Out to Launch!

Time to Launch again. This week we have famous hands, famous fists, and fine fashions. You guessed it, this is Out To Launch.

As part of Capital One's sponsorship of ESPN's Bowl Week and the Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl, the company has teamed up with ESPN's SportsCenter anchors Kenny Mayne and Trey Wingo to create a television commercial spoofing Capital One's "What's In Your Wallet?" advertising campaign. The commercial made its on-air debut on Saturday, December 3rd on the ESPN networks. The ad features a hoard of characters from previous Capital One commercials (visigoths, pirates, gladiators, cowboys, etc.) scurrying through a supermarket -- passing shopper Trey Wingo -- on their way to a family's home, where an unsuspecting football fan fumbles his Capital One credit card. He is "attacked" by the hoard. Kenny Mayne appears at the end a la Rod Serling with the moral of the story ... "don't fumble your Capital One card; watch Capital One Bowl Week on ESPN."



Allstate Insurance Company is launching a new advertising campaign leveraging their famous "You're In Good Hands With Allstate" tagline. The new approach themed: "The Right Hands Make All The Difference" has been designed to look and feel like anything but insurance advertising. The campaign will feature the hands of people whose special qualities allowed them to make a difference in their world. The campaign will launch in support of Allstate's official home and auto sponsorship of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The debut ads, first appearing in the December 10th issue of Sports Illustrated Olympic coverage edition, feature gold medallists Bonnie Blair, Brian Boitano, Dan Jansen, Picabo Street, and Kristi Yamaguchi, along with members of the 1980 Men's U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. The print campaign will continue beyond the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The hands of other famous or remarkable newsmakers including Mario Andretti, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ann Lai (inventor, and winner of multiple science awards), and Vice Admiral Tony Less will fill out the campaign in subsequent months.

Keeping with remarkable people, Coca-Cola Co. will work with legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in a global partnership designed to support community and youth programs and market the soft drink giant's brands. The soft drink company did not disclose terms of the deal, though Coca-Cola Chairman and Chief Executive Douglas Daft described it as an "innovative marketing agreement" that would connect the company with consumers and benefit communities and young people around the world. Ali, formerly known as Cassius Clay, will be highly visible for the next few months, as a motion picture of his life, starring Will Smith, is scheduled to be released on Christmas Day.

Now we go from real heroes to programmed ones, as GameSpy Industries announced launch of a new online advertising campaign by Activision, Inc. and their advertising agency Ignited Minds. The campaign, which promotes Activision's new action driving game “WRECKLESS: The Yakuza Missions” exclusively for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, is the first to take advantage of GameSpy's new streaming video advertising programs on and The advertising units provide a full vision and sound experience for users with a variety of sizes and above-the-fold targeted positions for their partners. For users equipped with a high-speed Internet connection and correct media players, the video ads start streaming as soon as the user hits the webpage. Users who are not yet broadband-equipped are shown an alternate ad, which can be used to invite the user to download the video trailer or receive other information about the product being advertised.

With the recent shift in travel from air to ground, Choice Hotels International has contracted with truckside advertising company MediaVehicles to launch a nationwide campaign as part of the company's broadbased hospitality industry promotional effort. Gaining a street-level presence with the traveling audience, the program features the "Thanks for traveling" slogan and an American flag and can be seen on 266 trucks traveling long-haul routes across the United States.

Now for a few website launches. J. Crew has re-launched its online store on the ATG Dynamo Consumer Commerce Suite to improve merchandising and the overall online shopping experience this holiday season. The upgraded site allows J.Crew to refine the commerce experience for Internet shoppers. For the 2001 holiday season, has leveraged ATG Dynamo's commerce features to introduce a streamlined checkout process, better browsing with more items presented per page, shopping cart improvements showing items sorted by color and navigation enhancements to present J. Crew's broader assortment of merchandise.

Lastly, a lunch for our overseas friends, as Brooks & Bentley, a leading UK direct-to-consumer retailer of giftware, jewelry, home décor, and collectables, are now online at Launched this month the website contains items created exclusively for Brooks & Bentley customers, including collectors items celebrating the Queen's Golden Jubilee. In addition to this, Harley Davidson trademarked products are available on Most Brooks & Bentley products are created exclusively for their customers and sold direct through catalogues, select mailings, magazine and television advertising and now via the Internet.

This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Adam Bernard. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.

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