Out to Launch

March Madness ads. Deflating balls. Let's launch!

Expedia has launched a trio of ads telling those that are going on vacation that it's OK to flaunt their excitement. "Anthem" is a 45-second spot that says it's okay to enjoy a book that you would only allow perfect strangers see you read. Better still, it's OK to overpack your bags. "Travel Items" shows a man at a grocery store buying a ton of 99-cent travel-sized supplies. The voiceover is hilarious, saying how these tiny items will only add enough room for an extra pair of socks, and we buy these goodies to show everyone else that we are going on vacation. "Marker" is my favorite. It shows an employee crossing out the days left until her vacation with a big, fat, smelly, marker, so everyone in the office will choke on the jealousy fumes it emits. Deutsch created the campaign and deutschMedia handled the buying and planning.



Baseball season is just around the corner (hooray!) so Major League Baseball and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America launched an anti-steroid PSA Monday night, prior to the World Baseball Classic championship game. The voiceover in the 30-second spot tells about the side effects of steroid use: heart problems, kidney and liver failure, while various sports balls (football, baseball, basketball) shrink. As the last ball shrinks (pun IS intended), the voice says that steroids can also do damage to other body parts. Print and radio ads complement the TV spot. BBDO New York created this campaign and a previous anti-steroid spot that launched last year during the All-Star Game that featured the famous Discobolus statue slowly crumbling as the side effects of steroids were mentioned. Expect a second PSA targeting parents to launch in the upcoming weeks. The ad will run throughout the baseball season.

Callaway Golf Company has launched a national ad campaign entitled, "I Choose," revolving around the concept that improving your golf game begins with a change in equipment. "I Choose" consists of four 30-second spots, and print and online ads. Phil Mickelson, Annika Sorenstam, Arnold Palmer and LPGA rookie Morgan Pressel give their seal of approval for Callaway products throughout the ads. There is more technobabble in these ads than an Apple press conference. Internal weighting... an ultra hot titanium face... In one spot, Mickelson raves about his Callaway Golf Fusion FT-3 Driver. "Simply put, I'm playing the best golf of my life with it," he says. The spots are running in heavy rotation on The Golf Channel and during network PGA tournament airings. Eleven print ads are running in golf publications in April, along with an 8-page insert featuring a golfer and a Callaway product. Y&R Irvine created the campaign and KSL Media handled the media buying.

Energy BBDO created a set of ads for Winterfresh gum as part of the "Cool breath Power" campaign that launched last week. The TV spots look like ads you'd find online--lots of flash animation was used, and, not surprisingly, the ads target teens. I wonder how many teens will notice and appreciate the homage to Monty Python in "Hard To Get." The spot shows a woman looking to attract men. Rapunzel is advised to set up traps (one being killer rabbits) and play hard-to-get. Or she could just invest in Winterfresh gum to land her man. The voiceover in the ads is creepy. There's a fake accent, a lack of verbs... teens should love it. "Peacock" is truly bizarre. A guy uses a peacock's feathers to strut his stuff and attract a girl; "Roast Pig" shows a girl combining a guy's two favorite things--food and "boom boom stuff"--and achieving typical results. There's also a Web site to go along with this insanity, where you can watch the ads or just procrastinate. The ads will be running on network programming and cable channels such as WB, UPN, Nickelodeon, FUSE, and MTV through the year. EVB created the online portion of the campaign and OMD handled the media duties.

Cingular launched four 30-second spots tailored specifically for the NCAA tournament (the company is the exclusive wireless partner for the NCAA and the Final Four). Two spots highlight the fact that Cingular has the least dropped calls compared to its competition, and the other two hawk Cingular MEdia Net, a customizable online hub available on Cingular phones. The first two spots feature best friends at a basketball game. One friend has bad cell phone service--he can only get three words in before he loses a call. It gets so bad that in another spot his friends call his buddy's phone to reach him. The ads promoting MEdia Net feature the same friends, one of whom is told he suffers from March Sadness rather than March Madness--even though he's painted his team colors on his face and chest--because he doesn't have access to everything basketball on his cell phone. BBDO New York created the ads. Media buying was handled by Mediaedge:cia.

Mountain Dew bowed "Fall" during the NCAA men's basketball tournament, featuring a man holding a can of Dew while dangling from a cliff in need of rescuing. His friend says, in effect, "give me the Dew--er, your hand." Dangling man yells "you wish" and lets go of the cliff, falling through a forest, a cabin, and a truck full of rocks, and landing in a pool of water where he opens the soda and yells back to his friend, "We're good"--just as a geyser erupts beneath him. The ad is running on MTV, BET, Spike, G4, Fuse, Adult Swim, and will air this summer during the Dew Action Sports Tour on NBC and the Summer X-Games on ESPN/ABC. BBDO New York created the campaign and OMD handled the media buying.

Old Navy launched "Stripes," a national campaign highlighting the array of colors and stripes on the store's merchandise. The 30-second spot is not the company's best work. This ad features lots of pretty people joining hands to form one giant circle (or the largest game of ring-around-the-rosy I've ever seen) that runs through traffic, the beach, and various floors of a hotel. "At great Old Navy prices, it's stripes all around," concludes the ad. Deutsch created the campaign and Old Navy handled the media buying in-house.

Bell Helicopter has launched an integrated branding campaign to promote its 417 commercial helicopter. The campaign bows a new tagline, "The Leading Edge of Vertical Lift," and consists of six print ads, product brochures and online advertising. Copy for the ads include: "It was inspired by you. Now it's returning the favor."; "The future will see you now."; "If you are in limbo, here is salvation."; and "The ARH bone is connected to the 417 bone." Print ads are running in Heli-Ops, Homeland Protection Professional, HS Today, Offshore Magazine, Offshore Source, Police Chief, Rotor, Rotor & Wing, AHS Journal, Aviation International, Business and Commercial Aviation, Flight International and Helicopter International. TM Advertising handled all aspects of the campaign.

This week's Web site launches highlight health and fun.

imc² has launched two health-conscious Web sites: Silk's and Kellogg Company's The redesigned Silk Web site shares information about the benefits of soy, as well as product and nutritional information. Visitors can also sign up for coupons and search for recipes, cooking tips and special events. contains sections such as "Healthy Living," dedicated to helping kids and adults achieve a healthy lifestyle; "Eating Well," offering tips for choosing the right foods; and "Educational Tools," linking visitors to supportive sites.

Avenue A | Razorfish has brought Carnival Cruise Lines into the MySpace era with, a site that enables travelers to plan and manage their group travel needs and socialize all at one spot. Travelers can invite friends to vote on which cruise they prefer best, answer poll questions, and send messages to fellow group members. Users can also write cruise reviews and search for cruises by ship, destination, and activity and lifestyle.

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