Out to Launch

Yahoo gets personal. The "Roaming Gnome" hits the road. The political ads begin. Welcome to highlights of ad campaigns launched this week.

Yahoo! Personals has launched an online ad campaign featuring actual single people who are currently using the service to connect and communicate with prospective dates. The new online campaign, called "Project: Real People," represents Yahoo! Personals' new focus on using only singles from its site in online advertisements and highlights the service's most valuable assets: a diverse community of singles looking to make a connection. The real-life everyday singles featured in the campaign are from professions and lifestyles such as Marines, firefighters, artists, actors, students, single parents, engineers, and musicians. The ads will appear throughout 2004 in Yahoo! Personals site photography, as well as in online advertising on Yahoo! and other online venues. The campaign was created in-house.



Monster has unveiled a new brand campaign and tagline, "Today's the Day," in anticipation of its upcoming 10-year anniversary. To support the new tagline, Monster is launching TV, radio, print, and online ads. The first 30-second spot, titled "Today," debuted on Dec. 26th during the College Bowl Championship Series. It features everyday people getting ready to start their day, knowing that this will be "my day." A voiceover asks questions all beginning with the phrase "Will today be the day...?" The campaign's next 30-second spot will debut during Super Bowl XXXVIII on Feb. 1st. Monster spots will also air on network television and national cable, including ESPN, VH1, Comedy Central, TLC, USA, and BET, as well as during highly televised national events such as the NCAA, PGA, and U.S. Open tournaments. Deutsch, New York, created the ads.

Travel website Travelocity's latest campaign features a Roaming Gnome (think of the movie Amelie). Created by McKinney + Silver of Raleigh, N.C., the Roaming Gnome, a two-foot character with a red hat, will be featured in a series of ads on DIRECTV, cable TV, national and local radio, and national and local print ads. In the ads, The Roaming Gnome writes to his owner Bill, telling of his experiences while traveling, including cliff diving in Mexico, skiing the winter slopes, and enjoying a stinky wedge of cheese in Quebec. All of the ads include the tagline, "Book with Travelocity: Don't Forget your Hat." A longtime tradition in Europe and the UK, gnome "kidnappings" have been a source of amusement for those who "nick" the garden creatures for travels throughout the world, photograph the gnomes, and mail the photos with "ransom" notes back to their owners.

Outback Steakhouse has launched four 30-second spots created by davidandgoliath, Los Angeles. One spot, "Smelling Salts," promotes the restaurant chain's new curbside takeaway service, while "Working Late," "Lawnmower," and "Dog Walking" urge customers to find ingenious reasons to dine at the restaurant. The "Smelling Salts" spot opens with an aerial view of a football game, and then cuts to a scene where a player, the fictitious Ray Durazo, is badly injured. Sports personality John Madden comments, "When a player gets hurt, everything stops until you're sure he's okay." Back on the game field, a medic rushes towards Durazo carrying a to-go order bag of popcorn shrimp. As the odors waft towards Durazo, waking him up, the spot closes with the voiceover, "Outback's Curbside Takeaway. Now you can enjoy the great taste of Outback anywhere." In "Dog Walking," the scene opens with a man in sweats setting the timer on his treadmill. The camera then pans down to reveal a small dog happily jogging along, without its owner, who has sneaked out for some of Outback's crab cakes.

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has launched nine television ads created by renowned former agency executive George Lois. Lois also produced print advertisements and campaign posters for the campaign. The nine TV ads include the voice of actor Danny Glover. The TV ads, which include 30, 20, and 15-second versions, are all variations on the theme "Fear Ends. Hope Begins." In one ad, Glover says: "Fear ends. Hope begins. Listen up, young America. If pre-emptive war continues to drive our foreign policy, if our volunteer troops are stretched thinner and thinner, you could be facing compulsory draft. All young Americans deserve a world without end -- not a war without end. Kucinich for President! The eyes that see through the lies!" At the end of these remarks, the camera zooms in on Kucinich's eyes in a photograph before cutting to a video of Kucinich saying: "I'm Dennis Kucinich, and I'm running for president. Do I approve this commercial? You bet!" The ads began airing in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4. The Kucinich campaign put up eleven billboards in Des Moines, Iowa, with sayings such as "Support Workers and Farmers... Cancel NAFTA and WTO," and "Health Care... Not Warfare."

Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Los Angeles, has created a TV spot for Rock the Vote and the LA County Commission on Human Relations. The spot began airing Dec. 13th in LA on KTLA TV, and wild postings will run throughout LA County to coincide with the ad. The ad hopes to launch nationally this year, and aims to educate people about racism in today's society.

Grey Goose Vodka launched a holiday-themed TV ad, which aired from Dec.8 thru Dec.31. The 15-second spot, developed by DeVito/Verdi, New York, featured a grey goose decked in a festive red bow. With a bluesy version of "Good King Wenceslas" in the background, the goose waddles out to center screen. The goose is followed by a holiday greeting from Grey Goose Vodka. The ad aired on Bravo, E! Entertainment, and FX Network during such programs as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Inside the Actors Studio."

In website launches this week:

The Blog Search Engine has launched. The site is a searchable directory of thousands of categorized weblogs - everything from Advertising and Public Relations blogs to Online Dating and Alternative Lifestyle blogs. Besides being a directory resource of blogs and online community for bloggers, the Blog Search Engine also publishes a "Blogging News" blog, which features news about blogging, blog marketing, and various blurbs from around the Internet.

Carnegie Learning, a developer of mathematics curricula for secondary education, has redesigned its website. Ripple Effects Interactive redesigned the site's navigation structure and reorganized the website's content. In addition to the redesigned website, Ripple Effects Interactive also created an online marketing demonstration tool for the Carnegie Learning product line.

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