Out to Launch

1Ever have your mind wander while your meal cooks in a microwave? Lean Pockets launched four videos on its YouTube and Facebook pages that follow the quirky imagination of a young woman named Heidi as she cooks her pretzel bread Lean Pocket, a new product. There's no branding in any of the videos, since they are running only on branded Lean Pockets sites. In one video, Heidi beats a woman twice her size in an arm wrestling match, only to have a pint-sized version of her opponent rise from kneaded dough. See it here. In another scenario, a group of women line up to braid each other's hair. Heidi gets stuck braiding a horse's tail. Watch it here. Heidi dons her lederhosen in the next video, spins on a table and puts her lint roller to work. See it here. Heidi plays a game of milk pong in the final video, and ends up with a milk facial. Her rival is quite good at milk pong. Watch it here. Publicis New York created the campaign.



2Gamers, get excited about the release ofCall of Duty Black Ops'expansion pack, Escalation. There's a new level added featuring George Romero and the stars of his latest "film," "Call of the Dead": Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Michael Rooker, and Danny Trejo. The actors show up for work thinking it's another day on the job -- when in fact, the zombies they are fighting are real. The game trailer is set in typical "grindhouse" fashion, but I could have done without Robert Englund saying, "This must be a nightmare." See it here. Remember Burger Man from last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops ad? He's back in a trailer for Escalation that promotes the game's 5-map combo. Each map option is an order option in burger man's restaurant. Clips from each map are shown, along with burger man's cleanliness skills. The spot ends similarly to burger man's previous appearance, with his arms held to the side (albeit holding bags of food this time) and an explosion behind him. Watch it here. TBWA/Chiat/Day LA created the campaign. 

3A man climbs Everest, circa 1953, in the first of two great ads for Carlsberg beer, but his reasoning is not what you'd expect. He can't celebrate the success of being the first man to climb Everest. He's in a race against time to plant an antenna, return to a remote bar with the other end of a massively long wire, connect it to the bar's TV and watch a soccer match. For that, the man earns his Carlsberg. Too bad the antenna falls down. See it here. An astronaut must BYOB to the moon in a second ad, seen here. It's 1969 and an Apollo astronaut brings a lawn chair and cooler of beer onto the moon's surface. When he realizes he can't drink his beer and gaze at the earth, the astronaut says, "Houston, we have a problem." Fold 7 created the ads, edited by Cut + Run.

4Saucony launched its first-ever TV spot, asking runners, "What is strong?" Good question. As a runner, I can totally relate. Shaving minutes off a previous PR would be ideal, yet even shavings seconds from a PR is a massive accomplishment. As track runners, trail runners and roadrunners dig deep, a voiceover asks: "Is it [strong] measured in miles or milliseconds? Is it your best time or your worst day?" The spot ends with a shirtless runner making his way through scenic hills, and copy stating: "Find your strong." Watch the ad here, created by Mechanica and produced by Shilo.

5You have to be a moron to climb the office rankings, according to a man that's not so travel-savvy. The head honcho searches numerous travel sites looking to score the cheapest deal, when all he needs to do is visit, a site comparing the best deals from numerous travel sites. To further prove his point, the "moron" asks his boss, Mr. Carroll, if he's a bright man. Mr. Carroll is standing beside a portrait of himself as he waves his cane in the air, shouting, "No I'm not." See the ad here, created by Barton F. Graf 9000.

6"If it tastes good, eat it." This is one of the many truths Carl's Jr. believes in "Anthem," a 60-second spot where the brand makes no apologies for using hot models in their advertising. "Because ugly ones don't sell burgers." Using the new tagline, "Just the way it is," the spot features cameos by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Olivia Munn, who ride "water motorcycles" with a Carl's Jr. employee. My favorite truth is: "We believe in burgers. Big, fat, juices-running-down-your-arm kind of burgers." Watch the ad here, created by David&Goliath.

7Another "anthem" campaign launched this week, this one from Gatorade. The brand launched "Inside Edge," highlighting its G Series products, along with the newly launched G Series FIT line of products. The ad uses James Brown's "Super Bad" song -- and if this tune doesn't make you want to get up and move, nothing will. Track and field Olympian Allyson Felix, soccer goalkeeper Tim Howard, NFLer A.J. Hawk and tennis player Serena Williams, among others, star in the spot and are shown either before, during or after their workouts, using Gatorade products dependent on the situation. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day LA.

8Time Warner Cable promoted its media sponsor status for the Tribeca Film Festival in a unique way. Since it was able to offer subscribers same-day access to movies screened at the festival, it brought a New York subway station... to Charlotte, N.C. The MTA Subway station, complete with chipped paint and actual typeface used in New York subways, was installed in the Wells Fargo Atrium. The installation includes fake steps that appear to lead underground and destination copy that reads: "Tribeca" Downtown & Brooklyn, BDFV." See the campaign here and here, created by Ogilvy & Mather and OgilvyAction.   

9Random iPhone App of the Week: Heineken StarPlayer is a live, dual-screen soccer game that lets fans watch UEFA Champions League matches on television and at the same time play the games live in real-time, on a computer, iPhone or iPod touch. AKQA created the app, available for free from the App Store.

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