Out to Launch

There is something sexy about an attractive, shirtless man holding a package of maxi pads. It's so unexpected and progressive. Never mind his preparing a romantic dinner of risotto, one of my favorite dishes. Mr. Metrosexual gets points for staying in touch with his feminine side  -- and his trainer. He's quick to point out the beauty of ultra-thin sanitary napkins; though happily, he doesn't skimp on sex appeal. Stayfree launched three online videos in Canada on YouTube, VideoEgg and Facebook. "A Date with Stayfree," the brand's first Canadian advertising in four years, takes women on virtual dates with seemingly perfect men -- who will love you regardless of what time of the month it is. "Brad" cooks risotto, feeds his lady, takes his shirt off, and places three maxi pad brands atop a candlelit dinner table. It gives new meaning to setting the mood. See it here. Trevor cleans house, has numerous medical degrees and hates moisture. Cue the maxi pad absorption test, atop a piano, no less. Watch it here. Ryan carves toys for needy children overseas, finds homes for stray cats and loves to do laundry. He's the gift that keeps on giving. See it here. Each video concludes with a link where ladies can receive a free 18 pack of pads. (They should include the skincare products the men use. They're not only buffed, they shine!) You know who else likes to help underprivileged kids? Brawny Man, in an ad campaign for the paper towel brand from 2007. Have a look. BBDO Toronto created the campaign and J3 handled the media buy.



Sugar is addicting, and artificial sweeteners are downright trippy. Sweet'N Low launched a print, outdoor and online campaign that combines its iconic pink packaging with sweet, adorable animals, also pink. Birds and ladybugs tear open a package of Sweet'N Low and release the love in ads seen here and here. I like the coffee cups used as spots on the ladybugs. A peacock and owl hide sweetener between their feathers, taste buds come to life and a final ad is just plain trippy. Who needs hallucinogens when you have advertising? See ads here, here, here and here, created by Mother New York.

Lindt launched a TV ad featuring Roger Federer, the Swiss tennis champ and lover of Swiss chocolate balls. Whenever I hear chocolate balls, I immediately think of Chef from "South Park" and his chocolate salty balls. Watch Chef here. The ad launched during the Emmys and shows Federer taking his luggage through airport security. Two women see a bag of balls through the X-ray machine and automatically think tennis player, tennis balls. Wrong. It's a duffel bag of Lindt chocolate balls, because the ladies opened his bag. They didn't stop there. They tested the product, then insisted Federer be strip-searched, one imagines, in search of the real thing. Watch it here. In an extended version, the security women force Federer to turn around slowly so they can ogle his backside. They still keep his chocolate, a consolation prize. See it here. Gotham created the campaign.

Anthony's Pizza & Pasta, Denver launched an outdoor campaign that takes a jab at national pizza chains. I'm talking to you, Domino's. Creative consists of a red billboard, a paper plate with Anthony's logo and headlines, such as: "We never had to change our recipe. Because it never sucked," and "If their ingredients are better, why isn't their pizza better?" The ads, seen here, here and here, are running in Denver and Front Range highway and downtown locations. Cultivator Advertising & Design created the campaign and Explore Communications handled the media buy.

Women of Belgium: "Take your pleasure seriously," instructs Feeling, a lifestyle magazine debuting its relaunch this week. Print ads feature women diving headfirst into their gastronomy, beauty, culture and travel pleasures, categories that also serve as themes of Feeling. The tagline, "Take your pleasure seriously," is written in English, rather than Dutch, to give the pub an international flavor. A woman relaxes in a bath full of chocolate to represent beauty. See it here. Portraying travel and culture, respectively, one woman travels on a yak and another imitates a ballerina in an art gallery painting. See creative here and here. My favorite ad revolves around food, or rather, being adventurous on the culinary journey of life. It's a woman hugging a big squid and looking quite happy. Apparently, she's never met Brad, Trevor or Ryan. See it here. Happiness Brussels created the campaign.

SportChek, Canada's largest sporting-goods store, launched a quirky ad that outlines what not to do when removing a tight helmet. In theory, it wasn't a bad idea. A man is covered head-to-toe in grease, yet the helmet stuck on his head won't budge. The man's girlfriend asks the grease handler to spray him again with grease. "You're a horrible woman," he says. "You're a horrible woman," she responds. Like I said, quirky. And SportChek finds proper-fitting helmets for its consumers. Watch it here. Bos, Toronto created the ad,directed by Brian Lee Hughes of OPC.

Volvo Australia launched "Attention Seeker," targeting luxury European car buyers.In the ad, seen here, the Volvo C30 coupe, C70 convertible, XC60 cross-over and XC90 SUV slowly drive past pedestrians, a surfer and outdoor exercise buffs, piquing their interest in the vehicles. SapientNitro Australia created the campaign.


Age is nothing but a number. This is, however, coming from a pair of ads from AARP. "What's Next," targets boomer audiences and celebrates the fact that it's never too late to pursue your dreams. It's true: people are living longer, their quality of life is improving and many people are having second careers, much like the people shown in the first ad, seen here. The second ad showcases more lighthearted goals, such as taking a grandchild on his first airplane ride and running a marathon. Watch it here. GSD&M Idea City created the campaign.

Random iPhone App of the week: Schwinn bicycles launched an app dedicated to all things cycling. Shocking, I know! The app offers tips on which bike is right for you and your lifestyle, a series of workouts and tips for parents teaching their kids how to ride. It also features family bike trip ideas and a trail finder to locate bike paths in your neighborhood or on vacation. The app costs $.99 and is available in the App Store.

1 comment about "Out to Launch".
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  1. Dave Kohl from First In Promotions, September 1, 2010 at 4:50 p.m.

    The Anthony's Pizza & Pasta billboards are only somewhat effective at showing the "need", but I don't find them to be effective at showing the "solution".

    The first one with the "If their ingredients are better..." approach does not indicate any reason that Anthony's is the way to go. Furthermore, it could make people think twice about places using different ingredients and create concern. Since pizza is often an impulse meal, giving potential customers any reason to stop and think is not the best approach.

    The second billboard hits the "Not fast food pizza" angle. However, those not familiar with Anthony's are not informed that it is not a fast food establishment. They need to go in for the close.

    The 3rd billboard attacks the recipe changes by one or more competitors. It made me think that sometimes a recipe change has been for the better and has increased sales. Thus, anyone who has already sampled Anthony's and went on to choose a competitor instead now has no reason to try Anthony's again.

    Taking "a jab at national pizza chains" is one thing, but giving potential customers specific reasons to stay local and try them out is another. And it's missing in what we were shown on this campaign. No matter how you slice it.

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