Out to Launch

Football, hockey and La-Z-Boys. Let's launch!

Nike football launched a TV and print campaign last weekend entitled, "Leave Nothing." A 60-second spot stars Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers and Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams running their butts through the competition and inclement weather throughout the season. Watch the ad here. Print ads feature Merriman, Jackson and Steve Hutchinson of the Minnesota Vikings, Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, and Amobi Okoye of the Houston Texans in intense practices. "If I told you the play, you still couldn't beat me," reads one ad. "A bad place is between me and the ball," reads another. Click here, here, here, here and here to view creative. Wieden+Kennedy Portland handled all aspects of the campaign.



Hockey team the Dallas Stars launched an outdoor campaign using the tagline, "Come into the cold." Print and radio work will launch later in the year. Nine billboards amusingly explain that hockey is a rough sport, while simultaneously taking jabs at the NFL, MLB and NBA. "One game a week? Is the N in NFL for Nancy?" reads one ad. "Maybe baseball should stop using the word sacrifice" and "The only thing our refs shave is the ice," read other ads. Click here, here and here to see creative. Ads that aren't mocking other sports consist of a seating chart of a hockey arena highlighted in green along with the copy, "Standing room only." Another ad shows the rink highlighted in red and dubbed "nose bleed section." See the ads here and here. Door Number 3 created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys stars in the latest "This is 'SportsCenter'" on-air promotional spot on ESPN that launched on Monday. Romo plays receptionist at the ESPN offices, taking messages with the help of his quarterback arm band play card. The spot concludes with "SportsCenter" anchor Stan Verrett passing Romo, who relays a message. Watch the ad here. Wieden+Kennedy New York created the campaign.

La-Z-Boy launched a TV campaign this week during "Monday Night Football" using the tagline "Comfort. It's what we do." A man walks into a La-Z-Boy store with a chip on his shoulder in one ad. It's not until he finds his perfect match -- a comfy sofa -- that he unwinds with the salesman. Watch the ad here. "Custom Suit" features a man, his gaudy suit and his soon-to-be-gaudy sofa. Click here to watch. Another spot shows one man lounging on a sofa while another awkwardly dances in a failed attempt to make him feel uncomfortable. Watch the ad here. The final spot finds a fidgety man cured of his nervous tics once he plops down on a sofa. Even a fly on his nose can't change his Zen-like demeanor. Click here to watch. The spots will run during football games on ABC and ESPN, along with A&E, Bravo, CNN, ESPN, HGTV, Lifetime, TBS and USA networks. RPA created the campaign and handled the media buy.

WONGDOODY created a pro bono campaign earlier this year for the Seattle International Film Festival that compared the yearly festival to speed dating -- but with movies. You might end up liking something completely unexpected. One ad shows a set of mismatched couples describing how lucky they are to have found that special someone. My personal favorite is the woman coupled with a cadaver wrapped in a trash bag. "He just makes me feel so alive," she says as he slides down a couch. Watch the ad here. "Reaper" is an animated spot where the grim reaper meets an elderly woman at a crosswalk. He surprises the woman by placing his cape on a puddle of water. She crosses the street and gets hit by a bus. Watch the ad here. A couple mimics the spaghetti scene from "Lady and the Tramp" in "Ramen." The woman is part animal and eats her man as well. Watch the ad here. Medusa's stone exterior quickly crumbles when she finds love. Click here to watch. There's also a "Find True Film" microsite where visitors can take a "Genre Compatibility Test." A foreign action film and laxatives were recommended to me. Media buying was handled in-house.

BMW launched a TV spot promoting its yet unavailable BMW Hydrogen car. The spot broke on Saturday at the BMW Championship in Chicago. The car produces water rather than carbon dioxide, and the spot morphs a stream of water into a BMW. "A car that will leave its mark without leaving a mark," concludes the voiceover as the water-made car vanishes as quickly as it appeared. Watch the ad here.GSD&M's Idea City, the agency formerly know as GSD&M, created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Men's footwear company Johnson and Murphy launched a print campaign starring Jeremy Piven as the newest member of the company. The brand is repositioning its products as multi-functional rather than strictly business. Creative launched this month and runs through the rest of the year in GQ, Esquire, Men's Health, Forbes and Golf Digest. Past and present ads hype celebrities as a new company member. "Johnston, Murphy & Piven" reads copy featuring the actor. See the ad here. Ron Livingston, Ziggy Marley and Tiki Barber starred in previous ads. Toth Brand Imaging created the campaign and PGR Media handled the media buy.

Sunoco, the official fuel of NASCAR, is giving away a customized motorcycle supported by print, online, point of purchase and outdoor components. I'm most intrigued by the nozzle-talkers. I wonder what they say? "You're paying too much for gas, cut down by riding a motorcycle"? Sunoco customers will receive a glossy card featuring NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne with each 10 gallon fill-up. Once all four are collected, drivers can enter to win a bike created by the boys of Orange County Choppers, valued at $40,000. Print ads are running in Sporting News, Nascar Scene, Nascar Illustrated and souvenir program guides. Click here, here and here to see creative. LevLane created the campaign.
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