Out to Launch

Baseball ads. Save the earth. Drink beer. Tourism campaign or another to-do list? Let's launch!

The Ad Council, in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Consumer Electronics Association, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association launched the second leg of a campaign promoting technology that blocks TV shows with content too mature for children. The first two ads featured a mobster and drug addict being blocked by parents who found the plotlines enjoyable to watch, but too graphic for their kids. A mom puts her foot down in "Prison Gang," telling gang members that the latest episode forced her to take drastic measures. Watch the ad here. "Dominatrix" stars leather-clad Mistress Mandy as the latest victim of TV show blocking. She's been very bad. Click here to watch the ad. "Slasher" shows a horror movie villain -- looking like Sloth from the Goonies, but brandishing a chainsaw -- being blocked by a concerned mom. See the ad here. The pro bono campaign was created by McCann Erickson New York.



The Alltel guy gets more commercial work! He's the other blond starring in a new spot for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's that promotes their buffalo chicken sandwich. Alltel guy gets his hands dirty in "Girlfriend." He's eating buffalo wings and checking out the hot blonde waitress when he realizes his girlfriend caught him in the act. Watch the ad here. There's even a spicy microsite starring Ashley the waitress, who gives viewers a tour of the site. Make sure you click on lunch date. You can send a lunch invitation from Ashley to a friend by name. Just make sure they know you're showing up for lunch, not Ashley. Mendelsohn|Zien created the TV spot. Spacedog created the microsite and Initiative Media Los Angeles handled the media buy.

Baseball season cannot start any sooner. The Texas Rangers (it's not the Mets, but I'll take it)launched an outdoor, radio and TV campaign on Feb. 19 in an effort to boost its fan base. Three TV ads each use the tag line, "You Could Use Some Baseball," and amusingly show the activities men choose when baseball is not a part of their lives. "Candles" features a young couple smelling candle scents. Then the man remembers he has testosterone -- after seeing a father and son in Rangers gear watching him at the end of the aisle. Watch the ad here. "Jousting" shows a man looking for fun, creative ways to bond with his son and failing miserably. Click here to watch it. "Talent Show" pokes fun at shows like "American Idol" where viewers determine the contestants' fate: this time two men eagerly vote for the world's most talented yodeling penguin. Watch it here. Billboards were erected throughout Dallas with messages such as "Pop Fly is not a rap star." and "First base has nothing to do with kissing." Click here, here, here and here to view the ads. Door Number 3 handled all aspects of the campaign.

The Arizona Office of Tourism launched a print and online campaign promoting in-state and regional travel to northern, southern, north-central and west-coast Arizona. "No Regrets" reads like a to-do list, much like Visa's recently launched print campaign. But this campaign came first, launching late last year. "Make my own vintage," "Taste homemade carne asada" and "See the hummingbirds in Ramsey Canyon" are some of the intriguing suggestions listed. See the ad here. Creative drives consumers to where activities are listed for each region, such as hiking, snow sports, water sports, spas and mountain biking. Moses Anshell handled all aspects of the campaign.

Save the world. Drink this beer! That's the word from New Belgium Brewing, an employee-owned brewery that's environmentally conscious. The company's first national print campaign features little known eco-activists and various beer offerings such as Fat Tire Amber Ale, Skinny Dip and Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer. Three of seven ads launched in 16 states this month, from Chicago to California and Montana to New Mexico, using the tag line: "Follow Your Folly. Ours is Beer." Click here, here and here to see the ads. Ads are running in Backpacker, Bicycling, Bike, Climbing, Esquire, Men's Journal, Mother Jones, Mountain Bike, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Paddler, Sierra, Sunset, Trout and Utne Reader. Visit to watch videos and learn more about saving the environment. Cultivator Advertising & Design created the campaign and Explore Communications handled the media buy.

Is it me -- or does it seem like just about anything is coming in 100-calorie packs now? Not that I'm complaining... Hostess launched a print campaign promoting 100-calorie packs for three cupcake flavors: chocolate cake with chocolate icing and filling, yellow cake with chocolate icing and filling, and carrot cake with cream cheese icing and filling. Print ads place the cupcakes on a cake stand in a diner and on the dessert tray at a fancy restaurant using the tag line "3 Cakes, 100 Calories, Real Satisfaction." Click here to see the diner ad. Look for the ads in women's magazines such as Ladies Home Journal; O, The Oprah Magazine; People; and Redbook. A microsite offers visitors a $1-off coupon and not much else, although in 12 days the "100-calorie crooner" makes his debut. Bernstein-Rein handled all aspects of the campaign.

Gillette and NASCAR have a partnership called the Gillette Young Guns featuring drivers Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson. Kasey Kahne is the newest member of the Young Guns -- and what better way to celebrate than with a new ad? "Prank Revenge" promotes the Gillette Fusion Power Phantom as a useful gag prop. Newbie Kahne uses the Phantom to shave the heads of his team members. Needless to say, the Phantom strikes Kahne in the end. Watch the ad here. The ad will run exclusively during NASCAR programming throughout the 2007 season. BBDO New York created the ad and SMG United handled the media buy.

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is pitching for the American Bible Society's "La Biblia Es Mi Guía" ("The Bible Is My Guide") national advocacy campaign designed to promote Bible reading among Hispanics. Rivera will be the face of a subway campaign running from March 3 to April 1in New York City and the tri-state area using the theme, "La Biblia Es Mi Guía...Leela!" (The Bible is My Guide...Read it!). The ad also includes a MySpace page, proof positive that everyone nowadays has a MySpace page. Click here to see the ad. All aspects of the campaign were handled in-house.

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