Out to Launch

Every week new ad campaigns and websites are launched, and it’s hard to keep up with them all. To recap some of this week’s highlights: Levi Strauss & Company dare men to wear jeans “dangerously low,” Coca-Cola Company has created a girl band to promote its Fanta brand, and PepsiCo. is putting to test the acting abilities of Yankee heartthrob Derek Jeter. Here are the details.

Levi Strauss & Company is embarking on an ambitious effort to turn around its struggling American operations with a campaign that promotes Low Rise Jeans for both men and women. While women's low-rise denim has grown increasingly popular, Levi Strauss is expanding the style to its men's jeans line and celebrating for both sexes what the campaign calls the "dangerously low" possibilities of wearing your pants. The ads are the first major work to appear in this country from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the British creative powerhouse agency that handles the Levi's brand in Asia and Europe. The New York office of Bartle Bogle was awarded the estimated $60 million North American Levi's jeans account in January, after Levi Strauss dismissed TBWA/Chiat/Day, the division of TBWA Worldwide, owned by the Omnicom Group, that had handled the assignment for four years. Six initial print ads in the campaign show fit young models of both sexes in dark locales, wearing Low Rise Jeans and tough looks. The words "Dangerously low. Levi's Low Rise Jeans" are printed on the light. Television commercials will debut later in the summer.



Auto news: DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group will launch a new series of radio, print and television advertisements playing up the German influence on the company's traditional American Chrysler brands, but without specifically mentioning that Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz share the same parent. The new ads will launch Chrysler's heavy promotion of its seven-year, 70,000- mile powertrain warranty, which the company announced Monday. George Murphy, Chrysler's senior vice president for global marketing, said the new ads, developed by BBDO Detroit, will run for about 60 days. He added Chrysler is still evaluating exactly how to carry the campaign forward into the 2003 model launch in the fall.

Ford will title sponsor the fourth annual U.X. Open Tour mountain golf tournament for the first time this year. Heavy ad support in Golf Digest begins with a four-page, event-themed spread featuring the Ford Explorer in the August issue. Ford will run two-pagers in the three subsequent issues. U.X. Open golf is played over a 10-hole rugged course, with special rules to accommodate the extreme terrain. Three regional qualifying events will be held in August and September, with the championship to take place in Washington on Sept. 28. The Golf Channel will broadcast the finals, in which Ford will run numerous spots, on Oct. 21.

Lincoln Mercury and Cingular Wireless will initiate late-summer promotional events at two of the nation's leading zoos. In conjunction with the launch of its new Aviator SUV, Lincoln Mercury will oversee "Labor Day Launch at the Minnesota Zoo" while Cingular Wireless will host the "Monkey Around Weekend at the Bronx Zoo" in New York starting Saturday Aug. 24. The events are being handled by TSE Sports & Entertainment, New York. Lincoln Mercury will support the event with print ads, which offer one free zoo admission per family with the purchase of a $10 regular admission ticket. Cingular Wireless will promote its event through targeted radio spots and print ads, which will offer free children's admission to thousands of attendees. The weekend's event will culminate with appearances by New York sports and entertainment legends of Hispanic decent.

Meanwhile, Cingular Wireless New York has also teamed up with 3D digital production house, Charlex, and BBDO New York/Atlanta to produce “Taxi Dance,” one of a five-spot campaign that launched on July 8. Another spot in the campaign, “Miss Liberty,” was shot by Director Nick Lewin for Crossroads Films with Alan Neidorf, Charlex Flame/Smoke artist, performing on-set effects supervision. The remaining spots, "Know It All,”"Steam Vent,” and “Subway,” all use artful post-production effects in the white Cingular world to convey the company’s fun approach to New York City.

Visual effects and design company A52 announced details of their visual effects and design work for J. Walter Thompson's new Baileys Irish Cream :30 spot entitled "Swirls," which debuted on national cable in mid-June. In the spot, several friends enjoy some Baileys while awaiting their friend Tom. In one glass, the Baileys is shown to swirl around dramatically. Meanwhile, while making his way to the party, the roving friend Tom encounters several visions that imitate the dramatic Baileys swirl, including swirls in a puddle in the street, a waterfall storefront, a spout of steam and the night sky itself.

Coca-Cola may not have Britney Spears as a spokeswoman, but it hopes to build a similar image with its Fanta brand. The company has created a new band, dubbed "The Fantanas," as a marketing tool aimed at competing with its rival for the money and tastes of American teenagers. Scantily clad in outfits the color of Fanta flavors being sold in the United States (orange, pineapple, strawberry and grape), the Fantanas are beginning to appear in television, radio and Internet promotions for Fanta, Coke's orange soda brand that was a fixture in American stores from 1958 to the late 1980's. The Fantanas television and radio advertisements are already airing in some parts of the country and will be broadcast throughout the summer.

PepsiCo Beverages and Foods North America launched a new campaign of its own, testing the acting skills of New York Yankee Derek Jeter in a 30-second spot that breaks July 9 for its Gatorade Fierce brand. Set in a Gothic stadium, Jeter challenges a Gargoyle to bring on the heat in the spot created by Omnicom Group's Element 79, Chicago. It made its debut during Major League Baseball's All Star Game telecast.

Looking to reinvigorate the Mitchum brand, which hasn't advertised since 1992, Revlon turned to Deutsch New York for a campaign designed to deliver the Mitchum message in a fresher, memorable and more modern way than traditional men's deodorant advertising. The new campaign took to the airwaves on July 5th on national network, cable and spot television. The campaign will also air on programs including FOX's Major League Baseball, Comedy Central's Man Show and South Park.

Website launches: Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services has redesigned its website with significantly enhanced navigation and search capabilities. The site enables efficient browsing of a large collection of different news-related products across dozens of topics and media types. New features, designed to improve versatility and ease of use, include an archive with more than 500,000 stories and images; a calendar of major events that KRT covers; a section devoted to bringing together all types of timely KRT content on topics like world news, U.S. politics, sports and entertainment; and the ability to search any part of the database from anywhere on the site.

-- 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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