Out to Launch

Bowling. Golf. Canadians love hockey. Let's launch!

Marketers have been jumping on the bandwagon of creating ads and bleeping out words that aren't curse words: first McDonald's, Cingular, and now Knorr. Frozen is a bad word, when it's used to describe dinner. Rubber chicken, anyone? Knorr sets out to give frozen a better name with "Bleep," promoting its new set of Frozen Entrees. English and French versions of "Bleep" are running nationally in Canada throughout the year. Although the F word being bleeped out is frozen, you can't help but think that it sounds like another F word. The ad consists of pretty shots of Knorr frozen entrees in the freezer, close-ups of ingredients used, the finished product, and satisfied tasters. The spot ends with the tagline, "Frozen doesn't have to be a bad word." Print ads walk a similar line, showing the word frozen crossed out by a black marker. I was especially intrigued by the direct mail campaign that Rapp Collins Toronto created. Recipients were instructed to place the DM piece in their freezer, where temperature sensitive ink appeared to reveal a secret message (Buy Knorr). The campaign was created by DDB Canada and PHD handled the media buying.



Gatorade launched a national campaign in Canada on April 17, just in time for the NHL playoffs, starring NHL player Sidney Crosby. "Sticks" launched as a 30- and 60-second spot in both English and French and pays homage to the hockey ritual of throwing hockey sticks in a pile to randomly determine the two teams. The spot opens on a group of kids readying for a game of street hockey when Crosby strolls up, throws his stick in the pile and says, "I'm in." Once this happens, kids come out of houses, by cab, and by bus to drop their stick in the pile. The pile grows out of control and the spot ends with Crosby being chased down the street by a hoard of fans. Click here to watch "Sticks." Downtown Partners created the campaign and OMD Canada handled the media buying.

What was I saying before about Canadians and hockey? Oh, yeah, they live and breathe the sport. Hockey Canada has launched a 30-second TV spot that emphasizes how important hockey is to Canadians. "Lights" shows a series of lights turning on (house, garage, car, traffic and goal) that lead to a group of kids playing hockey. The tagline of the ad is "Hockey First"; Journey's song "Lights" would have fit in perfectly. The PSA (hockey is REALLY important) is running nationally in Canada in French and English and was created by DDB Canada.

Kia has launched three TV spots promoting its redesigned Optima. In "Performance," a mime riding in an Optima is so shocked by the way it maneuvers that he ends up speaking. The voiceover then says, "Introducing the exhilarating performance of the all-new Kia Optima. People will talk." "Quiet" features a comedian telling a bad joke (a goldfish is involved) to an unresponsive couple in the back seat. After a period of awkward silence, the voiceover responds, "So quiet, it's not even funny." Click here to watch "Quiet." Lastly, "Space" shows a yodeler in the back seat waiting for his echo to appear. When he finally hears it, the voiceover says, "Introducing the unusually spacious, all-new Kia Optima--now that's big." In addition to the TV ads, online banners will run on automotive-related Web sites. Davidandgoliath created the TV spots; its integrated marketing unit dngideation, created the online components. Carat handled the media buying and planning.

Mitsubishi Motors North America launched a TV, print and online ad campaign supporting the 2007 Eclipse Spyder. "Song" takes a group of Spyders and portrays them as sliders on a mixing board; alone it doesn't look like much, but together it resembles one giant equalizer. The spot ends by touting the car's music system and horsepower working in harmony. The spot is airing on national cable and spot TV in 37 markets, on networks such as A&E, Comedy Central, MSNBC, VH1, History, E!, Spike, Animal Planet, BRAVO and Weather Channel. Print ads highlighting Spyder's drop top debuted in May issues of Motor Trend and Automobile magazines. Click here to watch "Song."BBDO created the TV and print ads; Organic created the online work and PHD LA handled the media buying.

Am I the only one enjoying ads running on ESPN promoting the Professional Bowler's Association? Please make spoof ads for "World's Strongest Man" next. One ad, "Finish Work," features Randy, an instructor teaching his students how to celebrate bowling a strike. A student in Randy's one-bowling-lane studio celebrates a strike with a dance unworthy of discussion. Randy is irked, and directs his students to watch how PBA bowler Chris Barnes applies "finish work." The spot concludes when Randy shows his students his own celebratory dance that consists of helicopter, eagle, airplane and swan moves. Creature Seattle created the campaign that is running all year on ESPN. Cut + Run/LA handled the editing. Click here to watch "Finish Work." Watch the remaining ads and listen to Randy's podcasts on Randy's very funny Web site.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, opening June 1 right outside Bastrop, Texas, has launched the second of its diorama-style print ads appearing in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Southern Living, Texas Monthly and D Magazine. The first ad coupled a waiter at a candlelit table with a hiker emerging from the woods. The latest ad pairs a mother and son canoeing down a river with a man playing golf. Be on the lookout for ads partnering a golfer and fly fisherman and a horseback rider and spa guest. Copy for each ad describes how nature and luxury can cohabitate. McGarrah/Jessee handled all aspects of this campaign.

The Advertising Council, along with the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association have launched a PSA campaign targeting African-American women and how they can reduce their risk of getting these diseases. The TV, radio, print, outdoor and online ads focus on the idea of sisterhood and urge women to encourage and support their friends to eat right and get active. The PSAs end with the tagline, "Sisterhood is Healthy," and drive women to visit for more information. Vigilante created the campaign pro bono.

Carat Fusion Boston has created an online golf game designed to build buzz around the May 1-7 Wachovia Championship. Visitors to can actually play the 17th hole of the Quail Hollow Club and compare their scores to the likes of Vijay Singh, Nick Price, Sergio Garcia, and Phil Mickelson, among others. Sadly, most of my balls landed in the water or out of bounds. The three-click swing for power and accuracy is tough! Users can also "Challenge a Friend" by e-mailing their results and inviting a friend to play along. To promote the site online, Carat Fusion is managing online promotions on, and Sports Illustrated online, along with search engine marketing on Yahoo and Google based on golf-related keywords.

I have a scapegoat; I call her jet lag. Last week, I named the incorrect media agency behind the Popsicle campaign. Mindshare handled the campaign, not MediaVest, as previously reported. Click here to read about the ad in last week's Out to Launch.

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