Out to Launch

Mother schools kids on how to score a Virgin Mobile "pay as you go" phone. U.N. delegates come and go; traffic congestion in New York remains. Crocs break a major print campaign. Let's launch!

Universal Orlando Resort launched "Nails" last week to promote its upcoming Halloween Horror Nights event. The 60-second TV spot is running in select Florida markets (Orlando, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and West Palm Beach), and packs a scary punch. "Nails" shows a sweet grandmotherly woman reading a bedtime story while rocking in a rocking chair. As Grandma gets up, viewers see that she's standing over a sweaty, shaking man.  "Oh, dear, you look a little warm," she says as she snatches the covers off him, revealing that he's lying on a bed of nails. The spots ends with Little Miss Innocent cutting a rope above the nail bed, which drops an anvil on the man's body. The tag line of the ad is "This Year, No One Will Live Happily Ever After." The campaign also includes radio, outdoor and point of sale components that will appear throughout the resort beginning September 30 and concluding Halloween night. davidandgoliath created the campaign.



Mother, New York has launched a campaign for Virgin Mobile, USA that gives teenagers advice on how to score a cell phone from Mom and Dad. Teens can go online and read the Parental Enlightenment Kit to obtain useful resources extolling the reasons why they need a cell phone. The site features downloadable T-shirt iron-ons, stickers, posters, desktop wallpapers, a "PressurePoint Presentation," and my personal favorite, e-mail blasts. Here, teens can e-mail Mom and Dad one of four different messages, choosing from subject lines like "Help me grow," "Water fun," "My health is at stake," and "Let's help a cause." Print ads are running in ELLE Girl, Cosmo Girl,Seventeen, Teen People and J-14.

In another campaign targeting teens and cell phones, Moderati, a developer and distributor of ringtones and other downloadable content for cell phones, is launching print ads for its Modtones brand of ringtone services. The ads feature teenagers using different ringtones to identify different friends. One ad shows a young man with copy stating: "When my girlfriend calls, I hear 'Crazy in Love.' When my ex calls, I hear '99 Problems' (Who are you?)" Is it merely a coincidence that the artists who sing the above-mentioned songs (Beyonce and Jay-Z) are dating in real-life? Ads are launching in October issues of teen publications including Seventeen magazine, and will run through the end of the year. Heat created the million-dollar campaign.

The 2005 World Summit ended last week, but somehow the traffic lingers on. The United Nations ran a citywide ad campaign this month informing New Yorkers about the event, held at UN headquarters Sept. 14-16. The Summit gathered more than 170 heads of state to tackle issues like global poverty, human rights, terrorism, and UN reform. Everyone else tackled congestion up the wazoo. "Everyone is a Delegate" launched Sept. 3 on local network and cable television, including news and morning programs. The four TV spots used humor to offset the inevitable commuter frustration and were created pro bono by McCann Erickson Worldwide.

Crocs shoes has launched its first-ever consumer ad campaign. The company's message is simple: our shoes might not look pretty to everyone, but then again, there are plenty of things we love that aren't aesthetically pleasing to all. The campaign shows a dog, a close-up of a kid with braces and a proud mother wearing a necklace created by her child, along with the tag line "Ugly Can Be Beautiful." The $1.3 million print campaign launched this month in issues of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Time, GQ, Men's Journal, In Style and Real Simple, along with such East and West Coast regional magazines as Orange Coast, San Diego Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, New York Magazine, Hampton Magazine, and Time Out New York.TDA Advertising & Design created the campaign, its first work for Crocs.

Cognos, a provider of corporate performance management tools, launched a global campaign for Cognos 8 Business Intelligence, the latest version of the company's business intelligence software. The print and online campaign will run from August through November across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The campaign targets IT professionals in print B2B publications such as ComputerWorld, InformationWeek and CIO magazine, including an 8-page advertorial in CIO. In addition, a direct mail piece for the product launch was sent throughout New York, London, Paris, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago, Munich, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Buenos Aires. Hill, Holliday developed the campaign.

Elvis made numerous appearances in midtown Manhattan during New York Fashion Week as part of a targeted brand awareness campaign for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Four wrapped scooters driven by Elvis impersonators circled around Bryant Park to take advantage of the crowds gathered for the fashion shows. Elvis was accompanied by Las Vegas showgirls in an effort to promote Las Vegas as the newest fashion capital. R&R Partners, Outdoor Services, and Scooter Media created the campaign.

In an effort to encourage parents to get involved early in teaching non-violent behavior to young children, The Advertising Council, the American Psychological Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children partnered to launch a series of PSAs explaining that kids are often influenced by the violence and aggression they see around them. The radio, print and outdoor ads are the third installment of the Modeling Non-Violent Behavior campaign, which is a part of the ACT Against Violence project. The ad was created pro bono by chemistri.

This week's Web site launches highlight a Vegas podcast and an agency's own site relaunch. has launched a free weekly audio podcast called Vegas in 5. The podcast is available through the website and also appears in Apple's iTunes Podcast Directory. Users can access the latest news straight from Vegas, including info on the latest shows, nightclubs and events.  In addition, interviews with Vegas entertainers, hotel executives and business leaders provide firsthand information on the ever-changing city. The initial lineup of content for each podcast includes: show, restaurant and hotel updates; strip club reviews; and sports betting advice.

Interactive agency AKQA has redesigned its corporate Web site. The site offers a portfolio of AKQA's capabilities, case studies and locations, press coverage and then some. The homepage rotates featured case studies such as Visa's "Ideas Happen,"  Palm's Treo 650 Integrated campaign, and Xbox's Forza Motorsport experience. The objective of the site was to echo the agency's belief that great ideas have the power to inspire.

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