Out to Launch

1I love buying running shoes, but some sneaker fans border on the obsessive when it comes to their kicks. Foot Locker launched a pair of holiday ads under the tag line, "Merry Kicksmas." A teenager takes one of Santa's reindeer as a hostage in the first ad, seen here. He wants sneakers, not money. The reindeer is well cared for and the ransom note is neatly cut and pasted. In the second spot, Santa has a weakness and it's not cookies and milk. He loves smelling the insides of newly purchased sneakers. He's caught in the act by a homeowner who's armed with an oversized stuffed candy cane. Santa is embarrassed and led out the front door. No cookies and milk for him. "It's a sneaker thing," ends the ad, seen here. SapientNitro created the campaign.




2MuchMusic launched a TV spot promoting its Holiday Wrap, two weeks worth of marathons, video countdowns and movies touting the highs, lows and most memorable events of 2010. A conservative family sits down for dinner. Mom and Dad eagerly await the talent portion of the meal. Daughter plans on playing the trumpet. Older brother gets the nod to perform first, however, and it knocks everyone for a loop. His archaic synthesizer blasts fluorescent lights and loud rhythms that leave Mom, Dad and young sister shaken and stirred. The family has mussed hair, dirty faces and wrinkled clothes. The daughter tries to play her trumpet, but it's clogged and emitting little sound. Watch the ad here, created in-house and produced by Crush, Toronto.

3Snoop Dogg sits beside the fireplace and Pepsi Max truck driver to deliver some holiday cheer and recite his 2010 version of "Twas the Night before Christmas." Santa was tired of milk and cookies, and fortunately found a home where a Pepsi Max awaited. Did I mention that Santa drinks his Pepsi Max from a pimp cup? He also swears, but Pepsi Max driver has a hard time believing this. Watch the video here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day.

4To counter all the attention paid to the negative side of things, LG launched a billboard in Times Square that delivers only good news. The Good News Billboard features good news collected around the world from online feeds and tweets. The billboard is located at 45th Street and 7th Avenue and builds on LG's "Life's Good" motto. Aside from the good news posted, it will be hard to miss Gil, LG's animated brand ambassador, who encourages passersby to text and tweet good tidings his way. Passersby can also watch Gil's varying reactions to certain times of the day and weather conditions. See the billboard here and here, created by Young & Rubicam.

5Virtual snowball fights are just as much fun as regular snowball fights -- without the freezing temperatures and potential injuries. Moroch's holiday card, "SnowBall SmackDown," lets players throw snowballs at the faces of actual Moroch employees. Players receive 50 snowballs to pelt as many employees as possible. My highest score was 1,935. See if you beat me.



6Schwinn launched Bells for Bikes, a holiday campaign that delivers bikes and helmets to kids in need. The site features the Schwinn Bell Choir, consisting of eight men and women on bikes that perform versions of "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls" and "Auld Lang Syne" using only their bicycle bells. Every e-carol sent helps Schwinn deliver bikes and helmets to kids less fortunate. Colle+McVoy created the site.

7Chobani yogurt launched "Snow Angels," a holiday Web film that recreates a story told to Chobani's CEO when he was a child. The story begins in Turkey where a young boy describes the generosity of local shepherds. A local woman asks the boy where angels come from. She tells him that angels ride on the backs of snowflakes, which is why they never touch. The young boy was skeptical but waited for winter to confirm the woman's story. Fast-forward to the present day -- and the young boy is now a grown man living in New York telling the same story to his equally skeptical son. See the Web film here, created by Gotham.

8Random iPhone App of the week: Tierney is giving the tongue-tied "The Gift of Conversation" to help anyone prevent or escape an awkward conversational moment. There are five potential awkward social settings to choose from, and 30 conversation starters per category. Did someone back you into a corner, right underneath the mistletoe? Say this: "I think we're cousins." Sharing New Year's Eve with someone new? Use this line: "Mexicans believe wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve brings new love in the coming year." The app is available for free in the App Store.

And another year has come and gone! Thank you to everyone who takes the time on Wednesday afternoons to read Out to Launch. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Have a safe and healthy holiday season. Out to Launch will return on Jan. 5.

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