Out to Launch

Extreme outdoor campaigns and guerilla marketing efforts. Let's launch!

Luke... Come to the Dark side... of M&Ms. Times Square received a visit yesterday from an X-wing Fighter spacecraft, Storm Troopers, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader, along with his M&M's Brand Character counterpart M-Vader. The group unveiled Dark Chocolate M&Ms, or better yet, "secret cargo captured from the other side of the Empire." Dark Chocolate M&Ms will be available for purchase on April 2 and were specifically developed to celebrate the release of "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith". Both Dark and Milk Chocolate M&Ms feature special Star Wars-themed colors and packaging depicting the M&Ms Spokescandies in movie scenarios. "Red" and "Yellow" will play Jedi Obi-Wan and Darth Vader respectively. "Darth Mix" features black, maroon, purple, dark blue, and silver M&Ms. The milk chocolate "Jedi Mix" contains beige, cream, pastel green, gold, and light-saber blue.



Saatchi and Saatchi NY launched a print and outdoor campaign for Air Tahiti Nui's first-ever non-stop flight service from New York to Tahiti. The campaign doesn't use logos or flagrant branding and is the airline's first large-scale consumer campaign. Ads contain a continuous line that connects something distinctly New York to something distinctly Tahitian, including the big New York City skyline connecting to the small island of Tahiti. Print ads will appear in Travel & Leisure, New York Magazine, Conde Nast, Time Out, Gotham, and The Wall Street Journal, and drive traffic to an Air Tahiti Web site. Outdoor ads will appear throughout Soho, the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, and the West Village as well as high visibility locations such as Times Square, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Ferry Ports, and Grand Central Shuttle Branded Subway Cars (I wonder if this campaign is similar to what HBO did for it's series "Deadwood?" Did HBO pave the way for the "S" train to become a branded entity? I'll keep my eyes peeled). The campaign will expand to Los Angeles and Sydney markets later in the year. Air Tahiti Nui will also be sponsoring "Tahiti Non-Stop Week" in Manhattan from April 25 to April 29 - featuring public Tahitian dance performances with 70 dancers, tattoo artists, models, Tahitian pearl jewelry, chefs, Tahitian vanilla, beer, and flowers.

I pass the Flatiron building on my way to and from work and it's by far my favorite building in the city. Apparently everything has a price for the Flatiron's front now contains a massive ad for H&M's spring 2005 collection. Bring back an ad-free Flatiron! The ad went up on March 22 and showcases H&M's SpringCatwalk campaign. The billboard is 200 feet tall by 76 feet wide and will mask the scaffolding and construction elevators installed on the exterior of the building for a planned two-year refurbishment. Up close, the ad, created in-house, looks like its three separate pieces of fabric joined together. MediaCom is H&M's media agency, but the agency was not involved in this negotiation. H&M dealt directly with the vendor that represented the landlord. The company wouldn't comment on how much the month-long campaign cost, but I bet they paid through the roof.

FreeCar Media launched a national advertising campaign for Coca-Cola's new energy drink, Full Throttle. Targeting a blue collar demographic, the agency wrapped 14 brand new Cement Trucks with Full Throttle creative and equipped each truck with a Female Full Throttle Brand Influencer/Sampler. Each Full Throttle Cement Truck drives a specific route and stops at construction sites, manufacturing plants, Home Depots and other relevant locations/events. At each stop consumers are educated about the brand and given samples of Full Throttle and Full Throttle branded key chains.

On March 25, in seven markets, The NBC Agency staged a stunting event for the new NBC series, "The Office." Men dressed in business suits wearing sandwich boards that stated "My Boss Sucks" walked up and down high pedestrian traffic business sectors driving tune-in for the half hour show. The series takes a humorous look into the 9-to-5 world, and is based on the BBC hit of the same name. The events took place in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Ever wonder where the stairs in Rocky led? I know I channel Rocky Balboa's energy each time I climb an immense flight of stairs but never knew where the actual steps brought people. Until now. The 72 steps lead up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the museum has placed the face of Salvador Dali on the steps to support the Salvador Dali exhibit taking place at the museum through May 15. The exhibition celebrates the anniversary of Dali's 1904 birth. StareWays created the campaign, which is vinyl that's placed on the face of the steps (as opposed to the ground where people would walk all over it).

StarLink Worldwide recently brokered its first branded entertainment deal with the Discovery Channel. On behalf of its client Caterpillar, the agency struck a deal with Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" to feature a custom-built Caterpillar Chopper on the show. The "Cat Chopper" build will air on the April 4 and April 11 episodes of "American Chopper." In addition, Caterpillar is launching a companion "Cat Chopper Tour" on May 1, with more than 30 scheduled appearances at Caterpillar dealers across the country. The "Chopper Tour" will make additional stops at Caterpillar facilities and community events, beginning with a Caterpillar employee premiere viewing in Peoria, Ill., on April 11.

There's money in this! Sign me up. Archrival has created and developed Nebraska Book Company's national branding and advertising campaign for its GotUsed bookstores. College students around the country will try their hands in the "serious" sport of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Approximately 100 college competitors and their guests will compete in the first ever National Collegiate Rock, Paper, Scissors Invitational Tournament to be held in South Beach, Fla. April 14 to 17, and officially sanctioned by the World Rock Paper Scissors Society. Who knew a society existed? Each winner will bring one guest or "trainer" and be provided with airfare, hotel and $300 cash to compete in the tournament. The tournament winner will receive $5,000 and go on to compete in the 2005 World RPS Championship.

Newcastle Brown Ale has launched a 20-city grassroots marketing campaign using three-person street teams dubbed "Ale Blazers." The street teams will visit local bars around the country to drive product sampling, educate consumers about Newcastle Brown Ale's unique taste, and establish a stronger brand presence. Ale Blazer teams will interact with bar patrons and offer attendees the chance to win Newcastle branded items including key chains, t-shirts, pins and hats, and a 64 MB Newcastle Brown Ale jump drive pen. The campaign began in February and ends in May, hitting 20 cities including: Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Albany, Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and New York.

"STARTING OVER", a daytime television drama, has hit the road to bring the show's positive messages to more than a dozen cities across the United States. The "Starting Over in America Tour" includes the show's Life Coaches, Rhonda Britten and Iyanla Vanzant, and Consulting Psychologist, Dr. Stan J. Katz, who will present a free and informative program that encourages audiences to make the kinds of positive changes that are featured on the show. The tour began in February and will be supported by local affiliate promotions, radio partnerships, sweepstakes, and print ads. "STARTING OVER" features a group of women living together in a Hollywood Hills home and striving to improve their lives. Women reside in the house for six to 12 weeks, depending on the scope of her "project" and her rate of progress toward her goal. The promotional tour is designed to create show awareness and increase viewership in various markets. The events will take place at 15 major malls across the country. Hadley Media and NBC Universal Domestic Television Marketing collaborated on the multi-media effort.

Foxtons North America has launched an integrated campaign and a new slogan: "LOV3%" which refers to Foxtons 3 percent commission premium real estate services. The $15 million campaign includes outdoor ads, a print campaign targeting the tri-state area, radio spots, branded Mini Coopers and a new magazine called Foxtons. Forest green Foxtons Mini Coopers have been wrapped with images and colors reminiscent of the 1960s (or for me, any Austin Powers movie) and come complete with phones, fax machines, and Wi-Fi capabilities. The company also sent more than 1 million copies of Foxtons magazine throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

In Web Site launches this week:

Old Navy is making Daylight Savings Time a memorable experience by declaring April 3, 2005 "The First Official Day of Flip-Flops." Old Navy encourages everyone to celebrate the extra hour of daylight and the official start of flip-flop season by heading outdoors to expose their toes. Excerpts from Michael Downing's new book "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time" and other useful and fun information about Daylight Saving Time can be found on the site. I spent a good amount of time in the "Flip-Flop Do's and Dont's" section while simultaneously figuring out my Flip-Flop Personality. I think I'm "The Urbanite." Marsteller Advertising created the site.

Spunlogic has launched a Spanish-language microsite for the HealthSmart Bed by Simmons. The HealthSmart Bed features a zip-off mattress top that can be laundered or dry-cleaned to remove stains. On the site visitors can download a video that demonstrates the proper care and laundering of the HealthSmart Bed, as well as where to find a local dealer. 

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