Out to Launch

Virgin Mobile lauds the crazy life. Stupid phone bills that cost exorbitant amounts of money are buried and replaced with a rebirth of crazy: unlimited email, data, messaging and hundreds of talk minutes for $25 a month. The debut TV ad for "Welcome to the Crazy Life" begins with a funeral, shot in black and white. Mourners part ways with expensive cell phone bills for a more colorful, crazy life. This life includes a woman giving birth while reading the latest gossip, a tattoo artist who fails at multitasking, a woman unappreciative of a lap dance, a married couple too busy for pants and Rob Halford of Judas Priest playing a priest who keeps his phone atop his bible. See it here. Print ads, shown here and here, describe Virgin Mobile's monthly plan as crazy while referring to other mobile offerings as stupid. Hopefully crazy is replacing stupid. I've had enough of stupid, thanks to this award-winning outdoor campaign created by Anomaly for Diesel that pushed stupid over smart. Mother created the campaign.



I'm still basking in excitement from receiving a personalized message from Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa. Watch it here. After creating close to 200 personalized messages, Old Spice Guy threw in the towel, moving on to new adventures like solving Bermuda triangle mysteries with large magnifying glasses. As he says in the ad, seen here, he's just "one ridiculously handsome man." No arguments here. Silver fish hand catch! Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the phenomenon.

FedEx launched a pair of TV ads promoting its FedEx Cup tournament and global golf sweepstakes where users have a chance to win an international golf trip. Friends riding in the speed lane are going anything but fast in "Carpool." Their car turns into a golf cart because their driver is dreaming of winning the global golf sweepstakes. The driver dreams of Scotland, meaning each passenger is wearing a kilt. Since golf carts aren't used in Scotland, the men must run to work. See it here. "Pond" is great. An office conference call turns into a wet mess for two employees when their co-worker dreams of golfing in Australia. Entering his office leads both workers directly into a dirty pond. The dreamer regains focus, but only temporarily, sending the duo into the pond a second time. Watch it here. BBDO New York created the campaign.

How does Lance Armstrong find the strength to ride up those hills? The voices drive him. "Engine" promotes Nike LIVESTRONG and was filmed in France in the Jura Mountains, the conclusion of stage 7 of this year's Tour de France. Armstrong is climbing a mountain during a training ride, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, with voices of cancer survivors fueling his fire. The voices describe their emotions upon first being diagnosed and the things they've accomplished post-diagnosis. See it here. In addition, the Nike LIVESTRONG Chalkbot is back for the Tour de France. Users can send chalk messages of hope through Chalkbot's Twitter and Facebook pages. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

Pepsi MAX is warring against Coca-Cola Zero in "Diner," a remake of a Super Bowl ad from 1995. The original ad was created by BBDO and featured two truck drivers working during the holiday. The two bond over music and family; each man lets his friend try the competition's soda. A fight ensues when Coke man refuses to relinquish the Pepsi. 'Tis the season. See it here. The updated and unnecessary spot again features two truck drivers who bond over music. The Coke driver tastes Pepsi MAX and enjoys it so much that he finishes the can. Pepsi man videos this and immediately uploads it to YouTube. Cue the fight. Look out for a cameo from Art Fleur, who played the Pepsi truck driver in the original ad. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.

Verizon Wirelesslaunched a sci-fi ad that played more like a movie trailer than commercial. "Expedition" promotes Droid X and begins with a group of soldiers in hazmat suits entering an underground lair. The soldiers pass a lone helmet and reach a door marked with an "x." Inside the room is a floating orb with a hole in it. An ambitious soldier sheds the protective gear on his arm, then sticks said arm inside the orb. His arm morphs into a wired entity, reminding me of cyborgs from the "Terminator" movies, and a Droid X emerges from his wrist. See it here. mcgarrybowen created the ad, directed by Noam Murro of Biscuit Filmworks.

Stella Artois is relaunching itself as a she, using the new tag line, "She is a thing of beauty." Photographer Bert Stern shot the print and outdoor campaign. He recreated an image he originally shot for a 1960 cover of Vogue that shows a man admiring a beautiful woman. This time around, the beautiful woman is drinking a glass of Stella. See it here. The campaign will run stateside for six months, in an effort to establish the brand as an object that all men desire. Mother created the campaign.

This takes brand loyalty to a whole other level -- a borderline creepy level. Titus Cycles launched a three-stage print campaign that offered free bikes to bikers willing to show extreme brand love. Willing to be inked with an original tattoo design that mentions Titus? Someone was, according to Titus' Fabebook fan page, and it netted him a $5,000 bike. A second ad offered a married couple matching bikes if they got married in Titus jerseys. The final ad encouraged a biking enthusiast to change his name to Rockstar 29'er and win its namesake, valued at $6265. See the ads here, here and here. TDA Advertising & Design created the campaign. The media buy was handled in-house.

Random iPhone App of the week: Wrigley launched "Gummie Mug," a free app promoting Lifesaver Gummies. The concept is easy. Take a new or existing picture from your photo album; tap your phone to stretch faces and slide your fingers to smush them. Gummified pics can be shared via Twitter or Facebook. Big Spaceship created the app, available at the App Store.

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