Out to Launch

It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year, and many companies are already set to launch new holiday ad campaigns and websites. To recap some of this week’s highlights: MSN TV will target older Americans in their $5 million holiday campaign, Coke gets creative with a special rendition of "Deck the Halls," and prepares for winter with a new website. Find out about these new launches and others you may have missed in this week’s edition of "Out to Launch."

MSN TV service from Microsoft Corp., a leading provider of Internet service on television, this week announced the launch of a national consumer advertising campaign designed by Euro RSCG Tyee MCM. The $5 million holiday campaign, which launched with spots on national cable as well as via print, local radio and direct mail, will target older Americans and new technology users who are accessing the Internet for the first time. A key theme of the campaign will be showing how MSN TV service helps families stay in touch by exchanging email and pictures. MSN TV will also launch a direct mail and radio campaign this month in those same markets. Print ads for MSN TV will appear in AARP's Modern Maturity and My Generation.



The State of New Jersey is continuing its war against cigarette smoking on two fronts: ncouraging teenagers not to smoke as well as supporting adult smokers in efforts to quit. The campaigns, with a combined budget of $6.7 million, are made up of TV and radio commercials produced for the state's Department of Health and Senior Services by the Minneapolis office of BBDO Worldwide. TV spots in the adult campaign introduce a group of five men and women of various ages and ethnicities who represent the support services of the health department that can be obtained from the state. In one spot, the group is crowded into the man's car as he drives to work, and as he reaches for the cigarette lighter, a group member scolds, "Be careful. They travel in packs." TV spots for the teenage campaign emphasize that despite widespread perceptions, far more teenagers do not smoke than do.

The Advertising Council, in partnership with Environmental Defense, last week announced the distribution of public service advertisements designed to encourage all Americans to recycle and participate in activities that will help preserve the environment. The PSAs were distributed in conjunction with America Recycles Day on November 15, as a result of the strong support they received from the media, and the significant behavioral change they helped to generate in encouraging Americans to recycle in the 1980s and 90s. Created pro bono by ad agency McCann-Erickson, the television spots offer comical portrayals to communicate some of the tips offered on the website. The engaging Web banners also present specific environmental tips for visitors. The :10, :15, :20, :30 and :60 television spots and Web banners direct viewers and visitors to to learn more money-saving and convenient tips ranging from recycling to conserving energy to choosing seafood that helps keep the oceans and marine life healthy. The Ad Council is distributing the PSAs, which will begin airing and running later this month, to more than 15,000 television and Internet media outlets nationwide.

McCann/NY teamed up with Composer Paul Riggio, of Big Foote Music, to give a fresh twist to a favorite Christmas carol in Coca-Cola's new holiday spot, "For Everyone." Riggio's rendition of "Deck The Halls" injects a hip-hop beat into the commercial that was created entirely from shots of Coca-Cola products and Coke-related items. The spot portrays Coke as the holiday beverage of choice for a very multicultural group including: Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their helpers, tree trimmers, gift wrappers, dreidel spinners, Kwanzaa celebrants, and more. The inventive montage of images features two red metal bottle caps fused together like lips, an overhead shot of a red plastic bottle cap stand-in for Rudolph's nose and a group shot of open 'mouthed' cans as Christmas carolers.

Big Foote Music also provided music for a new campaign for JPMorgan Chase credit card, from FCB/NY. The theme: one can't choose his or her family, but you can choose your credit card rewards. In a new spot, directed by Frank Todaro, of Radical Media, a young man chooses credit card rewards, despite the fact that his family is extremely wierd. "Family" features a boyfriend who is nervous about meeting the family of his significant other before he finds out that their abundant strangeness is scary enough. The spot features a soft, loopy, melodic jazz number whose unconventional instrumentation nicely mirrors the family circus. "These people were whacked enough that the score didn't need to hit the viewer over the head," said a Big Foote composers for the campaign. 

Regal CineMedia Corporation, the media subsidiary of Regal Entertainment Group, in partnership with Capitol Records, is presenting a behind-the-scenes look at the making of George Harrison's new release, Brainwashed, including interviews with the late artist conducted throughout home recording sessions during the final years of his life. The short promotional documentary also features interviews with Harrison's son, Dhani, his long-time collaborator and producer, Jeff Lynne, as well as drummer Jim Keltner. "Brainwashed" will be shown in its entirety before feature movie presentations exclusively at select Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas and Knoxville through Thursday, December 12. Harrison's posthumous album was released Tuesday.

In a departure from prior years' holiday-themed advertising, a new spot in the national TV campaign for Diamond of California launches this week, using humor and surprise to reposition nuts as an "everyday essential" rather than just as an ingredient in traditional holiday baking. The new 30-second spot shows a quarterback catching a long pass that, instead of a football, is a package of Diamond glazed nuts. Upon making the catch he asks in bewilderment, "What do I do with this?" the spot explains how Diamond nuts can add texture and taste to your favorite foods. The ad also includes usage ideas, such as walnuts in stuffing or on oatmeal, with a tag line that "they top everything." The spots will run in national cable and in selected major markets through December 26th. The other two 30-second spots in the campaign, produced earlier this year, also use humor and surprise. They depict people being thrown packages of Diamond nuts in unexpected situations, such as in lieu of the morning newspaper and in place of the bride's bouquet at a wedding.

Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. is breaking a new advertising campaign for Car and Driver and Road & Track that will appear in Ad Age, Automotive News, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, beginning in early December and continuing into 2003. Special interest advertising agency RDA International Inc., based in New York, was hired to create the campaign designed to reach senior level decision-makers to convey the message that both titles are critical in creating successful marketing programs targeting automotive and non-endemic categories. Car and Driver and Road & Track have agreed to provide Kelley Blue Book's website with Buyer’s Guide content which consists of vehicle summaries and photos and links back to the Car and Driver site and the Road & Track site for full reviews and road tests. visitors will also be able to link to Car and Driver’s ‘User Road Tests’ to learn what actual vehicles owners say about their cars and can post their own reviews on the site. announced that it has introduced a new design for its award-winning website, that features an entirely new look, faster download times, easier navigation and more easily accessible radar maps. The new site, which attracts 4.8 million unique users monthly, was designed and programmed to offer easier navigation and quicker download times, and features a streamlined look that transitions popular weather sections from the top of the page to the left hand side using an easy-to-read navigation bar.

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

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