Out to Launch

1Bouygues Telecom, a French mobile and Internet service provider, launched three whimsical and nail-biting TV ads depicted by the brand's customer service reps and network engineers. My favorite ad is "Fairies." The ad was released in 3D and uses the Mama and the Papas song, "Make Your Own Kind of Music," while a beautiful fairy gets ready for work. That wand comes in handy. It starts breakfast and chooses the fairy's outfit. She appears to be underground, meeting up with additional fairies similarly dressed. They emerge from a mountain, into the hands of a giant, who makes a wish and blows them away. A customer service representative feels this magical when offering customers an affordable mobile plan. See it here. A woman is stranded at sea and bravely rescued by the Coast Guard in the next ad, seen here. A CSR likens this event to helping a woman who lost her cell phone. This makes "Fairies" look realistic. The final ad takes place in the wilderness, with a bear on an angry rampage. All other animals scurry into hiding places. The bear represents a network engineer's reaction to people alleging that Bouygues Telecom had a weak network. Watch it here. DDB Paris created the ads, produced by Harvest films and Wanda Productions.



2Meatloaf, the food, and Meatloaf, the rocker, have brief cameos in the latest Farmers Insurance ad, "Slideshow." Seriously, Meatloaf didn't even need to show up. I wonder how much he was paid to use his picture? It's not like he's a stranger to advertising. J.K. Simmons plays a professor at the University of Farmers who quizzes his agents on how well they know their clients by using a picture slideshow. The agents know their clients' likes and dislikes; one agent even knows the difference between edible meatloaf and singing Meatloaf. See the ad here, created by RPA.

3When we last saw Ellie, the adorable dancing elephant in GE's ecomagination campaign, she was dancing in the jungle to "Singing in the Rain." Fast-forward five years and Ellie is still dancing, but leaves the jungle to dance past GE innovations from the past five years. Ellie boogies by jet engines, Wattstations for charging electric cars, solar panels, and a research facility, then concludes where she left off: dancing in the jungle. Watch "Ellie II" here. "Electric Cattle" uses the right amount of cowbell. The ad promotes Jenbacher biogas technology, which creates energy using organic waste from landfills, compost and cows. A stadium is packed with concertgoers awaiting their favorite band. Drums, guitars and cowbells play until the band appears onstage: a group of cows named "The Electric Cattle." See it here. A "Line Dance" that breaks out on a GE factory line goes global, spanning various GE centers, my favorite being a research facility where workers in yellow scrubs get their country groove on. "Technology that provides cleaner air, cleaner water and helps make all of us more energy-efficient is something the whole world can get in step with," closes the ad, shown here. BBDO New York created the campaign.

4Snickers conducted a "Focus Group" for its new peanut butter squared candy bars, but don't go volunteering to be a taster just yet. You might wind up being the tasted. Sharks are part of the Snickers focus group, snacking on humans that ate a peanut butter cup compared to someone who ate a Snickers peanut butter squared candy. Steve tasted better than Lisa because Lisa only ate a PB cup, while Steve ate a Snickers peanut butter squared. The spot ends with an unsuspecting man, eating a peanut butter Snickers, entering the conference room of sharks. See the ad here, created by BBDO New York.

5Here's a look at an outdoor ad campaign that makes commuting to work bearable in the winter. Caribou Coffee promoted its new line of hot breakfast sandwiches by turning Minnesota bus shelters into ovens. That's right, the transit shelters are heated, keeping commuters warm and toasty, like Caribou's breakfast sandwiches. See a heated bus shelter here, created by Colle+McVoy.


6The California Tobacco Control Program launched a TV campaign highlighting the strides the state has made in banning smoking in public places, but also emphasizing the amount of work that still needs to be done. "Emerging Man" begins with a man sliding from an airplane food cart into a pizzeria oven while describing California as the first state to ban smoking on airplanes and the first to have smoke-free bars and restaurants. The tone turns serious once the man changes into doctor scrubs. While holding a newborn baby, he explains that "even if you were born today, you would still grow up in a world where tobacco kills more people than AIDS, drugs, alcohol, murder and car crashes combined." Watch the ad here, created by RPA.

7A "Submarine" is being attacked and sailors are racing to save themselves in the first of two ads for DirecTV. It's every man for himself, so once a room starts flooding heavily, the door is sealed shut, even though there's a sailor still trapped. The sailor looks through the glass as the water gets higher. Viewers then see a man watching the scene on his flat screen with baited breath; the picture quality is that good. Watch it here. "Ice Cream" is great. Two robots destroy a kitchen while a man calmly watches. Remote in-hand, the man pauses the robots mid-fight, resuming the violence in the living room. Debauchery is once again placed on hold, waiting for the man to resume watching his movie in the bedroom. See it here. Grey created the ads, with audio editing provided by Sound Lounge New York.

8Jake Gyllenhaal brought an ex-girlfriend to the Golden Globes, but it wasn't Taylor Swift. At least T-Swift will always have this adorable Sony Electronics ad from last year to look back on. The ad promotes Sony's Cyber-shot digital cameras, namely its iSweep Panorama feature that captures panoramic shots in a press and sweep motion. Swift visits Sony's research facility to test the iSweep panorama feature. A gaggle of adoring fans are dropped in, photographed by Swift, and then airlifted out. Except for that one obsessed fan, who holds onto the gate separating himself from Swift. Watch the ad here, created by 180 Los Angeles.

9Random App of the week: Brunner created an augmented reality app for TheAndy Warhol Museum that engages fans in New York City and Pittsburgh. This app allows users to revisit important aspects of Warhol's life, including events in his early career, his life and death in Pittsburgh, his work and friendships. Layar technology is used to display real-time digital information on top of the real world as seen through the camera of your mobile phone. Users can download Layar technology, then access the free app.

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