot ends with the song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." Enough said. Watch it here. A detective is called to help James find his missing Nike Air Max Lebron VII, in the second ad, shown here. Columbo, he's not. There are a handful of possible suspects, from Kobe Bryant, Little Desmond and Sneaky Pete, but it's Mrs. Lewis who knows the culprit's identity. Mrs. Lewis reveals the thief in the second-part of the two-part ad. Bryant's snake swallowed the shoe whole, leaving zero doubt about its whereabouts. See the conclusion here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the ads.



Let's keep talking detectives. kgb, the text service that answers questions when a person isn't near, say, Google, launched a TV and online partnership with the Warner Bros. release of "Sherlock Holmes." "When the world's greatest detective has a question, who does he ask?" broods the TV ad. Cue the kgb experts, who promptly answer Holmes' toxic text. Did we forget in what time period "Sherlock Holmes" takes place? Maybe the next movie partnership will use a character capable of text-messaging. Watch the ad here. There's also a microsite that will offer consumers the chance to win advance screening passes to see "Sherlock Holmes," movie tickets, T-shirts and posters. The Brooklyn Brothers created the campaign.

LG launched four hysterical PSAs starring James Lipton and his beard, urging teens to think before texting gossip or inappropriate pictures of themselves. Teens think twice about sending dirty texts, once they don Lipton's beard in the "give it a ponder" campaign. A girl contemplates sending a text rumor to her friends in an effort to make a play for one friend's boyfriend. One stroke of Lipton's beard and she sees things differently. She doesn't want to take part in a catfight. I did love Lipton's cat noises, though. See it here. A boy, angry at being dumped via text, decides not to send a nasty rumor about his ex since she's allergic to nuts and has already suffered enough. Watch it here. A jock gets sweaty in the school locker room, from a steamy text-message convo with his girlfriend. He considers sending her a picture of his junk, but reconsiders when he recalls her addiction to Twitter. Retweet and repeat. Click here to watch. The final ad, seen here, shows a girl and the unicorn collection that saved her from forwarding gossip onto others. There's also a Web site where users can see the campaign's print component. Print creative is lost in translation, though, since James Lipton isn't shown. All you see are teens with full-grown beards. Y&R created the campaign.

The look of death stares back at you in a TV spot for "Assassins Creed 2." Blank stares belong to victims of main character Ezio, who is shown later in the ad fighting and attacking enemies while the rhythmic sound of a bell tower rings. "Live by the creed," concludes the ad, seen here and created by Cutwater.


Lady Gaga has a "Poker Face" and PlayStation 3 gamers reveal their best "Playface" in a branding ad running in Japan. Gamers elicit looks of happiness, sadness, anger, grimaces, shock, confrontation and eye-twitching while playing PlayStation 3. And you thought love brought out a gamut of emotions. Watch the ad here. Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo created the spot, edited by Cut + Run's Dayn Williams.

Looks don't matter if you're a Verizon Droid phone. It's all about production value. Droid would rather "rip through the Web like a circular saw through a ripe banana. Is it a precious porcelain figurine of a phone? In truth, no." Droid knows its strengths. "It's not a princess, it's a robot," ends "Pretty." Watch the ad here, created by Mcgarrybowen New York and score created by Expansion Team New York.

When I think classical piano music, I think smart phone touchscreens. Doesn't everyone? AT&T filmed pianist Kwan Yi sitting at a piano, yet striking smart phone touchscreens. "When your touchscreen runs on the nation's fastest 3G network, the difference can be dramatic," concludes the voiceover, which also states that touchscreens run faster on AT&T. Watch "Piano" here, created by BBDO and directed by Shilo.

Growers Cider created a Web site where users can nudify pictures by adding a range of nudists to tame vacation pictures. I had a lot of fun playing around on this site -- and looking through the photo gallery as well. The Canadian cider also offered Canadian residents a chance to win prizes, but even though the contest is over, the site will remain active and allow users to upload pictures until November 2010. Blame Canada if you're procrastinating at work today. HQvB, along with Lollipop, created the site.

Random iPhone App of the week: Are you an American who can't get enough of European sports? Eurosport's free sports app may help simplify your life. The free app is available in nine different languages, along with an international version (in English) and offers live sports content, breaking sports-news coverage, player stats and standings. The app is available for download from the App Store.

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