Out to Launch

Holiday ads. The Mac vs. PC squabbling continues. Let's launch!

Microsoft launched an amusing campaign to promote its Windows Home Server, touted as the first "stay-at-home" server. Playing off the stereotypes faced by stay-at-home Dads, a series of viral videos debate the stay-at-home trend though a TV news show called "America's Talking." The anchor, best described as any combination of news anchors found on Fox News, interviews a family with a stay-at-home server in one video. "If you were a real man, why don't you buy a real server," says the anchor to the father. Anchorman then hits on the lady of the house and declares an interview with the children "a total waste of time." Watch the video here. Another video features the anchor interviewing an advocate of stay-at-home servers and a tech geek who disbelieves the hype. The advocate reads from a children's book aptly named, "Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House."Click here to watch the video. The book actually exists and will be sold on If you can't get enough of TV anchor Mark Steele, he lives online at Creature created the campaign and HL2 handled the media buy.



The Mac vs. PC debate continues with two new "Get a Mac" TV ads starring John Hodgman and Justin Long. In "Misprint," PC calls PC World magazine to inform them of a flagrant misprint, stating that a Mac runs Vista faster than a PC. The spot ends with Mac being poorly impersonated by PC, who's hoping to sway matters in his favor. Watch the ad here. PC publishes a duo of books in "Now What," in an effort to persuade users to purchase PCs, despite the problems that might ensue. Click here to watch. TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

Guinness launched a holiday ad campaign urging drinkers to be responsible when party-hopping this season. Take a cab! Taxis line up outside a bar to pick up fares; then the ad pans out to reveal a city block chock full of lights and liveliness, that's actually inside a pint of Guinness. "It's alive inside," says the voiceover. Watch the ad here. The ad is an extension of the brand's "Alive Inside" campaign, which includes the popular spot, "Music Machine," where a pint of Guinness makes beautiful music, courtesy of drums and acrobats. See the ad here. BBDO New York created the campaign and Mediacom handled the media buy.

Dairy Queen launched a holiday Web site to promote its new gift cards and share the joy... with an elderly spokeswoman named Joy. Visitors can watch a series of video clips of Joy tap-dancing, singing with her cats, getting down with Santa, and my personal favorite, Joy's condensed reenactment of "A Christmas Carol." Better still, you can "Share DQ Joy" by emailing videos to family and friends. Space150 created the site.

Nike+ launched "Long Time Coming," a 60-second TV spot targeting hard-core runners. The spot takes a run through time, featuring figures either running from something or toward a goal, such as an Indian chasing after a meal, or a suspect running from a policeman. Fast-forward to present day and a man doing a poor impression of running on a treadmill. Lacking drive, he's quickly blown out of the water by serious runners. Watch the ad here. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the ad, its first for Nike. While the ad is enjoyable to watch, it doesn't motivate me to run like other runner-centric campaigns do, such as this set of ads. I look forward to seeing phase two of this campaign. Wieden+Kennedy Portland handled the media buy.

Teamwork is the star of a print and TV campaign promoting Nike's Team Elite Footwear Series. A high school basketball team shows its aggressive moves on the court in the TV spot. Alone, they might not look intimidating; working together, they become a "Beautiful Monster." Watch the ad here. Print ads capture each player in action, combined to create a force to be reckoned with. Click here to view creative. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign and handled the media buy.

EBay makes ice fishing look like a fun, competitive sport where its competitors dress inappropriately for low temps. Good thing the ice fishing only serves as a metaphor. The holiday-themed ad teams a variety of people vying for a guitar, handbag and plasma TV. I loved when a woman needed to use a net to properly contain her catch (a handbag). Watch the ad here. BBDO New York created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

A gingerbread man fixes a hole in his house left by hungry humans in an ad for AT&T. His son wants a Go Phone for Christmas, which the father has dutifully purchased. The spot ends with a hand grabbing a large portion of gingerbread roof to eat, revealing Mrs. Gingerbread relaxing in the bathtub. "Come on, it's the holidays," says the father, voiced by Steve Buscemi. Norm MacDonald is the voice of the son. Watch the ad here. BBDO New York created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buy.

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