Out To Launch!

Every week new ad campaigns and websites are launched, and it's hard to keep up with them all. If you missed a few, here are this week's highlights - Jose Feliciano, Lisa Ling, and your taxes. Let's do Launch!

Kmart Corp. launched a new marketing campaign Monday that targets black and Hispanic shoppers. The campaign, which will be released in stages, begins with radio advertising in markets with a strong black consumer presence. The spots feature original music by Chaka Khan and BeBe Winans. In the coming weeks, television commercials will be released in markets with a strong black and Hispanic presence, with Spanish-language spots featuring music by Jose Feliciano. As with the retailer's recent general consumer campaign, the tagline for the new ads will be "Kmart. The Stuff of Life," or "Kmart. Las Cosas para la Vida."



Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., a residential finance company, announced a new national advertising campaign intended to develop awareness of the company's top ranking in J.D. Power and Associates' inaugural 2002 Home Mortgage Study. In results released late last year, Countrywide Home Loans was ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among the largest national home mortgage lenders by the global marketing information services firm. The new ads, developed in partnership with West Hollywood-based Dailey & Associates Advertising, promote Countrywide as the first home lender to be ranked #1 in customer satisfaction. The two spots debuted March 25 on major cable networks. The commercials will also be featured on the live telecasts of The Countrywide Tradition, a major Senior PGA Tournament, on ESPN and ABC, April 25-28.

Speaking of golf, King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. this week announced the launch of the direct-to-consumer marketing campaign for Altace (ramipril), an angiotensin converting enzyme (“ACE”) inhibitor, featuring legendary professional golfer Jack Nicklaus. The campaign commenced with a print ad in the current issue of U.S. News and World Report. National television advertising of Altace is planned to begin this week with commercials airing initially on national outlets, including CNN, FOX News Channel, TNT and CNBC. Altace is marketed by Monarch Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of King, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Toothpaste brand Mentadent is launching a new campaign to help educate Americans about the importance of oral health and the steps to take to achieve it. To kick off the campaign, a larger-than-life dental health exhibit was set up in Grand Central Station. The View “Smart Mouths” Lisa Ling and Meredith Vieira were on hand to show their support and motivate improved oral hygiene habits. Registered dental hygienists took part in the event by demonstrating brushing basics, correcting common myths about dental health and answering questions. The orally ambitious and challenged could take a seat in a dental chair and test their Oral Health IQ with a dental hygienist, while meeting “Albert Einstein” -- one of the faces featured in Mentadent's new Great Minds Brush Alike advertising campaign that was also unveiled. Following the New York event, the Mentadent mobile dental health education tour will be setting up in a variety of venues to help open America's eyes about oral health and to showcase why clean teeth is a sign of true genius.

Official Payments Corporation, a provider of electronic payment options to government entities, has launched a $3 million national advertising campaign that will run until the April 15 tax deadline. The campaign is designed to build awareness and encourage consumer usage of the company's credit card tax payment option, which is available via the Internet at and telephone (1-800-2PAY-TAX). The multi-media campaign targets taxpayers who hold Visa, American Express, MasterCard, or Discover credit cards. The creative will run on national network radio, local spot radio in major metropolitan areas, cable television, network television, and in national newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal. Insertions are targeted to appear within relevant editorial environments with an emphasis on news and information programming. Concurrent with the consumer campaign, a separate creative effort targeting tax preparation professionals is running in national accounting trade publications.

Hotel Reservations Network, a specialized provider of discount hotel accommodations worldwide, launched a major new online travel brand  - - and an entirely new website. New York City is the starting point of a national advertising and marketing campaign, which is designed to create consumer awareness of the new brand. Electronic ads will appear on the Panasonic Ultravision billboard in Times Square, and more than 100 taxicabs will sport the name throughout NYC. The campaign will continue with national TV ads, as well as local network TV ads in major markets - New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas. Cable TV ads will appear on USA, CNN, MSNBC, FOX Newschannel and the Travel Channel. Print advertising will include many major newspapers and magazines, and radio ads will run in key markets including Chicago, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Washington, D.C.

Also in websites, Etracks, a developer of technology-based email marketing solutions, has launched a new website. Etracks has been providing permission based email solutions to clients since 1998 with its APTracking technology, which has the ability to track and report on conversion rates of clients' customers without requiring any modification to the clients' website.

Another marketing company, WycheWorks, the marketing and communications firm that announced its launch in early March, unveiled a new website. WycheWorks is a professional services firm that provides strategic marketing counsel and advertising solutions, including website creation, direct mail, graphic design, and campaign development and execution, to businesses located in Central North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, RTP and Chapel Hill. The site features ten complete case studies or briefs. Each contains full background information on the requirements and goals, examples of the work produced during the project, and reporting of the outcome associated with the project.

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

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