Out to Launch

Volkswagen puts the kids to work. Showtime's Huff debuts a massive integrated campaign. The Peninsula Hotels rein in Annie Leibovitz to photograph its multi-year global campaign. Let's launch!

Visa USA has teamed up with Walt Disney Pictures to market National Treasure, a movie starring Nicolas Cage. The movie is the focus of Visa's campaign to drive usage among cardholders this holiday season. The campaign includes interactive elements and special events tied to the movie's "treasure" theme. The campaign launched Nov. 1, building up to the film's national release on Nov. 19. One campaign element is the Year of Treasure Sweepstakes. This promotion automatically enters cardholders who use their Visa card in November and December for a chance to win the total amount of their Visa purchases made on their winning Visa card from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2004. Another promotion entitled Reveal the Treasure, is an online instant win game that uses eDecoder game pieces to reveal prizes on the Visa Web site. Prizes include AAA vacations and Visa AAA prepaid gift cards.



Launching this week, Intrawest Corporation debuted ads to promote its family of resort villages, specifically ski packages at resorts such as Whistler, Copper, Stratton, and Mont Tremblant. Aimed at busy families and couples, the campaign focuses on the more human elements of why people take vacations. The campaign, from Hill, Holliday in New York, consists of print, radio, outdoor, and direct mail elements. Outdoor portions include train platforms, car cards, bus sides, and billboards in the Tri-State area. Print ads launch on Nov. 5 in regional editions of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and regional dailies including Long Island Newsday, Newark Star Ledger, and The Bergen Record.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation launched a $20 million campaign last week featuring Hyatt brand and Gold Passport advertising. The campaign features a series of 14 TV spots (six 30-second spots and eight 15-second spots) and marks a return to television for Hyatt after a 10-year hiatus. The campaign was created by Cramer-Krasselt. Entitled 'Spliced,' the campaign is based on the notion that at any given moment, interesting human dramas are being played out at Hyatts all over the world. Hyatt's brand advertising features an end line that reads: "This is not your typical hotel story. This is the Hyatt touch." The spots will run through 2004 and throughout 2005 on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, The Golf Channel, BRAVO, The Travel Channel, and A&E. A print version of the campaign will break in national lifestyle, travel and business magazines in early 2005.

Keeping with hotels, The Peninsula Hotels' global advertising campaign features the work of renowned portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz."Portraits of Peninsula" is a collection of black-and-white photos where Leibovitz departs from her tradition of celebrity portraits to focus on the people and personalities behind the Peninsula brand. The campaign shows the faces of Peninsula pageboys, housekeepers, and bellmen and was implemented by AGENCYSACKS, New York. In one shot, The Peninsula Hong Kong's fleet manager stands next to one of the hotel's 14 Rolls-Royces, and a 1934 Phantom II. In another, a white-uniformed Peninsula pageboy navigates down a busy Manhattan street, -- with an assortment of guests' dogs. The multi-year campaign will be introduced with an eight-page insert in November issues of luxury lifestyle, travel and business magazines, including Travel + Leisure, Departures, Town & Country, and Forbes. Ads also will run in select U.S. and international newspapers in 2004 and 2005 and beyond.

AKQA launched a teaser campaign aimed at the millions of gamers waiting for the debut of Halo 2 on Nov. 9. Pre-orders for Xbox-exclusive title have passed 1.5 million in the United States alone, guaranteeing first-day revenues higher than any movie in history. Online ads direct gamers to the Halo 2 Web site and are running on IGN, Gamespy, UGO, and Gamespot with the message "Earth will never be the same." The Halo 2 site brings the user into the world of Halo from the perspective of the Covenant, the alien forces determined to wipeout humankind. Interestingly enough, the site is not in a language that any human would understand (and if they do, I'm frightened) and site navigation obeys "alien logic." The campaign launched across 19 countries in 17 languages and targets males between 15 and 30.

Showtime has launched a campaign touting its new series HUFF, premiering on Nov. 7. The 13-episode dramatic series is the story of Dr. Craig "Huff" Huffstodt, portrayed by Hank Azaria. The campaign consists of national TV, local radio, print, outdoor, and online advertising. Showtime will run ads on CBS as well as MTV, VH1, Nick at Nite, TV Land, and Comedy Central. Print ads are running in Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly, People, In Touch Weekly, Vanity Fair, Jane, InStyle, and Star, among others. Outdoor components of the campaign will include bus shelters, bulletins, and billboards in New York and Los Angeles. Online, HUFF will be promoted through banner ads, e-mail blasts, and partnerships with MSN Video, eBay and others. Additionally, a Web site dedicated exclusively to the show is being created.

The celebs continue to sign up for LA INC. The Convention and Visitors Bureau's "SeeMyLA" tourism campaign. The "SeeMyLA" campaign uses the faces of celebrities and their favorite quotes to promote visiting Los Angeles. The print campaign appears at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)'s customs and arrivals areas. The campaign, scheduled to run through Sept. 2005, features David Hasselhoff, Della Reese, Diane Keaton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lionel Richie, Melissa Etheridge, Tom Arnold, Tommy Lasorda, and Wolfgang Puck, to name a few. Diane Keaton's quote for the campaign is "I love L.A.'s hidden architectural treasures. From downtown's movie palaces to sleek modernist masterpieces."

Volkswagen's latest broadcast TV ads were created, produced, and directed by high school teens. The ads aren't hawking the latest cars, though. The ads are an attempt at using peer pressure to convince more teens to wear safety belts. Roughly 5,500 young people die in car crashes every year. As part of the contest sponsored by Volkswagen, high school students were challenged to create and produce 30-second PSAs to convince their peers to buckle up. Three finalists were chosen and their PSAs aired nationally during MTV's "Total Request Live" on Sept. 13. The TV spots were produced as part of Fasten Your Seat Belt ... Go Far!, a national safety belt education program and contest, created by Volkswagen of America and implemented by Scholastic Marketing Partners. The two companies worked together to develop a car safety program, sending out curriculum kits to 14,000 high school language arts and social studies teachers, of grades nine through 12, in 10 major U.S. cities. The trio of student finalists each received a digital video camera. The finalist was awarded a $10,000 savings bond; the second- and third-place winners received $3,000 and $1,500 savings bonds, respectively.

72andSunny has created a campaign for Musicmatch's digital music player and subscription service, Jukebox 9.0. The campaign focuses on the advantages Musicmatch Jukebox 9.0 offers over competing services, which gives customers unlimited access to Musicmatch's 650,000-song library for $8 a month. Banners and in-product ads tout Jukebox 9.0 by twisting familiar song titles like: "Pour Some 9.0 On Me," "Smells Like 9.0 Spirit," and "9.0 the Casbah." Radio spots spoof stadium rock concert commercials to promote the On Demand service as literally: "The greatest concert of all time," and pairs up Metallica with Enya.

In Web site launches this week:

Avenue A/Razorfish redesigned the Taj Hotels Resorts and PalacesWeb site. The redesigned site includes an interactive map-based hotel finder, wedding and meeting planners, an interactive Food & Wine section and a section for travel agents. The site contains corporate information about the company, with sections targeted specifically to media, investors, and job seekers.

Creative agency Giant Ideas launched "Giant Radio" as part of the launch of its revamped Web site. Giant Radio provides both AM and FM channels where listeners can get a taste of two distinctively different audio experiences. The AM channel features Giant Talk Radio, Giant Ideas' monthly radio show that can be heard live on Pittsburgh radio station KQV-1410 AM and features monthly guests, and marketing and advertising advice. The FM channel features original music by Giant Ideas staffers.

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