Out to Launch

Discover Financial Services launched an ad campaign that highlights the differences in the company's competent customer service reps versus other -- well, incompetents.  Anyone who's ever called customer service can relate to the consumer in "Loyalty." Questioning a charge found on his credit card statement, the consumer is connected with Peggy, a man with a woman's name, fielding questions from a cold location... potentially Siberia. Regardless of the question, his answer is "yes." When questions get too difficult, Peggy shyly hangs up the phone. See it here. Additional ads feature Peggy watching phones glow with customers on hold and a caveman's version of transferring calls. The Martin Agency created the campaign.

"All asses were not created equal." So says a print, outdoor and online campaign for Levi'sCurve ID. Amen. Finding the right pair of jeans is hard, so when I find a pair that fits, I buy more than one. The campaign, running in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City, features women with minimal and bold curves, all finding denim zen. "Bring us your skinny tomboys, your curvy girls, and all girls in between. ... Every Tina, Tonya, Teresa, and Talia deserves jeans that make her curves look like a national treasure. It's the new democracy of jeans," reads copy. See creative here, here and here, created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland.



Starburst launched the campaign concept "Contradictions" last year, pairing the solid/juicy brand with other contradictions. The initial spot, "Kilt," starred a father and son of Scot-Korean descent. In the latest ad, the pair meets another contradiction while riding the "Bus:" a zombie. I really like this ad. The living dead creature is bored by Dad's explanation of Starburst being a contradiction. "You are boring me to death and I am already dead," says the zombie. "You are boring me back to death." See the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

It's always best to be prepared, as the Boy Scouts are taught. In addition: never underestimate your opponent, even if it's a tiny spider. Perfetti Mentos launched an amusing TV ad that should have ended with a boyfriend rescuing his girlfriend from a small spider. Instead, he got his butt kicked. A woman shrieks to high heaven when she sees a petite spider crawling on the floor. Her boyfriend bends down to take care of business but the spider has other plans, like slamming the guy against a wall and through a coffee table. "It's better to know what's coming next," closes the ad, seen here. Mentos' packaging has you covered. BBH, London created the ad, directed by Brian Lee Hughes from Stink.

Skittles launched three viral videos on its Facebook page promoting Fizzl'd Fruits Skittles. The videos serve as an extension of a TV spot from May, starring Tube Sock and his landlords, Ed and Carol. Ed prefers to be shocked by Tube Sock's static electricity, while Carol gets her fizzle from Skittles. Ed takes a break from raking leaves to receive shock treatment from Tube Sock. See it here. Ed shuffles on the living room rug in his tube socks but fails to wield any spark onto a sleeping Tube Sock, who wants his rest. Watch it here. Tube Sock is so electric that Carol must pry her bra and underwear off his back. See it here. The virals are weaker than the TV spot, yet a nice thank-you to Skittles' 8 million Facebook fans. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the campaign.

Stanley Steemer launched a national ad campaign that never ceases to make me laugh. Ads follow two Stanley Steemer technicians throughout a typical workday... who doesn't encounter an alpaca on a regular basis? In "Challenge," a technician wants a real workday challenge, like a crock-pot explosion or messy free-range chickens. See it here. The same technician describes the importance of knowing a stain's origin. As an alpaca walks by him, he knows it's not a llama, judging from the animal's fur and ear size. Watch it here. "Saved" is my favorite ad. Driving down a residential road, the technician pulls over to inspect a discarded rug. "Why? I could have saved this one," he sobs. See it here. In "Doctor," our go-getting technician wouldn't necessarily call himself a doctor, but he wouldn'trule it out. Watch it here. The final ad features an emergency house call involving a kid, a baseball bat and an aquarium. See it here. Young & Laramore created the campaign, and media buying was handled in-house.

Acura shows viewers what one million books, knives, and chattering teeth toys look like in "Millions," an ad promoting Acura TL. Breaking Aug. 23, the ad denotes the carmaker's precision quality control process for all car parts -- even the door handles. Watch it here. rp& created the campaign and handled the media buy.


Verizon created an ad earlier this year that spoofed "Big Red" ads from the 1980s. How did I miss this awesomeness? Verizon bought the rights to the music and gives lyrics a modern day, Facebook-era spin. Verizon plays the role of "Big Red." I love this ad. There's not as much kissing in the updated version, but the ad includes lyrics like: "Update Facebook pages better, make your boring job much better... you'll watch YouTube on a horse when you use it." See it here. For anyone wanting to continue the walk through the '80s, here are some classicBig Redads of the past. Good luck getting this jingle out of your head. McCann Erickson, New York created the ad.

Random iPhone App of the week: Wrigley's Juicy Fruit wants to "Sweet Talk" you with its free iPhone app. Users select one of five personalites that churn out 25 different sayings, hold their iPhone under their nose, and lay on the sweetness. Characters include DJ Spraytan, the "Jersey Shore" guy that says: "You're so sweet, I wanna take you on the tilt-a-whirl. You gonna keep the cookies in the jar, or what?" Excuse me while I swoon. Users can share messages through email, Facebook or create their own videos. Evolution Bureau created the app, available at the App Store.

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