Out to Launch

Every week new ad campaigns and websites are launched, and it’s hard to keep up with them all. This week, both Frito Lay and Gatorade kicked off campaigns during College Bowl Games, Reebok announced its plan to feature Homer Simpson in the February debut of ads that support the retail launch of supercourts, and Nissan Xterra launched a new website.

Frito-Lay is kicking off the New Year and the launch of Tostitos Gold Tortilla Chips with a new campaign featuring TV spots with Jay Leno, Little Richard and Cindy Taylor. In "Replace," a boring party is livened up when the host is replaced by Jay Leno and non-descript snacks are replaced by Tostitos Gold Tortilla Chips. Two 30-second TV spots, via BBDO New York, will air in conjunction with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Championship Game between Ohio State and Miami on Jan. 3 .



Gatorade Thirst Quencher debuted a new campaign during the slew of College Bowl Games that aired on New Year’s Day. The campaign, which pays tribute to Michael Jordan, features a spot entitled "23 vs. 39" and hit ABC airwaves during the Citrus Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl. The commercial uses cutting-edge technology to bring to life one of MJ’s (and many of his fans') impossible fantasies: what would it be like if the wiser, current-day Jordan could play against the younger Jordan? In the spot, the current-day Jordan is challenged to a game of one-on-one by the younger Jordan as a 1987 Chicago Bull. After several moments of intense play which showcases modern-day Jordan's athletic wisdom and younger Jordan's raw physicality, the two hit the bench for a time-out to rest, catch their breath and refuel with Gatorade. The spot was created by Element 79 Partners (Chicago).

Bally Total Fitness plans to capitalize on the popular “getting fit” New Year’s resolution with a new ad push. The campaign, entitled "The beautiful pain," uses "humor, humanity and physical results" to explain the post-workout feeling that athletes commonly translate as no pain, no gain. The effort, via Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, is anchored by two national TV 30-second spots, "Stories" and "Crosswalk." The spots reinforce Bally's position as the "total fitness solution" and highlight Bally's health and fitness products and services. POP and Internet support.

Athletic footwear company Reebok will break a print campaign in February starring one of TV's biggest celebrities: Homer J. Simpson. The patriarch of the Simpson clan will appear in a Reebok Classic print campaign, via Arnell Group, New York, that coincides with both the 300th episode of The Simpsons in February and the retail launch of Supercourts in April. POP and online support. In the ads, Homer sports a pair of Classic Supercourts and spouts a new version of one of his classic phrases, "Mmm ... Classic."

The American Legacy Foundation recently began running a new series of truth ads revealing that a leading tobacco company targeted San Francisco area gay and homeless communities for special marketing efforts in the mid-1990s. The plan, labeled “Project SCUM” for “Subculture Urban Marketing” by the tobacco company, was discovered in a tobacco industry document made public by tobacco companies as part of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. “Our ‘Project Scum’ truth ad forces one of the leading tobacco manufacturers to come clean with regard to targeting gay and homeless consumers,” said Dr. Cheryl Healton, President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation. “Project Scum” is yet another disturbing example of how the tobacco industry markets its addictive and lethal products,” she added.

American Trans Air (ATA), the nation’s tenth-largest passenger carrier, is breaking a multi-media ad campaign that targets its long-term benefits for both business and leisure travelers. The campaign, "Straight Talk," via Publicis, New York, includes seven TV and print ads regionally in Chicago and Indianapolis, as well as national exposure in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. A new tag is also being unveiled: "An honestly different airline." The Indianapolis-based airline says the effort will reinforce the carrier's commitment to lifestyle, customer-friendly travel policies, including low fares, a $299 one-way cap on domestic fares, new aircrafts and on-time performance.

Isuzu's new campaign has actors answering the question, "Why did I buy an Isuzu?" in TV, print and radio. The campaign is the debut effort from Malone Advertising, Akron, Ohio, for Isuzu Motors of America, which shifted its ad account from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in October. The effort appends the previous tagline, "Go farther" to "Spend less - go farther." It makes a no-nonsense attempt to lure buyers into showrooms and onto Isuzu's website with a value proposition that includes 0% financing. TV and print ads focus on attributes of the just-introduced Isuzu Ascender such as horsepower and storage capacity, while also prominently pointing to price. The first TV spot broke in select markets last week, with a full launch set for February. Goodby's last work for Isuzu used the venerable Joe Isuzu "spokesman" in work that spoofed auto-marketing cliches.

Visual effects and design company A52 recently announced details of their work for The Directors Bureau and director Mike Mills for Arnold Worldwide's new 2003 Beetle Convertible ad campaign for Volkswagen of America, Inc.  The first of two spots in the campaign is a :60 entitled "Bubble Teaser" which debuted theatrically on Fri., Oct. 22, but was reworked and relaunched the week before Christmas.  Another spot, "Bubble," just broke, and "Smile" will debut in Jan. 2003. Each commercial closes by announcing that The New Beetle Convertible is Coming Soon.

Unlike most online marketers, Nissan North America will not gauge the success of its new Xterra Web site based on the amount of time people spend on the property. Instead, its main goal is to drive people offline and outdoors. The flash website was designed to encourage visitors to indulge in outdoor activities, something that, according to focus groups, many Xterra owners crave. The site lets users choose an environment that best fits their lifestyle: Snow, Water, Dirt or Road. The environments are divided into modules that contain unique content. Omnicom's TBWAChiatDay in Playa del Rey, Calif., oversaw brand and client management and The Designory in L.A. managed the project and technical implementation.

-- 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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