Out to Launch

Discovery Channel promotes Rameses. VH1's BIG IN '04 Awards goes guerrilla at Times Square and Grand Central Terminal. Duracell sets the record straight. Let's launch!

Who hasn't partnered with the movie "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"? Last week it was AFLAC, this week it's Papa John's. Papa John's partnered with Paramount Pictures for the release of the movie with a TV campaign that launched this week. The TV spot, "Papa's Fortunate Deal," offers customers purchasing a large Papa John's pizza with up to five toppings for $13.99 a limited edition Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events sample CD-ROM. The CD-ROM includes a playable demo of Activision's PC game featuring the series, as well as feature film previews and celebrity interviews. TV ads are running nationally and locally. Zimmerman Partners Advertising created the campaign.



Keeping with pizza, Circuit City has teamed up with Pizza Hut for a holiday campaign incorporating Circuit City's new tag line: "Just what I needed." The campaign consists of an online, in-store, and in-home outreach components. Pizza Hut customers who order a pizza for delivery between Nov. 21 and Dec. 21 will receive a box topper coupon for $5.00 off any purchase at Circuit City over $25. In addition to the coupons, consumers can enter to win a year's supply of pizza and a high-definition television. Draft Chicago created the campaign.

VH1, in conjunction with Universal Consulting Group and Mr. Youth hit the streets of NYC last week to promote VH1's BIG IN '04 Awards, which aired Dec. 5. Reality stars who were big in 2004 were in Times Square and outside Grand Central Terminal handing out rubber bracelets (I picked up a "Free Martha" one) with slogans from the past year's reality shows. Additional slogans included "You're So Fired," "Lipsync or Die" and "Economic Girly Man." Each reality star wore a smock or shirt that said, "I was big in '04" and "I wish I was big in '04." Reality stars, experiencing minute 20 of their 15 minutes of fame, who were handing out bracelets were Adam Mesh of "The Average Joe"; Heidi Bressler of "The Apprentice"; Bob Guiney of "The Bachelor"; Kimberly Caldwell of "American Idol"; and Kevin O'Connor and Drew Feinberberg of "The Amazing Race."

Discovery Channel and itraffic teamed up to promote "Rameses: Wrath of God or Man?" The two-hour special aired on Dec. 5, and attempted to answer the question of who really murdered the son of Rameses, the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt... and why? A set of page units appeared on for the two hours leading up to the show. The units "took over" the content of the page as flies, locusts, and hail, key components in the Biblical 10 plagues - invading the space. These lead to the 10th plague, which states that "God slew all the first born of Egypt" (including Rameses' son) - the very murder the show explores. The campaign ran from December 1 through 5 on, Yahoo!, AOL,,,, and Beliefnet.

AKQA has developed an integrated campaign for Treo. The campaign includes online advertising, print, television, outdoor (airport), and a Web site. The Web site launched at the end of November and invites consumers to experience life with a Treo in a choose-your-own-adventure format. Print work appeared in issues of Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, The New Yorker and Hemispheres, and 15-second spots are running during "The Today Show," "The O.C.," "Good Morning America," and "Next Top Model."

I had no idea this was such a hot topic. Duracell has launched a campaign that addresses a widely held consumer misconception that "heavy duty" or "super heavy duty" zinc batteries provide long-lasting, strong performance. The print and radio ads fall under the umbrella of Duracell's "Trusted Everywhere" campaign, which was developed by the Acme Idea Company. The print ads launched on November 22 and emphasize the performance superiority of alkaline batteries. The ads also include visuals of "heavy duty" and "super heavy duty" batteries so consumers can recognize the differences. The campaign claims that "Heavy duty" batteries provide significantly less performance over time, yield only a fraction of the life and are more sensitive to effects of temperature compared to an alkaline battery. Duracell also is running a radio commercial that discusses the misconceptions about zinc batteries.

Dr. Martens has taken an alternative approach to your usual ad campaigns by launching a documentary project. Veer, Outside of Ordinary is a series of six short documentary films developed by Buder Engel & Friends, that explore the lives of six unique individuals. The films feature a motorbike courier, an artist, a silversmith, a roadie, a D,J and a structural surveyor. The films were shot in England, the home of Dr. Martens, and will be shown on Spike TV in the spring of 2005, supported by grassroots marketing initiatives.

Tierney Communications out of Philadelphia has created an interesting campaign for C.F. Martin & Co. acoustic guitars. The campaign features "endorsements" not by artists who play Martins, but by the songs they created on their Martins. The lyrics from Dave Matthews', "Where are you going?" (2001); Gordon Lightfoot's, "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1973); and John Mayer's, "No such thing" (2001) were all written on Martins. The tag line of the campaign is: "Music history. Martin history." Ads are running in Accoustic Guitar, Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Guitar World, and Vintage Guitar Magazine.

OceanGroup has created a campaign for Panasonic. The three 30-second ads feature Panasonic's Plasma TV and DVD recorder product lines and were actually shot using Panasonic High Definition cameras. The campaign is running in 46 markets on TV and in 17 national print publications. Panasonic hopes to generate a total of 1.5 billion audience impressions.

Cingular Wireless launched a campaign touting its position as the nation's biggest wireless carrier. The company also debuted a new tag line: "Raising the Bar," along with a new logo that uses the existing orange Cingular logo, followed by the word "Cingular" written in blue. Created by BBDO Atlanta and BBDO New York, the campaign is running on national TV, national and local newspapers, radio, and online. In "Charging," the ad introduces the power of the newly combined company (Cingular and AT&T Wireless) and emphasizes how Cingular has created the largest mobile-to-mobile calling community in the United States. Another spot called "Rocket Unit" shows pitcher Randy Johnson ("The Big Unit") morphing with Roger "The Rocket" Clemens, demonstrating how the Cingular/AT&T Wireless merger will bring consumers the best of both companies.

In Web site launches this week:

Kmart has re-launched its Web site. The site offers a user-friendly interface, an improved search function, as well as diversified product assortments spanning all categories. Atop the home page are links to brands exclusive to Kmart, including Martha Stewart Everyday, Thalia Sodi, Jaclyn Smith, and Route 66. In conjunction with the site re-launch, is offering customers the chance to "Win Your Holiday Wish List." Shoppers can register now through December 24, to win up to $500 in merchandise. One shopper will be chosen daily. The site was designed and built by Fry Inc.

An online employment resource has launched in Texas to provide free employment resources for both job seekers and employers. Texas Workforce Solutions, a partnership between the Texas Workforce Commission and the 28 local boards around the state of Texas, launched the site. The site matches employers of all sizes and types to qualified job seekers across the state. The site is offered in English and Spanish, and is backed by live help from workforce professionals throughout the state.

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