Out to Launch

Absolut makes an ad out of art. Alan Greenspan makes a PSA. DirecTV calls in the celebs. Those are just a few of the campaigns launched this week. Read on for more details.

Panasonic began a TV campaign this month for it's new Pro-Curve men's shaver, which features a Pivot Action Shaving System that lets the user maneuver the unit's shaving head in four directions. Given all this information, it should come as no surprise to learn that the commercial uses an updated version of the 1960's hit "Bend Me, Shape Me." The 15 and 30-second spots emphasize how the shaver's sharp blades, quick speed and Pivot Action Shaving System make it easy to get a smooth shave. The spots were created by The Kaplan Thaler Group. The "Bend Me, Shape Me" TV commercials begin airing during the Indianapolis 500 and will air on national cable stations such as FOX Sports, ESPN, Comedy Central and the FX Network.



This week, Absolut broke from tradition and unveiled its first online art campaign. This work, called Absolut Next Generations, was created by UK artists Richard Wentworth and Semiconductor. Consumers can visit Absolut's website, use new interactive design tools provided, and contribute to an Absolut art campaign, bringing them closer to the creative process. The artwork is exclusive to the Absolut site, and will promote another set of artwork, called Absolut Generations, which will be featured at this year's Venice Biennale exhibition, which opened on June 15. To support the launch, a print advertising campaign of Absolut Generations will run in Time Europe as a special supplement to the magazine.

DirecTV launched a national advertising campaign this week that features actors Danny DeVito, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Dennis Hopper and Dennis Miller. The actors read actual fan mail from fellow DirecTV subscribers and highlight DirecTV's customer service experience and superiority over alternate TV service providers. The TV spots, created by Deutsch LA, will be supported by radio and print ads urging people to "Become a DirecTV Fan Now." In one radio ad, Miller tells listeners that "Marlene" was so happy with DirecTV that she was even happier to call her former cable company to say, "Please disconnect my cable." Miller chides Marlene for her proper etiquette and use of the word "please." He says the only "appropriate time to say 'please' is in a fit of extreme sarcasm. As in 'please keep hiking my rates' and 'please give me inferior reception.'" One print ad portrays 21 faces - one of which is fan #10,972,015. The copy reads: "To you, he's Dennis Hopper. To us, he's just another diehard DirecTV fan."

TBWAChiatDay has created the first national television spot for Coinstar, the coin counting machines seen at supermarkets. The spot began its national run this week on cable networks such as Nickelodeon, VH1 and TNT, and features one of the nation's most unsung heroes - the tooth fairy. The ad centers around one night in the life of the Tooth Fairy, who spent her entire career dealing with coins. After exchanging four quarters for a child's tooth, the ad shows the Tooth Fairy's huge canvas coin bag suddenly come undone and sending her toppling down the stairs and landing her at a supermarket for bandages. It's then when she turns and discovers the Coinstar machine, which can transform her loose change into real cash.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan will stress the benefits of economic and financial education in a public service announcement. The PSA is part of a broad initiative throughout the Federal Reserve System to provide consumers with more resources for making smart financial decisions. The initiative builds upon existing efforts with the introduction of public service messages, a new brochure and enhancements to the System's financial education website. Greenspan will be featured in both TV and radio spots. His message: "No matter who you are, making informed decisions about what to do with your money will help build a more stable financial future for you and your family." The campaign will be in both English and Spanish.

Better Homes and Gardens is taking its magazine on the road. The Better Homes and Gardens Experience is a coast-to-coast mobile tour that will bring the magazine brand to life for both consumers and advertisers. The tour will visit 20 markets from May to October 2003 and hopes to reach more than 3.5 million consumers. The Better Homes and Gardens Experience will bring to life "Your Best Summer Ever" - the magazine's three-month special editorial series, which began in June. Free seminars and demonstrations will take place on the main stage, which will include a high performance kitchen, garden landscape and custom work area for project demonstrations. Gift bags with sponsor information, samples and special offers will be distributed as well. BHG has partnered with Wal-Mart and the Barbie brand for the first part of the tour, which will run from May through June 2003. The tour will feature a series of two-day weekend events at 10 Wal-Mart Supercenters presented by Barbie. From July through October 2003, the tour will team up with GMC Trucks and SUVs to visit high-traffic family-oriented fairs and festivals.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has launched a nationwide campaign directed toward teens already experimenting with drugs and alcohol. The "Check Yourself" campaign is designed to lead 15- to 18-year-old recreational drug and alcohol users to reconsider their relationships with their substances of choice and ultimately curtail their use. "Check Yourself" is based on extensive research with teens and the input of experts in the public health, treatment and youth counseling field. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, created the first wave of 30-second TV spots. In one spot, a boy accidentally drops his packet of drugs on a fast-food restaurant counter; in another, two shaken girls are seen discussing the results of one's pregnancy test. Each spot ends by asking, "Still in control?" The campaign also includes live radio scripts, a "guerilla marketing" component and a new website.

This week's website launches include:

Discount global long distance provider has launched a bargain shopping community called BigDeals & Finds. The new web site provides visitors with free power tools for finding and sharing deals and recommendations that can be used online and offline. Much requested-content including coupons, free shipping, and closeouts will not be limited to online offers but is expected to reach the neighborhood store level thanks to "tips" from value-alert users who might actually live in your neighborhood.

Sports drink Accelerade now has its own website. The site offers athletes, coaches, trainers and sports fans insight and information from athletes and coaches including Anson Carter of the New York Rangers, Tim Howard of the MetroStars, Jennifer Azzi of the San Antonio Silver Stars and Paul Goldberg of the Colorado Avalanche. The site also includes sports nutrition clinical case studies, a list of store locations to buy the product and an area to qualify for free stuff - including hats and shirts.

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