Out to Launch

  • by June 20, 2002
Every week new ad campaigns and websites are launched, and it’s hard to keep up with them all. To recap some of this week’s highlights: Yahoo! Inc. teamed up with Sposto Productions, LLC to launch an ad campaign for the summer film, “Men in Black II,” pop stars, Ashanti and Vanessa Carlton hooked up with Candie's, Inc. for a new national advertising campaign, and Coca Cola was busy launching two new consumer websites. Find out about these campaigns and others you may have missed in this week’s edition of “Out to Launch.”

Sposto Productions, LLC, the interactive solutions provider, was recently tapped by Yahoo! Inc. to develop an online advertising campaign for the highly-awaited film, “Men in Black II,” starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The rich media ads direct viewers to the Catch a Free Ride Giveaway, which can be seen at The “Tiffany” ad module allows two banner ads to interact with each other while on the same web page. The promotion, sponsored by Sony Pictures and Mercedes-Benz will be featured on Yahoo!’s Movies, Entertainment and News sites.



Eyeblaster, a company that manages rich media, came out with a new campaign designed to highlight growth and broad-based adoption by advertisers, agencies and publishers. The campaign calls for online advertising professionals to "Manage More Rich Media" with Eyeblaster. All creatives use Macromedia Flash content, and were developed internally. One of the ads shows quotes about Eyeblaster from leading agency executives ripped from publications and pinned to the user's browser window. A second creative lists agency and publisher adoption numbers on notes attached to the browser by refrigerator magnets. A third uses Post-It notes to promote category acceptance. Seven different formats are used by advertisers on the Eyeblaster platform: window ads (interstitials), full-page overlays, small and medium floating ads, expandable banners, wallpaper ads and the new commercial break format.

With all the toothpastes and strips designed to whiten teeth, Discus Dental, the developer of tooth whitening products and technologies for the professional dental community, is launching its first ever national TV advertising campaign to drive consumers back to the dentist. This brand building, direct response TV campaign, created and produced by Donat/Wald, will promote Zoom!Zoom!, a new tooth whitening technology administered in the dentist's office, which whitens teeth an average of eight shades in about an hour. The Zoom! campaign consists of three :30 television commercials and three :60 radio commercials that will be running through the end of 2002. The TV spots will air on cable networks such as E!, VH1, Family Network, Style, Learning Channel and Direct TV with targeted local buys in top DMAs.

They are young, hip, and at the top of the music charts. Now R&B princess, Ashanti and pop musician, Vanessa Carlton have hooked up with Candie's, Inc. for a new national advertising campaign. This is the first endorsement contract for each of the young stars. Ashanti and Vanessa are the first artists to be announced in a series of three to appear in the brand's new campaign. The third artist's identity will be revealed early next week. Each artist appears separately in her own print ad that portrays a playful, sexy fashion image with a twist, allowing each girl the freedom of self-expression. The print ads will break in September issues of fashion, entertainment and lifestyle magazines, such as Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Seventeen, and Teen People. The campaign was created by Candie's in-house creative team, and was shot by famed fashion photographer, Tony Duran.

Acura has hooked up with a music sensation of its own, launching a multi-tiered campaign in support of its third summer concert tour. "Acura Presents Santana" will be a two-month, 12-date concert series featuring the legendary guitarist. The tour, with major markets including New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, will be supported by regional media advertising, on-site vehicle displays, radio and TV promotions, a direct mail component and Internet marketing. In-market promos offer prizes including concert tickets, an opportunity to meet Santana, autographed Santana guitars and a Grand Prize luxury getaway weekend in San Francisco. Santana follows in the footsteps of Paul Simon, who played a nine-concert series last year, and John Fogerty who was featured in the Acura summer tour of 2000.

IBM takes a whimsical detour this week from its sports-metaphor theme, "e-business-play to win," with a lighthearted summer national TV campaign. Created by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, the warm-weather effort is backed by an estimated $35 million in spending, and highlights IBM's solid dependability by showing a world where faulty network systems are commonplace. The first two ads star fictional executives interviewing musicians to help with a new ad campaign. The executives ask rappers and "classic rockers," for an upbeat jingle that will soothe the customers who hate them. "No one operator can access our system," one executive laments in both spots. To which the artists respond with strained incredulity, "And you think a song can fix that?" In the end, an announcer reassuringly tells viewers that Linux, the Internet platform that IBM promotes for its business-solutions products, "is practically bulletproof" and offers easy reliability. The musician spots will be followed by one about an IT executive who bolts from a meeting to fix a phony system crash, but is actually heading for a vacation "until Labor Day."

Another campaign focused on the tech market: BAWLS Guarana, the highly caffeinated soft drink, has begun a national advertising campaign with a full schedule on TechTV, the only 24-hour cable television network dedicated to showcasing the importance technology has in everyday life. TechTV will serve as the first national television buy for BAWLS, the cyberathlete's beverage of choice. For close to three years, BAWLS has been fueling computer gamers across the country. The network's programming attracts a young, educated, mostly male audience that is action-oriented and represents the early adopters of technology. Thirty-second spots will run on the network for the next 10 weeks.

Skyy Vodka, the upscale malt beverage, will expand its "Skyy Cinema" campaign with six new executions, per Lambesis, Carlsbad, Calif., that portray cinematic cocktail moments. The highly stylized photographs are designed to play on the imaginations of target consumers ages 21-34. In "Assembly line," an attractive blonde reclines across the laps of three male models as they're mixing a martini. Another shows a Cleopatra-type model being fanned as she enjoys her Skyy martini. The ads will appear in upcoming issues of such publications as Entertainment Weekly, Movieline, Cosmopolitan and InStyle. Outdoor supports. The Skyy Cinema campaign was launched in 1998 and 38 executions have run to date.

Meanwhile, The North American Coffee Partnership, a venture between Starbucks Coffee Co. and PepsiCo, Inc., recently introduced a national TV advertising campaign for bottled Frappuccino coffee drink, and Starbucks DoubleShot, an espresso beverage that was introduced earlier this year. The advertising campaign for the two products includes one 30-second animated TV ad and a series of four 15- second animated TV commercials. Fallon-New York created the new spots, which are airing on national cable stations and regional broadcast stations. The venture is also releasing a print campaign featuring two-page advertisements in several consumer magazines. In addition, the company will also promote the products on the Internet and through outdoor advertising.

Coca-Cola has been just as busy, launching the first consumer site for its citrus soft drink, Mello Yello. The company also said it plans to debut two new Mello Yello spots on the Web site. The new commercials, which continue the "How would you stay smooth?" theme from Berlin Cameron & Partners in New York, will start appearing on TV later this month. Like the TV spots, the Web site focuses on the "smooth" experience of the beverage. One of the sections of the site, "Do I Rock or Not," lets visitors rate photos, audio clips and stories on a scale of one to ten according to how much they think the submissions "rock."

Coca-Cola also partnered with AOL to launch, an immersing, online music experience that will let consumers “don avatars” and mingle with others. The action is much like that in Neal Stephenson's 1992 cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. The avatars have been dubbed V-egos. Everything from skin color to sunglasses can be selected to create a virtual persona that will interact with others within the online world of Coke Studios. Here, they can also mix their own demos using sampled bits of guitar, synthesizer and drum tracks. At the "Launching Pad" section of the site, AOL Music will feature music from eight to 10 up-and-coming artists each month such as Rubyhorse and Nappy Roots. Streaming music from Coke FM as well as music downloads are available as well. StudioCom, Atlanta, helped create the site.

Last but not least: Kmart Corp. re-launched and re-named its online shopping site. The company said in a press release Wednesday that the new site will feature additional products and more information on Kmart stores, including an area on the home page to alert consumers to nationwide events, promotions and sales. The name of the site, which is operated by its wholly owned unit, was changed to from Kmart said the new site includes the same "visual themes" found in its recently unveiled "Stuff of Life" advertising campaign and corporate brand positioning program. The site also features an improved interface and an expanded inventory of brands.

-- This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Lindsey Fadner. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.

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