Out to Launch

FedExFedEx launched four TV spots during the NFL season opener last Thursday that illustrate ways it helps businesses run smoother. First up: Who needs a competitive edge in a phone book anymore? An auto company chose the name AAAAAA Auto Repair so they'd appear first in phone books. An employee has a better idea: use FedEx to ship car parts faster. See it here. A FedEx driver might not have the life of a Hollywood screenplay, but he manages to save a life when he delivers an organ to a hospital. Having a supermodel-esque doctor retrieve the package is an added bonus. Watch it here. A boss decides to print on both sides of company paper in an effort to cut costs. This backfires when a woman asks about the executive compensation list, prompting the boss to eat the sheet. See it here. A man in the Witness Protection Program uses FedEx to print fliers, mugs and brochures with his face on them, all to draw attention to his small business. The Feds are forced to give him a third identity and crush his fledgling business. Watch it here. BBDO New York created the campaign.



DodgeDodge created the "Search Engine for the Real World" to promote its 2012 Dodge Journey. In other words: step away from the computer and get outside and see the world. The Internet will be there when you return. The first TV spot shows a Journey on a journey through San Francisco and Route 66, surrounded by lakes, trees, and fields. The campaign has an added twist: three 2012 Dodge Journeys were hidden throughout the U.S., and each spot includes hints on where to look. Road trip, anyone? The "West Coast" ad launched Sept. 10, "Midwest" debuts Sept. 17 and "East" on Sept. 24. Additional clues can be found on Dodge's YouTube page. Each hidden car can be observed by a camera feed, just another way for explorers to gather clues. See it here. Get your motor running: the first Journey has already been found. A father and son from Nevada found the West Coast Journey in Hope Valley, Calif., in a mere 16 hours. I'm impressed. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

VW BeetleNo one yells punch buggy in the latest ad for the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. There are, however, countless high-fives, which are less painful. "It's Back" follows a man driving through a city in his sleek new Beetle. Whenever he encounters someone, they extend their hand for a high-five, whether it's construction workers, fellow drivers, a cop on a horse, a young girl and a puppy. Even the "don't walk" sign is secretly high-fiving him. The spot ends when the man encounters a huge group of cyclists. He extends his hand and waits. See the ad here, created by Deutsch Los Angeles.

NortonNorton, known for its Internet security products and love of the Hoff, launched a TV, print and outdoor campaign about your "stuff": things like cell phone pictures, music and financial information. It's more than just stuff. If your computer crashed, what would happen to the stuff that's important and meaningful to you? Norton's brand campaign aims to highlight the company's offerings of content backup and live help when needed. An animated online video illustrates the importance of a person's stuff, whether it's pictures on a computer, music on an iPod, work spreadsheets and emails. Since "Stuff Happens," Norton can back you up and protect your stuff. See it here. A TV spot, running in Canada, shows various old pictures of women. The spots ends with the saved document name of "Wow_GrandmaWasAHottie.jpg" See it here. Print ads, running in Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Time, ESPN, Fast Company and Shape, among others, also use ridiculously long file names to signify the importance of backing up online content. See them here, here and here. Leo Burnett Chicago created the campaign.

Royal Bank CanadaRoyal Bank of Canada supports up-and-coming filmmakers -- because not everyone has Hollywood connections, like a well-respected uncle. The company launched three ads supporting its sponsorship of the Toronto International Film Festival. Each shows how easy life would be for young directors if they all had an "uncle in the biz." A director yearns for an aerial shot in "Helicopter." Fortunately, the man's uncle swings by and loans him his helicopter to film the scene. Watch it here. A young director pitches his script, only to have it rejected. His uncle emerges from behind a wall, skims the script, and convinces the agent to reconsider making the movie. See it here. A woman screens her film to a theatre filled with a handful of people. Just before the movie starts, her uncle appears with all his wealthy friends who are looking to buy a film. Watch it here. BBDO Toronto created the campaign, directed by Mark Gilbert of Untitled Films.

24 Hours RealityAl Gore brings us reality TV, but it's not the kind of mindless entertainment we're used to. The Climate Reality Project is running all day today to educate viewers about climate change. Dubbed "24 Hours of Reality," the event will be broadcast online in all 24 time zones and in13 languages. One TV ad features the voice of Al Gore coupled with images of floods, mudslides and copy about oil and coal companies wielding money and power to deflect the reality of global climate change. See it here. Denial hits the fan in the next ad, seen here. And by denial, I mean poop. A miniature oil rig starts a chain reaction that sends a handful of poop flying into a fan, splattering a globe. M ss ing P eces and Alex Bogusky at Fearless Cottage produced the ads.

Jimmy DeanJimmy Dean's latest TV spot for its breakfast sandwiches is "Low Cloud," about a cloud whose head is in a fog. The sun is driving to work and encounters the low-flying cloud. Turns out, he didn't have breakfast. Sun whips up a Jimmy Dean sandwich from the food truck he drives, and within seconds, the cloud is no longer gray and is flying high. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.


Old SpiceIsaiah Mustafa, come back soon. The "Sea Captain" scares me. Old Spice launched a new TV and print campaign for its Red Zone deodorant, body spray and body wash that encourages men to channel their inner sea captain or rock star. The "Smell Better Than Yourself" campaign allows men to smell like a sea captain with washboard abs, who oozes gold coins from his pockets while punching a sea creature in the face. Watch it here. A print ad, "Rocker," shows a man in a library who is half-nerd and half-rockstar waiting to break free. See it here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

Weird AppRandom iPhone App of the week: Do you love random factoids of knowledge, as I do? Then you'll enjoy the newly launched Weird but True app. Based on a random fact generator inspired by the National Geographic Kids book series of the same name, Weird but True offers 300 factoids for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. All you need to do is shake or swipe your device for a random fact. Did you know that New Zealand has more sheep than people, or that parachutes were invented before airplanes? My favorite factoid involves rain. You will get 50% wetter running in the rain than you will standing still. Who knew? The app costs $1.99 in the App Store.

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