Out to Launch!

This week promises to be all about money, soft drinks, jeans, cars and Preparation H. Intrigued? Time to go Out to Launch!

MasterCard International is kicking off a multi-tiered marketing program for debit MasterCard. The centerpieces of the campaign include a new “Priceless” debit television spot, which makes its debut at the Academy Awards, and a SunStakes Sweepstakes, which will launch next month nationwide. The new spot, entitled “Running Errands” mimics an action movie, depicting a determined mother running from store to store with her debit MasterCard to purchase last minute school supplies for her son. MasterCard estimates 180 million television viewers will see the ad through the spring. The sweepstakes will be supported via radio spots, which will air in select markets nationwide, statement inserts and messaging, in-branch materials, and direct mail.



From money to celebrities, supermodel and supermom Cindy Crawford will reprise her 1991 role in a new Diet Pepsi commercial during the ABC telecast. The new Diet Pepsi spot updates an award-winning ad produced for regular Pepsi in 1991, in which a pair of awestruck boys watched Crawford approach a Pepsi vending machine (“Is that a great new Pepsi can or what?”). The new commercial, titled “Two More Kids,” Crawford comes across a Diet Pepsi machine with sparkling new “bubbly blue” graphics at a dusty old country store while the song “Just One Look,” plays in the background. Two kids gawk as Crawford takes a long, slow, gulp of Diet Pepsi. Are they mesmerized by Crawford or by the new look of Diet Pepsi? Produced by BBDO New York, the commercial unveils the new tagline, “Think Young. Drink Young.”

Aquafina bottled water brand also bows new commercials on the Oscar telecast. Featuring the eloquent voice and charming wit of the consummate ambassador to the rich and famous, Robin Leach, Aquafina's new ads make light of Hollywood's biggest night. Leach describes situations where “nothing” turns out to be the most prestigious “something” you can receive from bottled water. The spots were created by Element 79, a division of Omnicom, based in Chicago.

Keeping things aquatic, Tommy Jeans spring 2002 advertising campaign celebrates Tommy Hilfiger's all-American sensibility and love of Nantucket. Set by the docks at a perfect weekend getaway on the beautiful island, the campaign highlights rising model Lauren Bush and marks the beginning of her two-year modeling contract for the Tommy Jeans collection. Created by Deutsch, the national advertising campaign was shot by famed photographer Carter Smith. Remaining true to the umbrella concept of the “Nantucket Weekend” evident in the sportswear campaign, the Tommy Jeans campaign captures a group of young friends sharing easy, playful moments together on a sunny afternoon. The ads will begin appearing in April consumer magazines including Teen People, Vibe, Spin, Seventeen, YM, Blender, Rolling Stone and Cosmo Girl, as well as outdoor venues in March.

From drink to food, as part of its “Smile” campaign, McDonald's Corp. will debut a brand spot during the Academy Awards broadcast with a timeless storyline and big screen-style cinematography. The 30-second spot, titled “Kids' Table,” shows a father joining the adults for dinner but longing to be with the children at the next table who are enjoying food and fun from McDonald's. As one of the kids slips him a fry, the voiceover says, “Here's to growing up...but never really wanting to leave the kids' table.” The commercial was written and produced by DDB Chicago.

Staying on the subject of fast food, another situation comedy duo forks it over for Denny's restaurants. Actors Barney Martin and Liz Sheridan, best known as the television parents of Jerry Seinfeld on the "Seinfeld" sitcom, will be featured in a new commercial for the family restaurant chain that begins airing nationally on March 25 in a five-week flight. The couple is depicted eating a Denny's breakfast as Martin raves about the $2.99 Grand Slam. When Sheridan points out that breakfast at home is a better deal because it's free, Martin wittingly replies, "Believe me. I pay for it." The spot was produced by Denny's general market creative advertising agency, WestWayne, Inc. of Tampa, Fla., and will air on national cable, including A&E, ESPN, The Family Channel, Lifetime and USA networks. The ad will also run on spot television in over 30 markets.

In other news, Infiniti is launching its all new 2003 G35 sports sedan with an innovative advertising campaign, which breaks today with newspaper inserts, and continues tomorrow with the introductory TV spot, titled “Anthem,” which draws upon the fantastic visions of the automotive future made famous by Popular Science Magazine articles and concept show cars from the past. The campaign will continue with two other spots – “Heart” and “Hand” - that will air beginning April 1. The ad campaign includes television, print, outdoor and interactive advertising created by Infiniti's agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, based in Playa del Rey, Calif.

Don Zimmer comes off the bench to go to bat for Preparation H in an ad campaign. Zimmer, a 54-year veteran of baseball, is featured in a new TV spot for the brand that recently began airing nationally. The 30-second Zimmer Preparation H spot is set in a baseball dugout. Gary Thorne, who has been an announcer during baseball game telecasts for ESPN and ABC, gives the play-by-play as Zimmer becomes uncomfortable and then seeks relief with Preparation H. Grey Worldwide, an integrated communications agency headquartered in New York, produced the ad. “When I was approached by Preparation H, I thought this was a natural fit for me since I do use the product,”' said Don Zimmer. “I also saw this as a great opportunity to poke a little fun at myself while being able to help others that are afflicted with this ailment.”

Gateway, Inc. Chairman and CEO Ted Waitt hit the road last night with his talking cow in a new TV commercial for the Gateway Solo 1400se notebook. The first in a series of road trip-themed Gateway TV spots promoting the company's expanding digital entertainment capabilities, the commercial features Waitt on the road, towing a trailer in which his talking Holstein cow rides. Stopping at a roadside diner, Ted checks on the cow, who complains about the trailer's lack of creature comforts. Ted presents the cow with a Gateway Solo 1400se notebook so he can watch his favorite movie, True Grit, while Ted goes into the diner for a bite. The cow tells Ted, “Take your time, cowboy.” The campaign was created by Gateway's advertising agency, Siltanen/Keehn of El Segundo, Calif.

And last, but not least, American Express last Friday announced a new brand advertising campaign designed to unify the company's various businesses using fresh messaging with a modern voice that will reinforce the core values of the brand, and reaffirm the importance of relationships with its customers. The campaign includes a number of core elements, including the creation of an original song written as an “anthem” for the two first television spots and performed by Elektra recording artist Alana Davis. It also includes a print campaign that reunites American Express with photographer Annie Leibovitz who shot the memorable “Portraits” campaign for the company in the 1980's. The campaign introduces the new company anchor line, “Make Life Rewarding.”

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