Out to Launch

CNN shows its funny side. Gap gets into the holiday spirit. Branded taxi cabs? Let's launch!

Gap's holiday campaign features Sarah Jessica Parker along with Josh Duhamel, Mary J. Blige, Will Kemp, J.C. Chasez, Frankie Rayder, Joy Bryant, Kelis, and Van Hunt. Phew. The campaign features three 30-second spots that follow Parker celebrating with friends at holiday parties. Parker teams up with Duhamel and Blige in the first spot, "Warmth." The spot takes place in a lounge filled with plush white faux fur sofas. Parker, Duhamel, and Blige are dressed in a faux fur lined vest, suede jacket, and velvet blazer. In the second spot called "Shine," Parker welcomes friends Kemp, Chasez, Rayder, and Bryant to an elegant penthouse apartment party. Parker, Kemp, Kelis, and Van Hunt appear in the final spot entitled "Color." The TV campaign debuts tomorrow. The holiday spots will run on all major networks and cable through December 22. Laird+Partners created the campaign.



I've always said that I could listen to Anderson Cooper talk about the weather all day long. Lucky for me, he does just that in CNN's latest campaign. Cooper, along with fellow on-air personalities Christiane Amanpour, Wolf Blitzer, Lou Dobbs, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Paula Zahn show their comedic side to promote the power of the CNN brand across multiple platforms. The ads highlight CNN's reach and accessibility on TV and the Web and use the tag line: " The Power of CNN Under Your Command." The ads will appear on CNN, CNN Headline News, and on other Turner networks (TNT, TBS, and Cartoon Network). There will also be spot cable and broadcast buys, and some of the ads will run in Regal Theaters nationwide from Dec. 12 through 31. Hungry Man Productions created the ads.

From Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, and every Wednesday until Dec. 22, lucky New Yorkers can win free cab, subway, and bus rides as part of the HSBC Free Ride/Free Checking program. The promotion was created by Renegade Marketing Group, and is an extension of last year's HSBC Bank Cab program. New York commuters can "earn" a free ride by correctly answering one trivia question about New York City posed by red-and-white attired BankCab teams stationed throughout Manhattan (I saw them at Grand Central Terminal). For correct answers to "Big Apple" trivia, HSBC will award $2 Metrocards or free rides in roaming HSBC red-and-white checkered cabs. Also, HSBC Bank customers that show their HSBC ATM, debit, or credit card can travel free during the promotional period.

Keeping with branded cabs (who knew they were so popular), Interoute, the U.K.-based owner and operator of Europe's largest communications network, has kicked off a guerrilla marketing campaign in New York, using London-style taxis, in an effort to connect U.S. companies with their satellite offices overseas. The campaign is part of a global, yearlong marketing effort created by U.K. agency Bite. The U.S. campaign begins with direct mail pieces, including a teaser flyer featuring a riff on the British Union Jack. Next, British telemarketers are calling targeted U.S. executives, inviting them to take a ride in a branded London-style taxi to anywhere they wish to go in the metropolitan area. The branded taxi will include a flat panel television playing an Interoute presentation and - if riders agree in advance - a New York-based Interoute executive will come along for the ride to discuss the company in more detail and answer any questions. The taxi portion of the campaign concludes at the end of the month; The DM efforts will continue through the end of the year.

To support the launch of For Me, a lifestyle magazine targeted to women between the ages of 25 to 35, Hachette Filipacchi has launched a TV campaign to air on cable TV in Atlanta throughout the month of November. Created in-house, the 30-second spots will run on BET, Bravo, Food, Nick, Oxygen, TNT, and VH1. The ad shows a woman reading her For Me magazine at a café. A friend ventures over and grows upset as her friend is too engrossed in the magazine to carry on a conversation. After some "It's For Me," "FOR ME?" banter reminiscent of "Dude," "Sweet," from "Dude Where's My Car," the ad concludes at the same café, the day after, where all the women are reading For Me and a voiceover states, "Pick up a copy of For Me... the magazine for every woman just like you!"

Adobe Systems launched its "Simplicity at Work" campaign, designed to increase the company's visibility as an enterprise software player. This also marks the unveiling of Adobe's new corporate tag line, "Better by Adobe," with a full-page ad debuting in The Wall Street Journal. The campaign is designed to build awareness for Adobe solutions with C-level enterprise executives as well as purchase decision-makers in financial services, government, and information technology markets. The campaign consists of four ads, which will run in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal as well as more segment-specific publications such as Information Week, Computerworld, Federal Computer Week, Government Computer News, and American Banker. Online advertising will run on,, ZDNet, and Yahoo!. The campaign was designed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco.

PARTNERS+simons has created a campaign for Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, which debuted on Nov. 14. The campaign launches Tweeter's new tag line, "We Can Untangle Your Mind." The spots show the ease of the Tweeter shopping experience, and the expertise of its sales staff. The ads debuted during NFL Football and will run through January during sports and news programming. The campaign supports Tweeter's rebranding strategy; Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, which currently operates under five different brands across the country, will consolidate to one national brand - Tweeter - within the next 18 months.

In its latest campaign, BET tells its competitors that they don't just face one show when competing for viewers, they face "15 The Hard Way." The campaign debuted on Monday and features 15 of BET's "deadliest show talent." BET brought together a diverse cross-section of talent from its most popular shows and programming genres as the principals for the campaign. Each star literally stalks to the rhythm of the music down a hallway with painted metal side panels and glazed cement flooring. BET Creative Services unit produced the campaign.

Can you believe Smokey the Bear is 60? The Advertising Council and the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters launched a PSA celebrating Smokey Bear's 60th birthday and provide information about wildfire prevention. The TV, radio, and print PSAs aim to decrease the number of human-caused wildfires. Smokey's message about forest fire prevention has helped to reduce the number of acres lost annually to forest fires, or wildfires, by more than 62 percent from about 22 million (1944) to 8 million (2000). Yet wildfire prevention remains a critical issue. Humans start more than 88 percent of wildfires. Created pro bono by Foote Cone & Belding-Southern California, the PSAs target campers, hikers, and mountain bikers. The campaign is the longest-running PSA in U.S. history.

In Web site launches this week:

Los Angeles-based Apollo Interactive launched a new online store for Johnny Rockets. The store features products ranging from t-shirts to mugs to the Johnny Bear stuffed toy. Apollo also implemented content management tools to allow in-house staff the ability to update the store., a service created by, has launched. The site gives landlords with rental apartments in the Metro NYC area the ability to market their listings with greater reach. The main feature of the new Web site is the Landlord Showcase, a service that offers maximum exposure of listings to's 25,000 monthly users. One-stop listing service tools include: Comparative Market Analysis and Neighborhood Average Prices Reports; Traffic Monitoring Report; Renter Incentive Options; Real-Time Updating of Listing Information; One-Click Viewing of Listings on the Web; and Broker Update Alert.

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