Out to Launch!

Your weekly dose of launches is here, and this week we have an elf, soccer players, and Tim Allen. With that line-up, it’s definitely time for Out To Launch.

A small, round, chewy breath mint called Mentos Cool Chews is set to be the mint of peace, love and happiness based on the national print and television campaign. The campaign positions the mint as the friendly, enjoyable means to freshen your breath. The new print campaign includes taglines like: Reject the Established Mints; Share the Love Beads; and Peace, Love and Happy Mints, while the TV spots highlight a Volkswagen toy van that gets pulled via a string through grass, a sandy beach and across a map of America. The campaign, created by Barefoot Advertising in Cincinnati, will appear on major networks and in such magazines as People, Rolling Stone, Jane, Maxim, and Cosmopolitan.



Maybe it's the mints, but I think I’m seeing tiny elf Elvises. With an emphasis on lighthearted, family-focused entertainment, Blockbuster is rolling out a new series of TV spots for the holiday, built around a new character, an Elvis-impersonating elf. The world's largest video rental chain has produced three 30-second spots featuring the elfin Elvis singing adapted Elvis Presley song material on the snow-covered roof of a Blockbuster store. Each of the spots will highlight a segment of holiday offerings at Blockbuster, including new releases on DVD, Blockbuster GiftCards and games, and will begin airing in late November in Canada and in early December on U.S. networks. After the spots debut, will feature one of the ads for viewing on the web, as well as special holiday e-greetings inspired by the campaign.

Johnson Controls, Inc. launched its year-long advertising and promotional campaign for OPTIMA Batteries with national television spots during the NFL's Thanksgiving pre-game, and game, broadcast of the Green Bay Packers vs. the Detroit Lions on the FOX network. The campaign includes television and radio commercials that feature the voice of former Home Improvement star, Tim Allen. "More Power" is the message OPTIMA Batteries delivers through this new advertising and promotional campaign which hopes to increase consumer awareness about the unique benefits of OPTIMA SpiralCell Technology batteries for automotive, marine and industrial applications.

Yahoo! Inc. launched a new advertising campaign for the holiday season, including a new television commercial. In addition to airing in several major U.S. markets, the television commercial was featured during the network television debut of The Phantom Menace on the Fox Network on November 25, 2001. The new commercial, entitled "Superhero," promotes Yahoo! Shopping and will run in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco through December 16. Additionally, Yahoo! has developed three new radio commercials for the holiday season. The spots focus on specific features of Yahoo! Shopping, and will air in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. through December 16.

The virtual doors are now open to, the official site of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, and international fans will have a chance to win two tickets and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Final match, which will take place in Japan. With global soccer fans anxiously awaiting Saturday's Final Draw from Busan, Korea (Dec. 1, 7 pm local time, 10 am GMT), they can turn to the website for official, graphic-based, real-time updates and local analysis in multiple languages as soccer teams representing 32 nations, including the U.S., are placed into eight first-round groups. This launch coincides with the announcement that Budweiser and MasterCard International as the first two global marketing partners of the site.

Didn't win the contest but still want to go? Well, might be the site for you. Just launched, The Last Minute Travel Guide is a new publication conceived by T & A Productions of Toronto, Canada. With a print version to be distributed in doctors' waiting rooms, hair salons and financial institutions in the Greater Toronto Area, the Last Minute Travel Guide will introduce an alternative to consumers - last minute travel. The first issue is due to hit the waiting rooms on January 17, 2001.

If you go to Japan you better take pictures. Visitors to the Olympus America website will get help with their photo needs with a newly redesigned Consumer section. The camera company redesigned the site is part of the biggest advertising initiative in the company's 82-year history. With the theme "Nothing's impossible," the campaign illustrates how the innovative design and technology of Olympus products allow consumers to easily do things they didn't think were possible.

So you think you know the winner?, Inc., an online live event and wagering company, announced the launch of Competitive Edge, a marketing campaign that gives incentives to new and existing Youbet Network subscribers nationwide with multiple discounts and user benefits. also released several key Youbet Network product enhancements. The company's marketing campaign, and its new and improved product features, represent a holiday season marketing push, culminating with legalization of online wagering in the State of California expected to go into effect at the first of the year.

Lastly, Dircks Associates, an integrated marketing communications firm, unveiled their new brand and website. The firm's repositioning and branding efforts coincide with their recent growth in interactive marketing and greater focus on their integrated approach to communications. Such organizational changes were implemented at Dircks Associates to offer clients a combination of conventional advertising and marketing ingenuity with interactive media expertise that includes live streaming video and commercials, CD-ROMs, interactive e-mails, and website development.

This newsletter is complied 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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