Out to Launch!

This week's edition of Out To Launch includes everything from beer, to candy, to cars. Erik Estrada and Harry Potter make appearances as well. Intrigued? Good, because it's time to go Out to Launch.

Diet Dr. Pepper will launch three new :30 television commercials in 2002, continuing the advertising thematic claim that "not everything is as good as the original, but Diet Dr. Pepper is." There will also be :15 versions of these commercials, all aimed at the brand's 18- to 49-year-old core consumers. Produced by Young & Rubicam New York, the trio of 2002 Diet Dr. Pepper commercials parody popular TV programs and entertainment. In "ChimPs," a pair of motorcycle-riding highway patrol officers pull over a banana truck driven by actor Erik Estrada. The law enforcers are anything but ordinary - they are chimpanzees. As truck driver Estrada is led away in handcuffs, one "officer" hoists a Diet Dr. Pepper as a narrator espouses the tagline, "Not everything is as good as the original, but Diet Dr Pepper is."



Keeping things carbonated, 7 UP, armed with a new pitchman, is ready to debut a series of new television commercials. The ads feature a clueless 7 UP marketing executive, played by actor-comedian Godfrey. In the TV campaign, Godfrey finds countless ways to market 7 UP, but always falls short. In 2002, Godfrey is taking over from former spokesman Orlando Jones, who has moved on to acting in movies.

If your taste in beverages is a little more adult, Labatt USA announced a significant investment in its popular domestic specialty brand Rolling Rock Beer, including a new television ad campaign for 2002, new packaging, and a significant investment in an all-cable network television buy. Four new commercials -- titled "Saved by the Rock," "The Wedding Rock," "Alternative Rock," and "Rocks, Paper, Scissors" -- are meant to capture special moments that only guys seem to understand. Except for a radio campaign supporting the Town Fair 3.3 rock music concert next summer, Rolling Rock's 2002 ad budget will be focused solely on TV - a national buy that includes a full schedule that starts on January 2, 2002 with ESPN, FOX and CBS pre-game shows and through the Super Bowl. The extended ad schedule will include a variety of highly targeted programming led by ESPN, as well as Comedy Central, The Discovery Channel, TBS and VH1.

Free your mind. Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., and NYC-based Oddcast, a newly-established provider of interactive media applications, have developed a new campaign to support the introduction of Toyota's new 2003 Matrix. The campaign allows visitors to create their own Internet-based ad/music video of the new car using Oddcast's VideoMixer application. The program, called StudioMatrix, includes sample audio tracks from top performing artists, and visual assets from a Matrix music video created by legendary director Hype Williams, enabling web users to edit their own commercial/music video as part of a StudioMatrix contest which runs through January 23, 2002. For the duration of the contest period, the online StudioMatrix community will select the best user created video, and the winner will be given keys to a new 2003 Toyota Matrix.

In another automotive launch, The Chrysler Group is hitching its "magic wagon" to the wizardry of the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" audiobook. In a promotion using movie theaters, the Internet and email, the company has announced that consumers who test drive a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country, or a 2002 Chrysler Voyager minivan, will receive a free copy of the Harry Potter audiobook. The audiobook is based on the best-selling book about Harry Potter. The test drive promotion begins November 2 and ends Jan. 7, 2002, and you don't even have to drive the car all the way to Hogwarts!

Speaking of audio, music media company GetMusic, home to online karaoke among other things, and Hershey Foods Corporation announced a joint interactive promotion targeted to teens. The GetMusic and KitKat Sweepstakes is actively being promoted nationwide on 50 million individual packages of Hershey's popular KitKat and KitKat Big Kat candy bars as well as throughout the website. The high visibility effort is taking place now through January 2002. Entry to the sweepstakes is only available through and Once there, visitors can register for prizes, including a digital video camera, portable CD/MP3 players and shopping sprees in the GetMusic store, simply by clicking the sweepstakes link to the co-branded micro-site.

From fresh candy to fresh... opportunity? The American Stock Exchange (Amex) has launched a new corporate identity, and an advertising campaign. The new corporate identity for the Exchange was developed with Chajet Consultancy LLC. The campaign, created by DDB New York, is built around the use of the ticker and the tagline "Opportunity, made fresh daily." The new American Stock Exchange advertising will appear in print and television media. Television ads will appear during programming on CNN's Lou Dobbs' Moneyline, Inside Politics and Larry King Live and on CNBC's Squawk Box, Power Lunch and Market Rap, as well as during the Major League World Series and NFL Football. Print ads will run in various financial publications including Barron's, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune.

Lastly, NetPlus Marketing, Inc., an online advertising, email and marketing agency, debuted the web's first Shoshkele ad campaign for the pharmaceutical industry. The unique technology is being used to promote AstraZeneca's nasal allergy spray Rhinocort Aqua on Working with United Virtualities, NetPlus developed two Shoshkeles or "floating ads" for the drug, which feature recognizable images and icons associated with the brand. In the first ad, a tissue appears on the screen followed by the sound of sneezing, which causes the tissue to dart around the screen. The animation ends in a flash banner, which delivers a branding message. The second Shoshkele features a Rhinocort Aqua bottle on the screen. The cap lifts off and the Rhinocort Aqua butterflies stream out of the bottle and fly across the screen, ending in a branding message.

This newsletter is complied weekly by MediaPost staff writer Adam Bernard. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.

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