Out to Launch

World Cup ads. Sing the "Manthem." Adopt a mime. Let's launch!

MasterCard International launched a global World Cup-themed "Priceless" campaign, aptly named "Fever." Depicting the range of emotions football fans (soccer to us Americans) exude, "Fever" used real fans from more than 30 nationalities in the ad. The ad first launched in France on February 27; in Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, and Poland throughout March and April; and English and Spanish versions debut in the U.S. on May 22. Ads will run until the conclusion of the World Cup in early July. The spot shows fans from all walks of life sweating bullets, literally, while riding the bus, teaching a class, and sleeping. Fast forward to a more jubilant group of fans yelling and screaming with joy when the copy "Heartache, hope, pride, passion: $0" appears. The ad concludes with different groups of celebratory fans and the copy "Football fever. Priceless." McCann Erickson London created the ad. Universal McCann managed the media buying for the global campaign and GSD&M is responsible for the U.S. Click here to watch "Fever."



ESPN and ABC Sports have launched a monstrous TV, outdoor, print, online and radio campaign to promote their coverage of the World Cup. "One Game Changes Everything" features U2 songs, voiceovers by the group, and concert footage in an effort to capture the excitement of football fans around the world. The TV spots are fantastic. "Anthem" is a 60-second spot featuring Bono as the voiceover. The ad shows how every four years something as simplistic as a ball and goal can alter the lives of so many people. "It closes the schools. It closes the shops. It closes the city. It stops a war... It achieves more than the politicians ever could," says Bono. "Ivory Coast" tells the story about the country whose president called a truce to a three-year civil war so its team members could make their first trip to World Cup. "Tartan Army" is the name of Scotland's support group, and although Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup, it won't stop them from attending. "Sick Days" is incredibly funny. Every four years in June, the number of employees taking sick days around the globe mysteriously rises 300 percent. But no one gets fired because even the bosses are out sick cheering for their favorite teams. The spots debuted on ESPN and will air across all ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports media platforms and on national and local cable outlets. Wieden + Kennedy New York created all aspects of the campaign. Click here to watch "Anthem."

Peperami, a spicy sausage found in the U.K., has launched an online campaign, complete with World Cup flavor, promoting the FanimalWeb site. What's a Fanimal, you ask? Well, it's a rubber toy that screams out rants, which football fans can throw at the TV when the opposing team scores or the referee makes a bad call. AKQA created an expandable skyscraper running on sites such as Football365 and Teamtalk that showcases the Peperami Fanimal. Even better, the ad lets users fling the Faminal across the Web site and hear some of the different rants Fanimal has up its sleeve. Users can play "Rant at the Ref" on the Fanimal Web site for a chance to win a mascot of their own. AKQA also created the Fanimal Web site.

Have you seen the new DIRECTV ads that use clips from recognizable movies with voiceovers from the starring actors? Ben Stein circa 1986 in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" stars in one; Bill Paxton, as seen in "Twister," appears in another. The editing is seamless. The latest ad features Mini Me from "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" in a memorable scene with Fat Bastard. As FB attempts to eat Mini Me ("Get in my belly") Mini Me says the craziest thing in the world is to settle for anything less than DIRECTV.The ad is running through the end of summer during shows such as "24," "CSI," and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." Deutsch Los Angeles created the campaign and Deutsch Media handled the media buying. Click here to watch the ad.

Mariah Carey is starring in a commercial for Pepsi Cool Tones and Motorola Phones promoting her new ringtone, "Time of Your Life." "Restaurant" begins with a man's cell phone ringing in a fancy restaurant. The ringtone leads viewers into a music video starring none other than Mariah Carey. Fireworks explode, Carey jumps over a Pepsi sign on a motorcycle and the ad concludes with a shot of the disheveled restaurant, looking like a scene straight from the movie "Poseidon." The spot will air on Fox, UPN, WB, MTV 2, BET, and VH-1 through August. BBDO, New York created the campaign and OMD handled the media buying. Click here to watch "Restaurant."

My favorite line from Burger King's 60-second TV spot promoting its Texas Double Whopper Sandwich is "I will eat this meat till my innie turns into an outtie." "Manthem" launched May 1 and plays on the premise that guys can't satisfy their hunger with chick foods; they need 5 pounds of meat for that! The spot shows a slew of hungry men lining the streets in search of a Texas Double Whopper Sandwich while singing a parody of "I am Woman." The ad concludes with a riot of men heaving a minivan over a bridge and into a dump truck that's being hauled up the street by a man (I felt like I was watching "World's Strongest Man") with a Whopper dangling close within his reach. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the ad and MindShare handled the media buying. Click here to watch "Manthem."

HP and DreamWorks have joined forces to promote the HP dv5000 Entertainment Notebook and the upcoming film "Over the Hedge" with TV and outdoor ads and the entertaining Web The site features 100 different games that incorporate the movie and the product's attributes through reward-bearing trivia questions. Some questions are tough (geography questions); some are easy (put a series of 8 pictures in the correct order). Simultaneously, a viral video was seeded across all social media outlets that promoted both the movie and the game. Campfire created the site and viral video.

Virgin Mobile USA wants consumers to "Befriend the Mimes" by communicating with them through its launched text-messaging phone, the Switch Back. TV, cinema, print, outdoor and online banners support the launch. There's also a Web site,, where users can choose a mime to adopt. Once users select a mime, they will receive sms and e-mail updates from their mime so they can correspond on a regular basis. Reminds me of the Nintendogs game for the Nintendo DS. "Shane," a thirty-second spot, shows a lonely mime being jeered by passersby. However, you can talk to Shane and give him hope for a brighter tomorrow if you have a VM SB phone. "Carlos" also shows an isolated mime who gets a milkshake thrown on him. "Where's your box now, you stupid mime," screams the milkshake-thrower. "Mime March" is a 60-second spot showing a gathering of mimes in NYC protesting for unity. Mother New York created the campaign and Starlink handled the media buying.

Robbins Diamonds, a Philadelphia-based jeweler, has launched a $1.6 million campaign consisting of animated TV spots and radio ads. A series of 10- and 15-second spots targeting 25- to 34-year-old men are running throughout the Philadelphia DMA. The animated spots feature the stores' owner with a diamond in his beard and a voice that rivals Barry White telling men to kiss their "love thing," give her a nice long kiss, and buy her a diamond from a place "where the rocks rock and romance rules." The ads were created in-house and Mayo Seitz Media handled the media buy.

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