Out to Launch

Doubletree brings its logo to life. The MSN butterfly flies again. XOXO goes underwater to highlight its Spring/Summer collection. Welcome to highlights of ad campaigns launched this week.

Doubletree Hotels launched a nationwide print advertising campaign this week in an effort to strengthen the brand's identity. "Trees," the theme for the new campaign, was developed by Foote Cone & Belding. The first ad, entitled "Airport," debuted yesterday in issues of USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The ad depicts a lone traveler watching a plane take off from an airport terminal window. Two live trees that resemble the Doubletree brand logo appear to have spontaneously grown up around him, protecting and comforting him as he waits for his flight. The ad mentions the rewards for Hilton HHonors members, who receive Points & Miles with every qualifying stay at Doubletree hotels, and the brand's signature welcome of a warm, chocolate chip cookie at check-in (which perked me up after I was bumped from a flight). Three more ads will break in the coming weeks.



Kia is branching into the large sedan arena, having launched its car, the Amanti. To support the launch, Kia launched an integrated ad campaign on Dec. 26. The campaign, created by davidandgoliath, features print ads, TV spots, a cross-country mall tour and grassroots initiative. Kia's TV campaign began with a teaser, entitled "Intro," and was followed up by "Books," which launched in early January. "Books" highlights the 2004 Amanti as it negotiates its way around an obstacle course of monolithic, building-sized textbooks. Old and worn, they represent the archaic rules that plague the full size automotive category. The Amanti drives by, the books tumble to the floor, and the voiceover asks, "Where is it written that luxury is only for the few? If it is written somewhere, we couldn't find it." Print ads for Amanti will break in January editions of Time, Newsweek, USA Today, Money, Southern Living, Car and Driver, Road and Track, Motor Trend and Automobile.

MSN's "It's better with the Butterfly" campaign is making an encore appearance with the launch of the new MSN on Jan. 8. The print, TV and online campaign seeks to inform people, especially those with high-speed broadband connections, about the benefits of the new MSN. The campaign also shows the Butterfly character speaking for the first time. McCann-Erickson Worldwide created the TV and print portions. The TV campaign consists of five 30-second television spots and ten 15-second television spots. Microsoft also ran billboards in Las Vegas during the week of the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show. On launch day, MSN was the main advertiser on the home pages of About, CNET and Avenue A created the online components.

Compaq has launched two 30-second spots created by Publicis & Hal Riney. "Intruder" opens in a futuristic command center, where two agents monitor the security of the premises via a plasma screen. An alarm signals, and they guide a fellow agent through a darkened hallway littered with cables and blown fuses. "It's closing in on you!" says the guiding agent, as an animal growl gets louder. As the man is led to the escape route, a plain-clothed man walks past the scientists, yanks the computer tower and walks out of view. The spot then cuts to the man's living room, as he puts the computer onto his desk. The spot closes with the voiceover, "Get your hands on some serious technology. Get a Compaq."

Ultra Sheen hair care products has launched a campaign in support of its tie-in with the soon-to-be released "BarberShop2 - Back In Business." As a part of the Ultra Sheen BarberShop2 Sweepstakes, one person will win an all-expenses paid trip for four to the January 20, 2004 premiere in Los Angeles. The ad*itive created and produced a radio spot featuring hip hop personalities Ed Lover and Doctor Dre of Power 105.1 in New York City. In addition to the grand prize trip, consumers can enter to win BarberShop2 movie passes, merchandise autographed by cast members, as well as Ultra Sheen caps, t-shirts and hair care products. The radio spot aired Dec. 26, through January 4, 2004, and will run again Feb. 2-8, in select cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Metropolitan Home launched a campaign in December focusing on the magazine's May/June 2004 Design 100 issue. The campaign consists of print and online components and was created by thewatsons. Ads ran in publications including Advertising Age and HFN. The magazine also created a microsite where visitors can enter in a sweepstakes to win a George Nelson ball clock, the grand prize.

The Spring/Summer 2004 XOXO ad campaign will showcase its footwear in an interesting way. Underwater. The ads were shot by renowned underwater photographer Tracy Kahn. The campaign wants XOXO's target audience (young women) to view the footwear in a truly distinctive setting. I'd say mission accomplished. The Spring/Summer 2004 campaign was unveiled in December, and ads will begin running in February.

In website launches this week: has relaunched its website. The new site features a streamlined homepage that showcases's breaking news and vertical sections. Other new features include a new classifieds module on the homepage that rotates different auto and real estate listings and job postings from, and a new section called "Your Life," that focuses on family, relationships, fashion, home improvement, fitness and health.

Business information provider Hoover's has also gone through a site redesign. The redesign offers users a cleaner navigation to guide users to the information and tools they are looking for, along with expanded industry coverage (from 300 to more than 600 industries). Users can also use a "Reverse" search tool, which locates companies with attributes similar to those of high-value customers and prospects.

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