Out to Launch

Wheaties returns to TV after a five-year hiatus. 7-11 opens in the Big Apple. Poker is hot, and strip poker with a Victoria's Secret model is even hotter! Let's launch!

To promote its upcoming series "Weeds," Showtime bowed an on-air campaign that subtly shows places where you might not notice reefer leaves. The series stars Mary Louise Parker as a widow who sells marijuana to her wealthy friends to make ends meet. "Beautiful New Day" depicts a typical day in suburbia for Nancy Botwin (Parker). She gets the kids ready for school, meets a friend for lunch, has her nails done... and discreetly drops dime bags all over town. The campaign, which was developed by Red Group, Showtime's in-house agency, began with a 25-second teaser, "Suburban Grass." The spot pans over a suburban community and ends on a front lawn over a growth of marijuana under the text "She's got the best grass in the neighborhood." Double-entendre tag lines are used in the campaign including "a fresh new comedy about dealing in the suburbs," and "momma's got a brand new bag." 



Wheaties hasn't advertised on TV for the past five years. The cereal is back on the tube with a spot paying tribute to Los Angeles Dodger Kirk Gibson's game winning home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The ad recreates that winning moment in the context of an everyday softball game. The spot opens with two softball teams - Joe's Paint and Star Towing - facing off. Joe's Paint is down 4-3, there are two outs and all hope rests on the next batter (and his injured knee). Needless to say, our battered player hits a home run, hobbles around the bases, and is greeted at home plate by his ecstatic teammates. An 18-ounce Kirk Gibson Wheaties box is currently available nationwide. The ad was created by Saatchi & Saatchi of New York and produced by Uncle Productions.

This happens to me with song lyrics sometimes. FrontRow Active Learning Systems, a provider of voice clarification products that improve communication in noisy classrooms, launched a print campaign using "misunderstandings" to illustrate how classroom noise affects a child's ability to hear. "Michelangelo painted the Sixteenth Chapel" is the first of three full-page ads created for the back-to-school campaign. "Little Big Horn was Custer's brass band" and "The capital of Idaho is Noisy," will follow. The ads target public school educators and will appear in Teacher, Instructor Magazine, and NEA. Mortar created the campaign.

Subaru launched a campaign this week for its SUV, the Subaru B9 Tribeca. In "Dust in the Wind," an SUV pulls up and stops at a red light. A driver in a Subaru B9 Tribeca pulls up alongside it. When the B9 Tribeca pulls away, we see the SUV has turned to dust. In another scene, a passing Subaru B9 Tribeca leaves a parked SUV covered in cobwebs. The spot concludes with the vehicle passing a car carrier full of SUVs and having them all turn to dust and be blown away by the wind. The ad will run on network and national cable (History Channel, OLN, CNN, National Geographic, ESPN, and the Weather Channel) during early morning news programs, evening news, primetime, and late night. Print ads will run in People, SI Select, Time, The Week, and The New Yorker. More than 200 billboards in 20 markets will also highlight the "Think. Feel. Drive." message in cities such as Los Angeles and New York. 

Oh thank heaven! 7-11 is making its way to New York City. To support the opening, free samples were given out on Monday (hello brainfreeze) and the company rang the closing bell at the NYSE. Next week free scratch-and-win game cards will be distributed where people can win Slurpees, Big Gulps, and coffee. Night Agency created the campaign.

Pat O'Brien's Bar launched a print, outdoor, online, and guerrilla campaign in an effort to refresh its image. The campaign highlights the New Orleans location and is running in tourism publications targeting conventioneers and general tourists. Print ads are running nationally in Travel Host and locally in New Orleans' CVB publication. Creative can also be found on hotel keys in the French Quarter. Print ads are simple: They describe what goes on at a bar. "Turning One Drink into 4 a.m. Since 1933," "Keeping the Lucky Dog Man in Business Since 1933," and "Missing Tomorrow Morning's Meeting Since 1933." Sullivan-St.Clair Marketing/Public Relations created the campaign.

Virgin Mobile is encouraging Hispanic consumers not to be normal when it comes to standard wireless contract plans. The Spanish-language campaign was created by la comunidad and features the theme "No Soy Normal" ("I'm Not Normal"). Edited by Final Cut, the three spots use peculiar scenarios to redefine the meaning of "normal." Viewers are treated to a guy with man boobs, a woman with a pinhead similar to Beetlejuice, and a man with huge Cocker Spaniel-like ears. Each person thinks they aren't normal. Their friends console them by using shocked reactions to typical wireless contracts as an example of their normalcy. "Well, that happens to everybody," they say.

The Advertising Council and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, launched a series of public service announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness about the prevalence of online sexual exploitation and to help teenage girls better protect themselves against online sexual predators. According to a U.S. Department of Justice study, of the estimated 24 million child Internet-users, one in five has received unwanted sexual solicitations with teen girls being the primary target. Createdpro bono by Merkley + Partners, the PSAs seek to prevent girls from forming inappropriate online relationships with older men in an effort to reduce their risks of sexual exploitation and abduction. The TV, radio, magazine, and online ads direct teens to for tips on how to prevent, detect, and report online sexual exploitation.

On to the Web site launches.

Strip poker is an ideal way to promote underwear. At least it works for Victoria's Secret PINK brand of undies, aimed at 18- to 24-year-old women. You can use your real name or have the pink panty poker nickname generator select one for you. All you need to provide is your childhood pet's name and your underwear preference. The loser of each hand must remove a piece of clothing. You can even replay each striptease. What happens when you, the computer player, loses a hand? You start a strippin'. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the campaign.

Chicago's Millennium Park opened in 2004, and now boasts an updated Web site to help guide visitors through the 24.5-acre park. The online guide introduces residents and visitors to the park through interactive exhibit information, in-depth destination descriptions, and featured events. The Web site is comprised of an event calendar detailing the park's concerts, events, and exhibitions; information about private rentals; maps and travel planning tips; and a park history. White Horse created the site.

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