Out to Launch

The Miami Heat lost to the Boston Celtics last night. Yet LeBron James will "Rise" -- or so says a 90-second TV spot from Nike. I don't like the way James left Cleveland (even this non-basketball follower wanted him to stay), but how many 20somethings tempted with money, the possibility of a championship and the Miami nightclub scene, would remain in Cleveland? The ad is 30 seconds too long, but I like it. James knows he's public enemy #1 and he's made mistakes, all addressed head-on, while he asks the fans what he should do.  The spot opens with James sitting in "The Decision" chair asking, "What should I do?" James wonders aloud if he's ruined his legacy, whether he should disappear entirely, stick to selling shoes, play the villain role, ignore advice from his friends or do what the fans want. I love the scene where James eats a pink donut and says, "I'm not a role model," a phrase made famous by Charles Barkley. It's also hard to overlook the sage advice from Don Johnson, reprising his role as Sonny Crockett in "Miami Vice" or the powerful words of Maya Angelou's poem "As I Rise," read aloud by James. What should he do? See it here, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland



Adidas launched a pair of shoes for NBA's Derrick Rose. Helping to promote the adiZero Rose is none other than actor Ken Jeong from "The Hangover," playing the role of "Slim Chin," an outlandish self-made billionaire because of his speed. Slim Chin jet-skis in a pool of caviar and stands atop a lady pyramid. Freaky. A brief appearance by Rose refreshes viewers' memories on what the ad promotes. See it here. The spot, created by 180LA, is airing on ESPN, TNT, BET, MTV, Comedy Central and Cartoon Network.

Google launched Demo Slam, a web platform that promotes Google's search engine, along with other Google features, like Google Goggles and Google Translate. Demo Slam encourages consumers to create their own Google techie videos that will then compete against other consumer-generated videos. Two sample videos were created to give consumers creative inspiration. The first video promotes Google Goggles. A group of friends recreate Mount Rushmore with the hopes that Google Goggles will recognize it as such. The first attempt is unsuccessful, but the addition of fake shrubbery does the trick. Watch it here. Another video highlights how a skateboarder 23 feet in the air was able to successfully complete a Google Voice Search. See it here. Google Creative Lab and Johannes Leonardo created the campaign, Hello Monday built the Web site and Mediacom handled the media buy.

Keeping with Google, the company wants individuals, schools and companies to spread the "Go Google" word with a global contest, running through Dec. 15. "Go Google" began with one billboard in four U.S. cities a year ago. The campaign now runs in 20 cities in 10 countries. Ads promoting the contest are running in airports and train stations in 11 major cities in nine countries. Google wants to hear from companies using Google Apps about why said organizations should be in the brand's next campaign. Winners will be selected from the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. Outdoor ads will run early next year. Contestants simply download one of Google's template ads, insert copy and send to Google along with a questionnaire detailing why the organization should win. See submitted work here, here, here, here and here.

Walrus created a pair of teaser videos for Emergen-C drink mixes, posted to the brand's Facebook profile. The videos are part of an effort to encourage fans to post a personal Emergen-C story on the brand's wall. Emergen-C is taking select stories and turning them into videos, songs and even cake decorations! A pineapple, pomegranate and orange go country when they sing the praises of Emergen-C. See it here. The telenovela is great. A man and woman are tired from hiking, in "A walk through the Everglades." A sharply dressed, hungry alligator confronts them. The duo drinks Emergen-C and high-tails it away from the gator. Watch it here.

SapientNitro Australia partnered with the Australia-based AEIOU Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides therapy for children with autism, to launch Communication Shutdown. The campaign aims to raise awareness and benefit autism charities in 40 countries by asking social media users to shut down their Facebook and Twitter networks on Nov. 1and make a $5 donation. This small step is to illustrate how difficult social communication is for people with autism. Users can purchase a charity app online for $5. The CHAPP enables users to place an official shutdown badge over their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter and sync their Facebook pictures to the campaign's global mosaic of supporters on the campaign's homepage.

This "Happy Baby" gets around in a TV spot for HP's ePrint line of Web-connected printers. An adorable baby takes to the road in his walker, traversing dirt roads and highways, until the he zooms through the front door of a house. In reality, the baby's mug is being sent to a printer from a mobile phone. EPrint-enabled printers allow users to send pics to their printer from any mobile device. See the ad here, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and directed by Noam Murro.  

And now for some scary faces for Halloween. This movie theater ad promotes the King Kong 360 3-D ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. Slow-motion shots show petrified people screaming, getting wet, and with their hair flying around, for reasons unknown. The end of the ad shows 3-D glasses flying off heads, but not before revealing what's scaring these people: King Kong. Watch the ad here, created by David&Goliath.  

Random iPad App of the week: Rodale's Runner's World has been formatted for the iPad. Available in the App store for $4.99, it's essentially the print version of the magazine, along with bonus content like video reviews of the latest running gear, shoe reviews and step-by-step instructions of training regimens, polls, quizzes and slideshows.

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