Out to Launch

Allstate campaigns during the Sugar and Orange Bowls. Smirnoff debuts prepared cocktails. Watch out: It's Flu season. Let's launch!

The Animal Protection Institute (API) is unveiling a mobile billboard in Tampa today that highlights the misery that circus animals face. The campaign depicts an elephant in chains and asking the question -- "Would you chain your dog for most of her life? Why pay a circus to do it to elephants?" According to API, outdoor companies rejected the ad, hence the "mobile" billboard that will be driven around the Tampa area. The campaign coincides with the circus coming to town. Literally. Ringling Bros. kicks off its 135th edition today. API is also running a 30-second TV spot, which ends tomorrow, locally on Animal Planet, Lifetime Movie Network, TBS, and The Learning Channel.

Office Depot is "Taking Care of Business" by launching a new tag line, ad campaign, and sports sponsorship platform. The "Taking Care of Business" TV and radio ads focus on how business people depend on Office Depot to provide them with the tools they need to get the job done right. In addition, Office Depot signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with NASCAR to become its first-ever "Official Office Products Partner." This relationship with NASCAR will be Office Depot's primary national sponsorship platform and will be promoted through NASCAR-themed customer promotions, advertising, and in-store displays, to name a few. BBDO New York created the campaign.



Random trivia question of the week: If you were to stretch the number of people that saved money using Allstate's auto insurance last year, just how long would this chain be? According to Allstate's latest campaign, enough to stretch from the Gulf of Mexico to the Grand Canyon. "Line," created by Leo Burnett, Chicago debuted this week during the Sugar and Orange Bowls. The thirty-second spot, part of Allstate's "Our Stand" campaign, will also run on NBC, ABC and FOX through the month of January, and during the premiere episode of Fox's "24," which features Allstate spokesman Dennis Haysbert. The spot informs viewers that by switching their insurance to Allstate, 1 million people saved an average of $338 annually.

Agent155 Media Group, a provider of multimedia content management tools to artists, athletes, musicians, filmmakers, and agencies worldwide, will launch a NYC subway campaign targeting commuters in mid-January. The company worked with Viacom to implement the campaign and hopes to obtain 130 million impressions over the month-long run. The ads will appear in subway cars and on platforms. Agent155 is also planning a London Tube campaign in the future.

Mixed drinks made easy by Smifnoff. The company launched its first ever vodka line of prepared cocktails in two flavors: Screwdriver and Cape Codder. Smirnoff Signatures debuted in mid-December, but advertising plans are still in the early stages of development. Diageo plans to launch TV ads beginning in June and ending in August or September, and a possible second flight during November and December.

Days before Christmas, NBC Pixmen entertained shoppers with video screens mounted on their shoulders showcasing sneak previews of the new NBC series "Medium," "Committed," and the third installment of "The Apprentice." Stunting took place on December 22 in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. The Pixmen also distributed a CD-Rom including longer length previews of the new NBC shows, upcoming series from NBC Universal cable channels, and full-length trailers from Universal Pictures films and DVD releases. The NBC Agency designed the stunt.

Roche, promoting its prescription drug Tamiflu, has launched a Desktop Flu Tracker, which allows users to track the appearance and spread of flu in any community in the continental United States. Developed by AdTools, the software provides up-to-date information about local and national flu levels, and also alerts users when there is an increased risk in their area. The Desktop Flu Tracker utilizes information from FluSTAR (System for Tracking And Reporting Flu), a surveillance system that provides reporting of flu activity nationwide. The Desktop Flu Tracker can be programmed to cover three geographic locations, and uses an animated character to deliver alerts along with the differences between cold and flu.

Keeping with the Flu, the Ad Council has launched a PSA to provide Americans with information about flu vaccinations. The campaign asks Americans to "Give Others a Shot." The CDC stresses that flu shots need to go to those who are most vulnerable. This includes children aged 6 to 23 months; adults 65 and older; those of any age with underlying chronic conditions; and residents of nursing homes. Created pro bono by Merkley + Partners, the TV, radio, and online ads provide steps to help prevent the spread of the flu.

CertaPro Painters has launched a campaign in an effort to capitalize on its position as being the only nationally branded, year-round residential and commercial painting company. The "Certainty Campaign" debuts in April and continues throughout the year. Print ads will run in national shelter magazines, including Elle, O at Home, and Metropolitan Homeand in Canadian publications such as Canadian House & Home and commercial property management publications. Growers and Nomads created the campaign.

In Web site launches this week:

Edelman has designed the first BarillaWeb site that targets American consumers. Barilla, a pasta and sauce company, is using its Italian heritage and knowledge as the site's main draw. The site, which is designed to capture the modern Italian lifestyle and highlight the country's culinary experience, educates American consumers on the nutritional benefits of pasta and sauces, provides a resource for food professionals, and offers an abundance of recipes from Italy.

Digital Media Advisors has launched its first online publication, Internet Media Review: The Journal of Online Marketing & Publishing (IMR). IMR's mission is to help print and electronic publishers understand and profit from the best practices used by the Internet's successful online publishers. The site publishes Best Practices Reports, Business Strategy Guides, Expert Reports and Resource Reviews to help publishers discover how to balance online and traditional revenue streams, maximize their profits and protect their brands. A year's subscription to IMR is $297 and gives subscribers access to more than 50 research reports and other resources.

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