Out to Launch

Chuck Norris walks into a tearoom... Visa cardholders juggle with ease. Sony Bravia brings Play-Doh to life. Let's launch!

As a kid, I loved playing Labyrinth, where the object of the game was to maneuver a steel ball through a maze without letting the ball fall through a series of holes. In the latest campaign for the Nissan Rogue, a big city is the maze and the Rogue is the steel ball. Needless to say, I've watched this ad numerous times. "Maze" begins with shots of the Rogue guiding through busy streets, avoiding potholes and pedestrians while anything that's not attached to the ground -- newspapers, pool water and cars -- falls underground. The Nissan Rogue, however, outperforms the traffic and remains aboveground. "Game on," says the voiceover as the camera pans out to reveal the city is one elaborate version of Labyrinth. Watch the ad here. "Convenience" and "Performance" keep the maze motif while highlighting the car's amenities. Watch the ads here and here. TBWA/Chiat/Day created the ads and OMD handled the media buy.



Godiva Chocolatier launched a print and outdoor campaign melting together chocolate, fashion and luxury. Creative uses fashion-conscious women posed with oversized Godiva packaging, some reaching out to eat the rich chocolate that surrounds them. They won't stay skinny too long if they overindulge in chocolate that big. Click here, here and here to view creative. Print and outdoor ads break in November, and be on the lookout for in-mall ads on table tents, elevator wraps and escalator wraps. Sugartown Creative created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buying.

Sony Bravia launched its latest ad promoting its high-def LCD TVs last week, but how does it rank compared to its predecessors? First came "Balls," where 250,000 colorful bouncy balls were unleashed on the streets of San Francisco. Next came "Paint," where a series of abandoned buildings in Glasgow exploded with color while a clown is shown fleeing the scene. Now, colored rabbits invade Manhattan in "Play-Doh," which uses stop-frame animation and 2.5 tons of Play-Doh (I wonder if the company had to pay for this publicity?) to create something from nothing. Small blobs of Play-Doh emerge from the city's garbage cans and drainpipes and multiply like... rabbits, starting small and growing in size to become a purple wave that breaks apart while a giant red rabbit emerges. The rabbit melts into hundreds of multi-colored cubes and concludes with the "Colour like no other" tagline. The ads are tough to rank, but "Balls" remains my favorite of the three, then "Play-Doh," and lastly "Paint." Fallon UK created the ad, which will run throughout Europe, and OMD handled the media buy.

Honda Ridgeline launched four TV ads where traditional truck qualities are combined with features not regularly seen in trucks. It sounds like the opening of a joke, but a dirty Chuck Norris walks into a highly sophisticated tearoom in the first ad. "Tough meets classy," says the voiceover. See the ad here. A lumberjack floats in outer space, combining rugged and spacious qualities of the Ridgeline. Click here to watch. Thanksgiving dinner is made all the more exciting when you carve the turkey with a miniature light saber. Watch the ad here. Saxophone player LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band riffs on a fishing boat tackling rough waters. See the ad here. RPA created the campaign and handled the media buy.

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin, Texas launched a branding campaign this month to draw attention to the touring exhibits and artwork found at the museum, along with its permanent pieces, including 60 Charles Umlauf pieces displayed throughout a six-acre garden. Print ads launched this month in Tribeza, and will be supported by posters, T-shirts and other items that will be distributed throughout Austin. A local photographer shot "animals" on the museum grounds "in character," coupled with the tagline, "Art. Framed By Nature."The creative introduces characters such as Fernando "Hops" Rivera, a frog/museum tour guide; Larry "Bushytail" Bowski, a squirrel/security guard; and Merrillee "Beaky" Fowler, duck/head curator; all posing before backdrops of sculptures in the gardens. See the ads here, here and here. Door Number 3 created the pro bono campaign.

The California Milk Processor Board launched an updated TV spot driving traffic to, where gamers can guide the Adachi family on their quest to find the last glass of milk on earth. The 30-second spot compiles highlights from the online game that launched in March. If you haven't played the game yet, take a spin, for it's highly entertaining. Watch the ad here. Goodby, Silverstein and Partners created the campaign and PHD handled the media buy.

Mother and son visit a toy store in "Juggling," the latest ad for the Visa check card. Customers juggle their toys up to the register, drop them in a box, swipe their card and they're off. Mom effortlessly juggles her son's toys until she whips out her checkbook; then, toys fall throughout the store. Harmony is restored when the woman uses her Visa check card. Watch the ad here. TBWA/Chiat/Day created the ad and OMD handled the media buy.

Suzuki launched a Web site showcasing its 2008 line of motorcycles. The microsite features a description of eight different models, each with its own photo gallery, features, tech specs and colors section. There's also an area to find a local Suzuki motorcycle dealer or send info to a friend, and a free newsletter function. Questus created the site.
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