Commentary

Out to Launch!

Out To Launch is coming to you a day early due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but we're full of interesting launches nonetheless. So grab a Perrier and check out Britney Spears, Santa Claus, and a robotic duck named Mr. Quackers! Let's Launch!

In 1931 The Coca-Cola Company commissioned artist Haddon Sundblom to create what became the first portrait of Santa Claus and this year, to celebrate the portrait’s 70th birthday, Coca-Cola is creating the first animated commercial featuring Sundblom's version of Santa. With the help of Academy Award-winning animator Alexandre Petrov the original portrait will be transformed into an animated television advertisement. To create the Sundblom Santa commercial, Petrov recreated and animated more than 700 oil paintings frame-by-frame, using brushes and his hands over the course of four months. The advertisement, which was created by McCann-Erickson, will debut November 22nd during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast.

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Want to hear Britney Spears every time you get a call? Well, Zingy, a New York-based wireless entertainment company, is going to get you as close to her as you're going to get by bringing the music of Spears to cell phones. Ringtones and logos are part of a Pepsistuff.com promotion, which runs through Jan. 31, 2002. By purchasing a bottle or fountain cup with "Pepsistuff.com powered by Yahoo!" printed on it, one automatically has points to redeem. When users go to Pepsistuff.com or Dewstuff.com sites, they can set up a Yahoo! account, enter the code and redeem points which can then go toward acquiring the cell phone ringtones and logos.

Still in song, Terra Lycos announced an integrated marketing campaign that fuses online and offline advertising and promotion for Lycos Music and BMG artists. The initiative includes a joint TV advertising campaign with BMG, Lycos Music artist pages with exclusive content, an online sweepstakes, and campaign integration across Terra Lycos sites. The new campaign integrates both online and offline media to promote seven of BMG's most popular artists. The online component on Lycos Music includes in-depth artist pages with downloads and videos from multiple BMG artists and labels including Arista's Outkast, Pink and Usher and RCA's The Calling, Dave Matthew's Band, David Gray and Lit. The online artist pages and the new offline TV ad spots, launching today, are delivered with the same creative in both media. The eight 30-second spots, two of them featuring Dave Matthews Band, are running in select markets on national cable on MTV, VH1, BET and Comedy Central, programming that specifically targets an audience with a high propensity to listen to and purchase music.

Duracell has announced the debut of its newest television advertising for DURACELL COPPERTOP batteries. The television spot will air in North America during a variety of primetime, daytime, late night, syndicated, cable and Hispanic programs. The 30-second "Mr. Quackers" commercial employs a robotic toy competition to demonstrate the superior performance of new, improved DURACELL COPPERTOP versus heavy-duty batteries. The spot opens in a warehouse, where three menacing remote-controlled toys powered by heavy-duty batteries are called into seemingly unfair competition against a cute robotic duck. "Mr. Quackers" outruns and outlasts the competition despite the seemingly unfavorable odds, and the three villainous robots lose power and grind to a halt. The commercial closes with the Duracell "slamaround" and the claim that DURACELL COPPERTOP lasts up to three times longer than heavy duty or super heavy duty batteries.

Moving to competitions of the human sort. As part of a $60 million brand advertising campaign, Bank of America is launching five new national TV ads that celebrate the company's sponsorship of the Olympic Winter Games, while using humorous scenarios to get the message across. Launched nationwide on Nov. 19th, the ads feature stunt actors pretending to be Bank of America associates trying out for an Olympic Winter sport. While promoting an innovative product or service (Photo Security Check Card and Credit Card, hassle-free mortgage, online banking), each ad shows an outrageous sport-mishap, such as a bobsledding team that fails to jump on their sled in time. The message is that while the Bank of America associates may not be very adept in Olympic Winter sports competition, they do one thing extraordinarily well: banking. The ads will run from mid-November throughout the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City in February.

Sonic Man is the new spokesman for Panasonic Sonic Max wet/dry shavers. Panasonic's new advertising campaign for its high-end Sonic Shaver Max wet/dry shavers acknowledges that men really don't like to shave, "but if they have to shave, they might as well use the fastest shaver out there," says Gene Kelsey, VP of Panasonic's Brand Strategy Group. The Sonic Max shaver features a linear motor that operates at 13,000 revolutions per minute. According to Kelsey, Sonic Man's "in-your-face" approach was strategically developed to reach a young male audience.

 



Lastly, a website launch. The Perrier Group of America launched Perrier.com/USA, its new website for the Perrier brand. The site, created by Byte Interactive in South Norwalk, Conn., targets the under-40 crowd, and will showcase fashion and nightlife with sections such as "Club Perrier," which enables those who log on to drop in on movie premieres and other entertainment industry events; "Night Out," a survival guide for the club scene; and "Trend Watch," highlighting fashion trends. Nothin' says fun and exciting like some water with bubbles!



Happy Thanksgiving!

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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