Out to Launch

One more holiday ad. Staples pushes buttons. Citi goes for "Simplicity." Let's launch!

Staples launched "Button to Button," on Jan. 1 on national network and cable television. The 30-second spot shows a disorganized office where one of three employees is missing his Easy Button. One of his coworkers offers up her Easy Button to help locate the missing one. The remaining coworker is apprehensive about this, saying, "Won't that, like, tear a hole in the universe?" Once the button is pushed, the uneasy coworker has vanished... into a filing cabinet; the lost Easy Button is found; and the office has been tidied up. McCann-Erickson created the campaign. Check out the ad online.

Here's a campaign about house siding, but you won't find the product in the creative. Hardie Siding is promoting its lap siding by showcasing a living room setting--husband, wife, lamp, sofa--set in a picturesque canyon. The campaign targets "step-up" homebuyers, namely women. The company opted to push aside the siding in the campaign to differentiate itself from other shelter book advertising. It also launched a concurrent co-op campaign that does show the product. Ads launched in the December issues of Southern Living, Midwest Living, Coastal Living, This Old House, and Sunset.Blattner Brunner created the campaign.



Expanding upon an initial printand TV campaign that began in November, Citibank launched the next phase of a campaign promoting its "Simplicity" credit card program. Two TV spots, that debuted Jan. 2, again feature the character Tom dealing with extreme circumstances, all in an effort to speak to another human being. "Train" begins with Tom's attempt to reach a live operator before he heads off to work. He's on his cell phone, listening to a long list of menu options such as "for a shinier credit card, say yes," as he arrives at the train station. Once on the train, he finally hears the voice of a real person just as the train goes through a tunnel, cutting off his cell phone reception. "Steak" features Tom trying to reach a customer service representative while attempting to cook a steak. Tom was "burned" by his dinner and his attempt at speaking to a real person. "Train" and "Steak" will air during "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI," "Lost," and the Rose Bowl and on cable stations including E!, TLC, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, USA, and Bravo. Print ads will run in publications ranging from Newsweek, People, and Entertainment Weekly to O, the Oprah Magazine, In Style, Vanity Fair, Cooking Light, and Parenting. Fallon created the campaign.

Arco gasoline has bowed four TV spots promoting the brand's motto, "Fill Smart." Each spot features vignettes in which one character passes along wisdom to another. The final advice doled out is, "Never pay too much for gas." Amen. Sign me up. In one ad, a man sits his son down for a serious talk. "Listen, it's time that you knew some things," he starts. The phrases, "you're at that age..." and "you're a man now..." are intermingled with close-ups of the father's uneasy face. The audience, however, never hears the end of the sentence. The father finally gets to the point and tells his son to "never pay too much for gas," rather than the sex talk viewers were expecting. Other ads include a golfer teaching his friend the proper way to swing, and a life coach getting in one last piece of advice before the timer goes off. Ogilvy & Mather created the campaign and UNCLE directed the spots.

Santa Fe Cattle Co., a chain of steak houses, launched a campaign that breaks away from your run-of-the-mill steak ads. Using the tagline "for the love of beef,"the print and outdoor campaigntargets both men and women. The female-centric portion spoofs Pantene's "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" ads of yesteryear with "Don't hate my steak because it's beautiful," featuring a close-up of an attractive woman. Manly ads show a man and his saddle and the lines, "Don't hate vegetarians. Cows are vegetarians," along with coupons for a prime rib special and 99 cent drafts. The ads are currently running in the Birmingham, Ala. market with plans for a larger rollout in upcoming months. Sullivan-St.Clair created the campaign.

OK, so I lied about not highlighting any more holiday-themed ads. Here's one more. The wolf played nice with the lamb in a holiday campaign from PUMA. "Wolf & Lamb" begins with a wolf traipsing about with a PUMA shoe in its mouth. The wolf runs into a lamb that doesn't look too happy to encounter the predator. All is well in the end of the spot, as the wolf shows its holiday spirit by leaving the lamb a gift: the PUMA shoe. "Tortoise & Hare" follows a similar premise, pulling a switch on the rivals. Despite the hare's obvious lead, the tortoise awards its competitor the PUMA shoe that was sitting atop its shell. Version2 VFX/Design executed the campaign.

Novell launched a global print campaign in an effort to establish itself as a leader in the open software field. Philip Johnson Associates was awarded the $10 million account in October. The print and online campaign shows how seemingly unrelated products and solutions work together to form a secure, reliable and cost-effective open enterprise. Creative shows a person, a chart and loads of copy asking readers to "Define your open enterprise." The campaign will appear in the United States, Germany and China in CIO, Computerworld and Network World, to name a few.

This week's launches include educational Web sites about health and cars.

Genex has developed an online classroom for Acura entitled The RSX Institute. The site was designed to showcase the vehicle in an experiential format, by offering visitors features such as "Race Track Analysis," an interactive building tool, and "Design Archive," which highlights the history and development behind the car. The RSX Institute is part of a broader online strategy Genex has developed for Acura in an effort to create memorable experiences for Web users.

U.S. News & World Report has launchedU.S. NewsBest Health, a resource for health-care information. The site contains daily news reports, updates on health topics, a searchable hospital directory, a ranking of the nation's health insurance plans, a medical dictionary and a therapist finder. A series of guides created with health-care institutions provide information on phases of health ranging from disease prevention to diagnosis to treatment. Topics include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, allergies, asthma, osteoporosis, back pain, depression and Alzheimer's disease.

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