Commentary

Out to Launch

Every week new ad campaigns and websites are launched, and it’s hard to keep up with them all. This week the California Raisins are making a name for themselves in Vegas, Donald Trump is teaming up with McDonald’s, and Leo Burnett Worldwide has been busy launching a series of creative new ads.

The California Raisins have teamed up with Las Vegas entertainers in new print ads. The campaign includes five of the top chefs in Las Vegas, several skin-baring showgirls, Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman and an Elvis impersonator. The print ad, from the California Raisin Marketing Board, Fresno, Calif., will break nationally this month in Gourmet, Food Arts, food trade publications and a variety of women's publications. The campaign is to remind people everywhere that California raisins are special and that some 5,000 raisin farmers in California rely on their success and popularity to stay in business. The ad was photographed in Las Vegas.

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No, that’s not a California Raisin. That’s Grimace. Participating McDonald's restaurants nationwide introduced a special value offer to customers earlier this month with the launch of an everyday, $1 price for the Big N' Tasty or McChicken sandwich. To support the new value price, McDonald's has kicked off a series of advertisements, per DDB Chicago, featuring celebrities known for their ability to recognize great value. The stars are joined in the spots by different well-known McDonaldland characters. The first commercial, which debuted October 4th during ER (NBC), Survivor (CBS) and Monk (ABC), stars Donald Trump as he tries to pry the secret behind this impressive deal from Grimace.

McDonald's Sweden has launched a new tagline, "Big Love," that will be supported by a massive TV, cinema, radio, print, outdoor and in-store campaign created by Leo Burnett/Stockholm. The 1960s-centered theme will replace six-year-old tagline "Life has its good sides." The new advertising aims to position McDonald's as a company that not only makes hamburgers, but cares about its customers, employees and the environment. The print ads show black and white photographs of regular people adorned with colorful words and expressions. All the ads feature "Big Love" written as a greeting or a sign off.

The folks at Leo Burnett Worldwide have obviously been busy: Leo Burnett/Hong Kong launched a new ad campaign for Ikea that challenges consumers to solve their own space-related problems at home by becoming "space architects." "Doors," the campaign's first spot, revolves around a woman who shrieks with fear whenever a large door opens. Her husband finally realizes that her phobia stems from her jam-packed closet that overflows every time the door is opened. He rushes off to Ikea to buy new storage-solution products and reinforces Ikea's message that a few changes can result in major improvements to home life.

Meanwhile, Leo Burnett/Paris unveiled a print and television campaign attacking anti-beef sentiments that began with the outbreak of the European Mad Cow crisis. The agency created the comedic ads to help reverse the decline of meat consumption for beef marketer Charal, which sells branded steaks and other beef products nationwide. The two television spots feature humorous situations involving meat. One execution depicts an almost-bride in church awaiting an “I Do” from a Steak Tournedos. Both spots end with Charal's new slogan, "Don't Be Afraid to Say I Love Meat."

Food and beverage company NesCafé is launching its first ever global integrated communications campaign aimed at recruiting new consumers to the Nescafé coffee brand. The $30 million campaign is specifically aimed at younger consumers and involves a unique combination of integrated marketing communication platforms, including a global advertising campaign, a multi-faceted and groundbreaking global MTV sponsorship, events, web based radio via Rhythm Radio and digital consumer relationship marketing. It has been developed by McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, and is the result of a year-long research study into the global youth market. The new campaign is built around the proposition that Nescafé is 'Life's Agent Provocateur.'

A52 this week detailed their visual effects work for Anonymous Content and Director Jeffrey Plansker in D'Arcy Detroit's new multi-spot Pontiac campaign. The first spot of the campaign - "Mantra" - broke on Sep. 19. Set to James Brown's classic song "Get Up." Each of the campaign's spots uses gorgeous footage of Pontiac's existing and future vehicles which Plansker's team captured on locations across the southwestern United States. Each spot also incorporates dynamic graphics courtesy of Champion Graphics' Geoff McFetridge and rapid-fire editing courtesy of Spine's Noah Herzog. Other campaign spots include "Note," "Cure," and "Stimulated."

Edison Electric Institute is launching a print advertising campaign this week to reassure investors that America's shareholder-owned electric companies are committed to meeting the country's growing demand for electricity through real assets, real service, and real growth. Samuel G. Tornabene, EEI's Director of Communication Services, says, "We want to emphasize to the investment community that shareholder-owned electric companies are reliable, growth oriented, and here for the long haul." The ads are scheduled to run nationally in publications such as The New York Times, Barron's, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Fortune. The ad campaign is part of EEI's broader effort to bolster confidence in the electricity industry.

M&M/Mars is launching a brand campaign for Twix on MP3.com to sponsor a DJ mixing program called EZ-DJ. EZ-DJ is a fun, browser-based software application that enables MP3.com's millions of music fans to easily create and share high-quality DJ sets. EZ-DJ eliminates the cumbersome aspects of mixing, such as beat-matching and volume leveling, allowing aspiring DJs to focus on the fun parts, like creating cool cuts, fades, DJ tricks and effects. In addition, users can save their mixes and share them with friends and fans through email. EZ-DJ is featured now at mp3.com/ezdj.

"Don't pick the wrong college" is both underrated advice and the theme of a new ad for wiredscholar.com, a college planning site developed by Sallie Mae, the nation's leading provider of education funding. ComGroup, an Atlanta-based ad agency, created a full-page, four-color ad extolling the features of the site as well as a number of supporting materials, including brochures, testimonial sheets and bookmarks. The ad campaign debuted in the Sept. 30 edition of US News & World Report and it addresses the importance of choosing the right college and how wiredscholar.com guides both students and parents through every step of the going-to-college process.

-- 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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