Out to Launch

A cure for tax season agita. The squid and the Popsicle? Let's launch!

Popsicle reverts back to the comic book era to promote its mighty magic mini Popsicles. The campaign consists of three TV spots, "Lucky Bunny," "Squid of Scariness," and "Twister of Turmoil," with the Man of Popsicle returning to fight a squid, tornado, gigantic bumble bee, and an out-of-control jack-in-the-box. In "Squid of Scariness," a squid is seen terrorizing a ship full of people with its tentacles of terror as a cross-eyed-looking Man of Popsicle comes rowing along in a dinky boat. He arms two kids with flavorful mighty magic mini Popsicles to "squelch that squid," which turns the mighty squid into a sushi dinner. The spot concluded with the tag line: "If it's Popsicle, it's possible." The campaign launched on Monday and includes print ads and a revamped Web site. Print ads are running in Nickelodeon Magazine, Boys Life, Discovery Girls, Disney Magazine, National Geographic for Kids, and SI for Kids through the summer and into early fall. Click here to view the ad.Campbell Mithun created the campaign and MindShare handled the media buying.



National Geographic launched a print campaign on April 23 promoting the TV special and book entitled "Gospel of Judas." This, along with the upcoming "Da Vinci Code" movie, must be keeping the Catholic Church mighty busy. The ads are running in national daily newspapers and magazines and ask readers to decide for themselves if Judas was one of history's greatest heroes or its greatest villain. MDB Communications handled all aspects of the campaign.

Tax season is a stressful time for most people, and Intuit Canada is looking to ease the burden with a humorous campaign promoting its SnapTax software, which allows consumers to file their taxes online. The campaign uses the tag line: "Paper is evil. Do your taxes online in minutes." It consists of online, outdoor, and print components running in select major Canadian markets until the end of the tax season, April 30. An online ad shows a stick figure being chased by an origami monster made from a tax return. Three print ads show the same origami monster wreaking havoc around the house. A full-motion subway ad, running in the Toronto subway system, creates the illusion that the origami creature is walking and jumping up and down. Tribal DDB Canada handled all aspects of the campaign--and the number of Canadians who received paper cuts thanks to paper tax returns diminished drastically. Click here to watch the full-motion subway ad.

In order to combat the stress of tax season, a group of men and women in seersucker suits gave out packages of Acid+All, a new antacid, at the J.A. Farley Post Office in Manhattan on April 18 to last-minute tax filers. Acid+All is branded as an upscale antacid, (what that means, I have no idea) and free samples were handed out from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to late filers who could have avoided the unnecessary stress by filing on time. Thomas Pharmaceuticals is the company behind the new antacid.

Group Health Incorporated (GHI), a New York-based health insurance provider, launched three 30-second TV spots and one 60-second radio spot promoting in-network physicians. "Mikaela" shows a little girl who's about to cross a busy street without looking for oncoming traffic. She then sees a man across the street, a GHI doctor, signaling for her to stop--just as a car zooms down the street. "Eddie" and "Dave" follow a similar path, showing New Yorkers interacting with GHI doctors in their everyday lives. The campaign also includes a print ad running in Crain's NY Business, with outdoor and online work slated for a future launch. Munn Rabot handled all aspects of the campaign.

Nationwide is the latest brand to speak to consumers through an interactive billboard located in New York's Times Square. Nike, Mountain Dew and Time Magazine launched similar campaigns in the past. The promotion is part of Nationwide's "Life Comes At You Fast" campaign, and uses the Reuters billboard in Times Square as its platform. To participate, users submit their stories online for review; more than 2,000 consumer moments will be broadcast on the billboard. The site features a live Webcam of the board and tools for sending the finished product to friends and family. The promotion runs through July and TM Interactive handled all aspects of the campaign.

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