Out to Launch!

Every week new ad campaigns and websites are launched, and it’s hard to keep up with them all. If you missed a few, here are this week’s highlights – so get ready for summer soft drinks, more hard alcohol on TV, and new ways to freshen your breath.

The campaign for Coca-Cola Co.’s latest flavored soft drink, Vanilla Coke, launched yesterday, will be handled by the Martin Agency, the beverage giant said last night during the launch party for the new drink. Vanilla Coke is the fifth line extension for the world’s largest soft drink: Diet Coke was introduced in 1982, followed by Cherry Coke, Diet Cherry Coke and, last year, Diet Coke with Lemon. Clips from the new Martin campaign were not shown during the festivities held in New York, but those in attendance did see the new product’s logo, which features the familiar Coke script on a background of red and orange. The soft drink will be available nationwide on May 15.



Jumping on the bandwagon, Pepsi Co. is set to launch its new line extension, Pepsi Blue, in August. The No. 2 soft drink company behind Coca-Cola, PepsiCo. let its primary audience – teenagers - develop this blue-hued combination of berry and cola flavors, which was one of 100 combination concepts tested during the past nine months. Dave Berwick, senior VP of marketing of carbonated soft drinks, said the company plans to let teens and young adults discover Pepsi Blue through the Internet, outdoor postings and other nontraditional outlets, before actively supporting the product with advertising, a strategy that was successful with its Mountain Dew, Code Red drink. Pepsi's advertising is handled by Omnicom Group’s BBDO Worldwide, New York.

Following suit, Cadbury Schweppes, the London-based beverage and confectionery company confirmed last Friday that it will introduce a new version of its Dr. Pepper drink in the U.S. in mid-July, hoping to revive interest in the No. 6 U.S. soft drink following a decline in sales. Advertising for Red Fusion, a bright red soda that has the taste of Dr Pepper with fruit flavors added, will break at the end of August/early September. The campaign includes TV, outdoor and radio and will be handled by WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York.

And that’s not all for soft drinks. The 7-Eleven Slurpee will be one of many products featured in a new ad campaign designed by creative agency GSD&M for 7-Eleven, the convenience retailer that coined the term, “brain freeze.” The provocative campaign of irreverent television and radio spots emphasizes the “crave factor” and features a series of humorous character-driven vignettes with a 7-Eleven customer as the hero. Constants in the campaign remain the “Oh Thank Heaven” tagline framed by a new audio “Slurp…..aaah” mnemonic device.

Moving on into the adult beverage isle, Captain Morgan Gold will break its first TV ad Friday night during the Los Angeles Lakers-San Antonio Spurs NBA playoff game as it officially begins its $70 million introductory marketing campaign. Three 30-second spots, per Grey Worldwide, New York, have been developed with the “Got a little Captain in you?” tagline. All spots feature three or four vignettes of men striking the Captain Morgan pose. The animated Captain Morgan appears in each spot. The announcer signs off with “Cold. Bold. Captain Morgan Gold.” National radio breaks June 20; print will break later in the year.

That’s it for drinks.

In other launch news, Kmart Corporation announced last Friday that it will unveil a new round of commercials in its “Stuff of Life” campaign, focused on two of its key assets – its high-quality, exclusive brand labels and its across-the-store value proposition. The seven new commercials were produced by Academy-Award nominee Spike Lee and produced by TBWAChiatDay in New York. They will promote the company’s top-selling brands: Martha Stewart Everyday, Jaclyn Smith, Disney. Sesame Street and Route 66. The 30- and 15-second Kmart spots will run on broadcast and cable outlets nationwide beginning this week.

Another launch via TBWAChiatDay in New York, is a banner and email campaign to promote the two-room and complimentary cooked-to-order breakfasts offered at Embassy Suites. Just in time for the peak summer travel season, customers can now link to a virtual tour of the two-room suite conducted by Austin, a character from the hotel chain's TV campaign that runs on Nickelodeon.

Campbell Soup Company announced last week that for the first time, real NFL moms will join their sons to champion Campbell’s Chunky soup in its popular “Mama’s Boys” campaign. While the commercials will feature the lighthearted humor of past campaigns, each player and mom will team up to bring the trademark Chunky soup “It fills you up right” message to members of the community at large. The addition of the players’ real-life moms is part of a creative shift to reach out to a broader audience. Creative for the campaign is handled by Young & Rubicam, New York.

To combat bad breath, Wm. Wrigley Jr. plans to extend halitosis-zapping Eclipse gum into the breath strip category with Eclipse Flash Strips and support it with a $20 million TV, print, radio and sampling campaign that will break in Oct. and run through Sept. 2003. Flash Strips advertising, per BBDO, Chicago positions the SKU as one that delivers “Fresh breath at the speed of life.”

To introduce consumers to a line of laptop personal computers, Gateway and its agency, Siltanen/Keehn Advertising, have decided to send the cow back to the barn and the chief executive back to the office. To bring out the notebook PC's, in a campaign that began late last month, Gateway and the agency decided that the focus ought to be on the products. So the spots and print ads are centered on the looks, features and abilities of the notebooks. In the commercial for the 600X, the notebook spins in space as these words appear on screen: "You've heard of kilohertz, megahertz and gigahertz. And now we present so-good-looking-it-hertz. The new 600X portable is here. See it live only at a Gateway store." The print ads are appearing in newspapers and also in computer trade publications, as an eight-page insert. The commercials are running on cable networks like CNBC and CNN.

In website news, recently launched the Video Network, featuring “Business View.” Four times a business day, anchor Tara Murphy presents executive bulletins, each lasting less than two minutes but packed with the Forbes perspective on the important business and market news stories of the day. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. is sponsoring the webcasts.

Computer products and services firm CDW launched a national advertising campaign last week featuring its recurring unseen character, “Fred, the I.T. Guy.” The campaign, created by DWP Bates Technology, Atlanta, consists of TV, print, online and radio ads, and features CDW’s first new tagline in four years, “The right technology. Right away.” The TV spots show a view from Fred’s perspective, as office workers come to him with laughable requests for IT help. TV ads will air on cable networks including CNN, Comedy Channel and Discovery Channel. Print ads will appear in Forbes, PC World and other publications that reach tech execs. Radio spots will air in select local markets later this month, as will online ads.

Speaking of websites, Sharpe Partners has launched a mini-site to help its client, Fujifilm USA, promote the hip, new Q1 Camera. Because the Internet plays such an important role in the lives of young adults, the Q1 site is the primary vehicle for Fujifilm USA to introduce the brand. The launch will be supported by rich media advertising on,, and

-- This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Lindsey Fadner. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.

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