Commentary

Out to Launch!

It's time to go Out to Launch again, with your weekly dose of ad campaign and website launches. This week is full of drama, as we bring you PlusGuys wrestling with the March of Dimes. Confused? Read on.

On the ad campaign side, the Washington State Chapter of the March of Dimes has launched a statewide marketing campaign to generate corporate support for WalkAmerica, an annual March of Dimes event that raises funds to help save premature babies and those born with birth defects. The integrated campaign includes print advertising, radio, direct mail, and web/interactive. The goal of the "Take the Call" campaign is to raise awareness of the March of Dimes mission among state business leaders and urge them to "please take the call" during the organization's telephone drive. Citing statewide statistics, the campaign focuses on the health risks and business costs associated with premature births.

On to the promised drama. The Source is launching a national promotional campaign for their December "Drama Issue." The effort will include cover posters as well as 30-second spots on BET that will show various forms of "drama" as represented by different images of social unrest. The December "Drama Issue," comprised of four collector's edition covers that, when placed together, form one image of the American flag. A portion of newsstand sales of this issue is going to the Hip-Hop Has Heart Foundation to aid victims of the terrorist attacks on America. Hip-hop fans are encouraged to collect all four covers of the issue, which goes on sale nationwide November 13.

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With so much drama to keep track of, maybe you need a Palm, and Palm, Inc. has just launched a new strategic ad campaign with TV spots and extensive online ads. The ads focus on the many day-to-day uses for Palm handheld computers: news, financial information, maps, games, eBooks, digital photography, stock updates, graphs and even language translation. As part of their product focus, the ads leverage the Panasonic and Palm alliance to promote Secure Digital technology and feature expansion capabilities that enable Palm customers to add an array of functionality to their Palm m505 handhelds, including additional memory or new content, such as a road atlas or dictionary. AKQA, a San Francisco-based advertising and marketing services agency, developed the new campaign. The ads, produced by Digital Kitchen, with music by techno club band Daft Punk, will break on national cable TV, along with Canadian and some network coverage. The ads are being crafted for international use as well.

Palm telling you it's time to shop? Lucky for you Kmart's famous "BlueLights" are back for the holiday shopping season. Kmart Corporation has revealed its holiday advertising campaign, highlighted by a substantial flight of broadcast commercials focused on value, top brands and convenience. The 15- and 30-second spots, which began airing November 11, feature Kmart's popular "BlueLight" characters. The computer-animated spotlights, which represent the company's everyday value pricing model, can be seen scurrying throughout the store highlighting low prices on a wide selection of holiday gift and home decorating products. Dancing to updated holiday classics, such as "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and "Good King Wenceslas," the "BlueLights" move from the toy department, to the jewelry counter, to electronics, shining their spotlights on all the best brands and products consumers want, at the prices they need.

Lastly, SC Johnson & Son, Inc. is putting a face to its name with a new ad series featuring corporate patriarch, Samuel C. Johnson. The campaign marks the first time a member of the family behind such well-known brands as Glade, Pledge, Raid, Windex and Ziploc has gone public in its advertising. The ad is the centerpiece of the company's $450 million global advertising campaign that threads together its lineup of consumer brands with the tagline "SC Johnson, A Family Company." The new corporate effort launched November 13 on network and cable channels. The series features Mr. Johnson, Chairman Emeritus of the 115-year-old company, speaking candidly about the core values responsible for his company's five generations of success.

 

 

In website launches this week, PlusGuys.com makes its mark as an Internet online clothing and gift retailer for men and women alike. The website launched as a portal to established retail sites where shoppers can purchase apparel for men with extra large and tall size needs. PlusGuys.com features selections from such partners as KingSize Direct, Spiegel, Eddie Bauer, Big Dogs, Lands' End, J.Crew, Old Navy, Fingerhut, and The Sharper Image. The site also offers products from such specialty retailers as Dicks Sporting Goods, REI, and Bass Pro Shops. Front page Search functionality combined with simple top and side navigation display large, full-color photos of products available.

Staying on the big people topic, Escalate, Inc., and World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc., announced the launch of a 'new and improved' WWFE's online store. Using Escalate Direct and Escalate Order Manager Commerce Edition, WWFE has improved its web store's transaction capabilities, marketing tools and system performance. Escalate Direct, Escalate's flagship product, provides WWFE with an easy-to-navigate storefront, targeted marketing capabilities and business intelligence tools.

Got hurt in the ring? 1-800-ATTORNEY, Inc. announced the launch of its new website. The launch of 1-800-attorney.com coincides with the company's launch of its attorney marketing network in Atlanta and its expansion of sales into Chicago and Boston. Consumers may access the company's website at 1-800-attorney.com, 1800attorneys.com, 1800attorney.com, 1-800-attorneys.com, 800attorney.com, 800attorneys.com or Attorneys.com.

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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