Commentary

Out to Launch

Among this week’s highlights: Serena Williams get "close" with her toothpaste, Oscar ads, Kia spending big bucks, and a purple weather website!

The NCAA has launched a television spot as part of a new multi-platform campaign showcasing the Association's role in preparing student-athletes for life. The tagline is "There are 360,000 NCAA student-athletes, and just about all of us will be going pro in something other than sports." The spots consist of a shot-putter, swimmer, and two basketball players who explain how the balance of academics and sports in college equips them for success beyond sports. This is the first branding campaign done by the NCAA, with Young & Rubicam San Francisco and Landor Associates designing the ads. Three television spots will launch in its entirety during CBS, ESPN and Westwood One's coverage of the NCAA tournament.

Hart Schaffner Marx, a manufacturer of men's apparel, has redesigned their website. Designed by Agency.com , the site launch coincides with the release of a new print campaign in The Wall Street Journal. The site features apparel from Hart Schaffner Marx's spring suit line. The goal of the site is to increase awareness of the Hart Schaffner Marx brand and help drive traffic to department and specialty store partners. New site features include: Style Advice - where users are provided attire suggestions based on the type of event they are attending, and Edward the Image Consultant – an online image consultant that gives visitors advice on questions such as, "Should my belt match my shoes?" along with other style questions.

La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados, a Hispanic marketing agency, and The Ballpark, launched a new regional advertising campaign for Children's Bureau, a private non-profit organization that strives to reach at-risk children at an early age in order to prevent child abuse and neglect. The bilingual campaign will help drive financial support for Children's Bureau from corporate foundations and private donors and build awareness of the agency as a force in the fight against child abuse. The ads show a teddy bear as the only source of love for these children and it implores adults to help by referring to the tragic events he witnesses. It will run through the first quarter of 2003 throughout Southern California, and includes two :15 and one :60 TV spots; two :15 and one :60 radio spots; print ads; and four different creative executions for more than 800 pieces of OOH advertising.

Close-Up toothpaste, announced that tennis player Serena Williams will serve as the new face of the brand. Williams will show off her smile on packages of Close-Up toothpaste just starting to hit retail store shelves. The in-house campaign by Unilever features Williams on three collectible boxes - each with a different picture on the front. A national promotional campaign will include in-store displays; free standing inserts (coupons) and a consumer sweepstakes, where a family of four will win a trip to New York City, including courtside seats to the U.S. Open.

And the new ads debuting at the Academy Awards are…Yahoo! will begin promoting its dating service later this week with a commercial during the Academy Awards, airing on March 23. The Yahoo! Personals campaign will include radio, outdoor and online ads. Euro RSCG designed the campaign. The 30-second spot, entitled "Big Night" shows an anxious group of people getting ready for their dates. The group includes a cowboy selecting the perfect cowboy hat, a single mom asking her 4-year-old for jewelry advice, and a 70-year-old man dressed in cruise loungewear dancing to get excited for his date. This campaign, which hinges on the word "Believe", establishes Yahoo! Personals as an uplifting alternative to the cynical world of dating. Three radio spots will run in metropolitan areas such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. and outdoor ads will run in commuter areas including New York, Boston, and Chicago.

Another ad debuting during the Oscars is for JC Penney. DDB Chicago, created the two spots, one 30 seconds and one 60 seconds. The ads will run four times throughout the program as well as during the "red carpet" show before the event. Showcasing and celebrating the power of women, the ads are skewed towards younger women, and set to the music of Super Chick's "One Girl Revolution" and Joey Ramone's "What a Wonderful World."

Accelerade, a new brand of sports drink, has targeted San Diego and Colorado Springs to debut their beverage. Accelerade has been selling in all 7-Eleven stores in San Diego and Colorado Springs since March 17, and claims to be the first sports drink that provides rapid hydration plus the added benefits of all-natural protein to re-energize muscles during exercise. The launch will be supported with an aggressive radio, print and billboard advertising campaign in each market. The campaign was an in-house effort by PacificHealth Laboratories, makers of Accelerade, and the creative theme of the campaign is "Are You Acceleraded?"

AT&T introduced its latest campaign called "Talk is Good," which emphasizes the company's dedication to improving the way customers communicate. The TV ads promote the company's portfolio of communications services, and are customized for each market in which they run. This campaign was created by Young & Rubicam, and each ad reflects real issues, concerns, and thoughts present within communities today. "Talk is Good" invites consumers to keep an open dialogue with the most important people in their lives. The campaign consists of four, area-specific 30 and 60-second television spots that feature colored screen backgrounds transitioning from one to the next with each slate containing text messages that highlight 'topics of the moment' for that local area, including such issues as drilling in Lake Erie, tuition discounts, and the smoking ban. AT&T has created companion campaigns in Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese, which will begin running later this month. The advertisements will be running in key areas including Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, and California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco).

Baker’s Breakfast Cookies recently debuted a nutritional and organic breakfast cookie. The cookies will be sold in more than 5,000 stores including Safeway, Fred Meyer, King's, Walgreens and health food stores. The all-natural cookies come in 12 flavors including Fruit & Nut, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, and Lemon Poppy Seed. To support the launch, a print advertising campaign in health and fitness publications will take place. In addition to the national advertising campaign, Baker’s Breakfast Cookies will sponsor various sampling programs at a variety of fitness events, and also sponsor a national triathlon team of top amateur athletes from across the nation.

141 Worldwide has unveiled an integrated campaign for Cayman Brac, the lesser known sister island to the Grand Cayman. Cayman Brac is about 20 minutes away from the main island, and offers the finest accommodations with full amenities. The campaign will use a mix of print advertising, direct mail, and online advertising. Ads will debut in the April issues of Audubon, Natural History and Island magazines to drive traffic to their newly designed website. A separate campaign targeting the travel trade will take place over the next two months involving publicity and familiarization for travel writers.

That little purple pill has taken over Accuweather.com . AstraZeneca is running a campaign to promote Nexium, their chronic heartburn drug. The promotion, designed by Avenue A, will run for eight weeks. One day of every week, AccuWeather.com visitors who go to the site to receive their 15-day forecast will be taken to a page that is completely purple. All surrounding ads on the page will be Nexium ads. There will also be text links to Nexium drug information and a link asking site visitors "Why is this page purple?", which will take users to the Nexium site where visitors can sign up for a free drug trial.

Kia Motors America will spend $40 million on a campaign for its Sedona minivan. The ads debuted on March 10, on both broadcast and cable TV, and were created by David and Goliath, Los Angeles. Three humorous 30-second ads were created; one shows an orangutan at a zoo grabbing a boy while his mom tries to take a picture, and another shows a blindfolded girl whacking two other children with a stick as she tries to break a piñata. The tagline of these commercials is "Protect them while you can".

Model Lauren Hutton has launched her own website, which will sell her new makeup line. Designed by Prime Visibility, the site showcases Hutton’s Good Stuff Makeup line, which offers 12 different products and is made especially for older women who want to look and feel younger. The site also offers a mailing list for users to join, and a small area of pictures of Hutton from her youth to recently.



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