Out To Launch

VW drivers are not egotistical. The "eyes" have it. NASCAR-themed ads. Let's launch!

New Orleans-based Zea Restaurant serves ethnic dishes with Southern attitude, according to its print and outdoor campaign launching next month. One ad describes Zea's Twice Cooked Crispy Duck as "Once quacked, twice cooked." "Our grillmaster converted to Buddhism. We're loving the results," says another ad, which touts the Thai Ribs. My favorite ad promotes Zea's Asian Tuna Salad. The ad is written in Japanese save for a single word in English: y'all. Those interested in translating the ad are encouraged to visit Zea's Web site. SPOILER ALERT: If you don't want to know what the ad says, stop reading this blurb. The translation of the Japanese ad is: "Asian Tuna Salad: The best Japanese import since compact cars, y'all." Sullivan-St.Clair Marketing/Public Relations created the campaign.



GM Goodwrench has launched a campaign designed to increase traffic to its Chevrolet dealer service departments while promoting its 2007 Chevy Avalanche. This is the first time GM Goodwrench has used a new vehicle launch to drive Goodwrench customer service traffic. The "Goodwrench #29 Expertise Challenge" leverages GM Goodwrench's NASCAR #29 Chevrolet racecar co-sponsorship with Reese's candies as a way to reach consumers. Print ads are running in NASCAR Scene, Sports Illustrated, People, and NASCAR programs, while online ads are running on,, and on the site. Fans can enter the challenge by visiting a participating Chevrolet dealership or a Chevy Revolution display at select NASCAR events to get a promotion ticket with an official promotion code. If driver Kevin Harvick and the #29 Goodwrench Team wins 2 of 12 selected races during the promotion, GM Goodwrench will award a set of grand prizes to participants, including a 2007 Chevy Avalanche. If no races are won, well, a 2007 Chevy Avalanche will still be awarded, complete with a trunkload of Reese's products. I'll take the trunk full of Reese's, hold the Avalanche. Leo Burnett Detroit created the campaign and GM Planworks handled the media buying.

NASCAR SpeedParks launched a TV campaign starring NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte and his competitiveness off the racetrack. The spot shows Labonte and his son arriving at NASCAR SpeedParks and racing another family (by power walking) to see who gets inside SpeedParks first. Labonte reaches the door first, but casually allows the second place family to enter before him. Click here to watch the ad. The spot is running in the five markets with NASCAR SpeedParks, beginning this month and throughout the year on cable. Print ads can be found on a local level in the Charlotte Observer, The Sun News, TorontoStar, Toronto Sun, KnoxvilleNews, and St. Louis Post for the same duration. Brandon Advertising handled all aspects of the campaign.

Major League Baseball and the Partnership for A Drug-Free America have launched the second phase of its anti-steroid initiative to educate teens and adults about the dangers of steroids and performance-enhancing substances. This ad didn't do it for me. I enjoyed "Statue" which debuted during last year's All-Star Game and featured the famous Discobolus statue slowly crumbling to illustrate the side effects of steroids. Then there was "Shrinking," which showed various sports balls shrinking, playing on one major side effect of steroid use. "Fade" launched Sunday night during ESPN's broadcast of the subway series. Thankfully, my Mets were able to win two of the three games. The spot features a championship banner, equipment in a locker, and a trophy fade away, showing that not only do steroids destroy bones, tendons and organs, they also destroy dreams. The spot is running on a local and national level and was created by BBDO.

I showed self-control when "The Da Vinci Code" opened last weekend. I waited until Saturday to see it. UK train operator Eurostar launched a multilingual online treasure hunt this month surrounding "The Da Vinci Code." Players can join the game at; it features 15 unique puzzles set in destinations across London and Paris and pits players from the U.K., France, Belgium, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand against one another. Players can win prizes such as Sony PSP consoles, Sony PS2 consoles and "Da Vinci Code" games, but it's the grand prize that makes my mouth water: The winner gets free travel accommodations on Eurostar for the rest of his or her life, with a partner; deluxe accommodation at the Ritz Hotel, Paris and Claridge's Hotel, London for five years; 180,000 euros to spend in London and Paris; and that's only a few of the top prizes. Supported by a TV and online campaign, Level 1 and 2 of the Quest launched May 3, Level 3 on May 19 and the Grand Prize Puzzle launches on May 25. The Quest concludes on May 30. Tons of agencies were involved in getting this global campaign and sweepstakes off the ground: space,Stream, TBWA London, TBWA Brussels Glue, Diffiniti and Vizeum.

Volkswagen owners check their egos at the door... of their Passats in the latest VW campaign created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. "Megaphone" shows a bevy of men (and one woman) riding in fancy cars and shouting through megaphones what void said car fills in their life. "Because Daddy never hugged me," "Because the more guys notice me, the more I love myself," "Because I'm compensating for my shortcomings" are some of the stereotypical (or are they?) reasons. The spot concludes with the Passat owners throwing away their megaphone and a voiceover stating that Passat owners have the "lowest ego emissions of any German-engineered sedan." MediaCom handled the media buying. Click here to watch "Megaphone."

Cohen's Fashion Optical launched a $3 million print, cinema, online and TV campaign this month and bowed a new tagline: "Cohen's. Where Else?" The 30-second spot is airing in the tri-state area on CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, and WB in May and June and again in August and September. Print ads are running in TheNew York Times, New York Daily News, Newsday, Star Ledger, Sun-Sentinel, Staten Island Advance, Asbury Park Press, Hartford Courant, Boston Metro, and Sun-Sentinel, to name a few. Furman Roth Advertising created the campaign, its first work for the client, and Plus Media handled the media buy.

kirshenbaum bond + partners (kbp) has created a global campaign for FreshLook Color Contact Lenses.  "The Color of You" campaign launched this month with a new logo and brand icon supported via print, outdoor, online, and direct mail components. Print ads debuted in the May issues of Glamour, Latina, Teen Vogue, and Us Weekly, emphasizing a way for women to reinvent themselves by changing eye color like underwear. Banner ads can be found on,,, and Mindshare handled the media buying and kbp partnered with London-based 23red for the European rollout of the campaign.

Tylenol's ad "Sleeping in Public" promotes Tylenol PM and shows what happens to people when pain keeps them from sleeping at night; they conk out the next day at work, on a basketball court, the bathroom, the bus stop and at a diner. The ad describes Tylenol PM as different from prescription sleep aids, as it's not habit forming and doesn't cause compulsive eating in the middle of the night. OK, so I was joking about that last tidbit... The ad is running on all networks, on cable and syndication. Deutsch created the ad and Universal McCann handled the media buying. Click here to watch "Sleeping in Public."

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