Out to Launch

Toyota RAV4Toyota RAV4 launched a pair of TV ads seen from the vantage point of Benny, an adorable bulldog that travels the roads alongside his owner, Mark. The ads target active African American families. Did I mention that rapper LL Cool J is the voice of Benny? In "Good Day," Benny and Mark load up the RAV 4 and pick up some friends for a spontaneous beach party. See it here. Benny is having a rough day in "The Journey." He scuffles with a neighborhood poodle and isn't in the best of moods. A road trip with Mark and Nina brightens the day and a bevy of shooting stars makes Benny forget about the poodle incident. Watch it here. Burrell Communications created the campaign.



Claussen PicklesJun Group and The Escape Pod launched a social media campaign for Claussen Pickles. Targeting 25-49-year-old women, the video takes viewers on a "Journey to the Claussen Pickles." A man walks into his grocery store, unaware that he's about to hop on a faux dog sled and, along with his guide, search for the world's freshest pickles. He participates in a taste test and the crunchy winner is Claussen. The tour guide then takes the man to the refrigerated section of the store to present the customer with his own jar of Claussen pickles. Watch it here.

Captain MorganCaptain Morgan launched the latest ad in its "To Life, Love and Loot" campaign, directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper, director of "The King's Speech." Once again, the Captain diffuses a tense situation. Unlike a previous ad, where Captain Morgan prevented two ships from battling, this time he lightens up the mood at a stuffy dinner party. Set to music by The White Stripes, "Glass," and a whole lot of it, gets broken during silent, awkward dining moments. It all begins when a domestic drops and breaks a glass. The lady of the house is not happy. Captain Morgan slides his glass off the table, an act that triggers fellow guests to do the same, ending with happy faces and a mess to be cleaned up later. The spot, seen here, will run on ESPN, TBS and TNT. Anomaly created the ad.

MastercardAnother ad directed by Tom Hooper! This time, it's for MasterCard. The brand launched Priceless Cities, where cardholders in certain cities can score amazing rewards, like setting up camp at the Bronx Zoo, catching a Yankee game, or dining at the Red Rooster restaurant. New York, obviously, is the first city to receive priceless treatment. A supporting TV ad shows a man handing out free Yankee tickets to anyone he meets that happens to be a fan. Clearly, I'd be overlooked for a freebie. The spot ends at Yankee Stadium, where the man is surrounded by all of his newfound friends. Watch the ad here. MasterCard also launched a Web site for cardholders to share their tweets, Facebook pictures and YouTube videos from priceless events. McCann Erickson New York created the campaign.

HyundaiHyundai launched a baseball-themed campaign to promote its sponsorship of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Print ads feature a selected Hyundai model paired with baseball factoids. For example, the number 274 is both the horsepower in the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo and the number of ounces of soda spilled per game due to foul balls. See the ads here, here, here and here. In addition, a series of four vintage-style player cards were created, each highlighting a different Hyundai brand. The cards are being featured in Dodgers Magazine every month of the baseball season. See them here, here, here and here. Innocean Worldwide created the campaign.

Rizzoli & IslesI love the idea of this campaign, but will passersby stop to fully interact with it? Especially in the summer heat?  Pearl Media launched an interactive, crime-solving campaign in New York City to promote TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles," starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. A 3-D crime scene is displayed through the windows of a storefront. The taped-off crime scene is laden with evidence, like an open pill bottle, footprints and fingerprints. A video wall helps crime solvers dust for fingerprints, view the scene of the crime, review DNA tests and view an autopsy report. The results guide users to the guilty party. Once the crime is solved, players can have their picture taken with the stars of "Rizzoli & Isles," and share pictures via Facebook. See the storefront here, here and here.

COA Youth & Family CentersCramer-Krasselt/Milwaukee created a pro bono campaign for Milwaukee-based COA Youth & Family Centers to raise awareness of the positive impact parents' involvement with their child's education has on chances of success in the classroom. Guerilla classrooms were placed in Milwaukee-area parks that included life-sized puzzles, word searches, mazes and jumbo-sized books and rulers that teach math, science, geography and reading. Parents and children work together to solve each display. One display is a calibrated scale that shows what a person would weigh if he or she were on the moon. See the installations here, here, here, here and here.

Metacritic AppRandom iPhone App of the Week: Metacritic launched its first app, dubbed the Movie Finder by Metacritic, on the iPhone and iPod touch. Metacritic takes a series of renowned critic scores and combines theirindividual scores into a Metascore, an overall grade for each film. Via the app, Metascores can be sifted through to decide what movie to see. If you're standing in front of a movie theatre, users can get a list of movies playing by holding up their iPhone in camera mode. The app is available for free in the App Store.

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