Out To Launch

Olympic ads. "Gossip Girl" stays sexy. Fake doctors sell Dr Pepper. Old Spice already went there. Let's launch!

Yesterday, Ruby Tuesday made a big to-do about changing its menu and décor to simple American dining. Teaser TV, online and newspaper and ads drove people to, where a ticker counted down to yesterday at 3 p.m., a time when Ruby Tuesday said it would broadcast the demolition of its last remaining old restaurant. See the ads for "It's a brand new Tuesday," here, here and here. Visit the site today and you'll find an apology from Ruby Tuesday's to Cheeky's restaurant. The demolition crew mistook Cheeky's for Ruby Tuesday's, and blew up the wrong restaurant. Now a simple Google search confirms this is a farce. At least sponsored links were purchased. The Cheeky's Bar and Grill site displays the following message: "Due to recent events, The Cheeky's Bar and Grill website is unavailable at this time. If you witnessed the August 5th incident in which Ruby Tuesday, Inc. demolished our restaurant, please contact us at" We're on to you, Ruby Tuesday. BooneOakley created the campaign and handled the media buy.



Radar Online launched a series of print house ads that prey on most people's guilty pleasure: pop culture scandals. I love these ads because, hey, I have guilty pleasures like everyone else, and the creative is quite good, compared to most magazine house ads. Translation: They look like paid ads. First up is the Plastic Surgery Fairy, pondering the latest celeb to go under the knife. The fairy herself is no stranger to surgery. Then there are the celeb mug shots. Almost as exciting as, say, a visit from the Easter bunny? "Who got bit by the intolerance bug today," reads the last ad, featuring a bug covered in a Confederate flag, Nazi armbands and a KKK hood. See the ads here, here and here, created by Walrus.

Johnson's Baby products launched a TV and online campaign called "Thanks, Mom," starring Olympic athletes thanking their mothers for all of their love and support through the years. Using actual family footage, the athletes recall past experiences, both good and bad, where their mom's have been a motivating factor in their careers. Track and field athlete Shalane Flanagan gets choked up in her ad, thanking her mother for the little things shown to her. See it here. Swimmer Cullen Jones thanks his mom for enrolling him in swim classes and for being his #1 cheerleader. Watch the ad here. Triathlete Jarrod Shoemaker thanks his mom for teaching him to ride a bike, swim and love. Click here to watch. Volleyball player Richard Lambourne and triathleteSarah Haskins round out the remaining ads, seen here and here.The digital portion of the campaign includes extended clips of athletes and an Olympic-themed animated cartoon featuring the voice of Mariska Hargitay. Lowe New York created the campaign and J3 handled the media buy.

Minsheng Bank, a private commercial bank in China, launched an Olympic-themed TV spot on China Central Television. The spot features male and female gymnasts performing on a balance beam, pommel horse, uneven bars and rings, each followed by an iridescent light that essentially morphs into the Minsheng Bank logo. See the ad here. DMG created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Dr Pepper is late to the game in using fake doctors to hawk product. Old Spice, which used Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.) in its deodorant ad, seen here, gets top billing in my book. Dr Pepper's "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor" campaign urges drinkers to enjoy the soft drink slowly, in an effort to savor its 23 flavors. The first fake doctor on call is Dr. J (Julius Erving). The TV spot includes old footage of the basketball legend in action, concluding with a present-day Erving sinking an ice cube (well, something resembling one) into a glass. Watch the ad here. Next doctor on tap will be Dr. Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer, an ad I'm looking forward to. Personally, I'm holding out for the big gun: Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. Deutsch LA created the campaign and Initiative handled the media buy. 

I don't watch "Gossip Girl," but its print and outdoor campaign promoting the upcoming second season is enticing me to tune in. The ads use real quotes from the media such as "Mind-blowingly inappropriate," "Every parent's nightmare," and "A nasty piece of work," coupled with sexy scenes from the show. I know where I'll be on Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. See the ads here, here, here and here. WONGDOODY created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

TrashTalkFCM turned famous Boston landmarks blue, courtesy of high-powered lighting, in a campaign for a social networking site created by the US Navy. "Paint the Town Blue" supports, a site where Navy moms can talk to one another. The Green Monster (Fenway Park) took on a navy hue and the top floors of the Prudential building changed colors. It reminds me of the times when the Empire State building changes colors for holidays.

Infiniti Canada launched a TV spot touting its partnership with Cirque du Soleil. The spot begins with a Cirque du Soleil performer balancing on and tumbling down two pieces of yellow fabric. Not your typical car ad. The yellow pieces of fabric morph into yellow road lines with an Infiniti making an appearance shortly thereafter. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Toronto.

And now, some shameless self-promotion. MediaPost, publisher of Out to Launch, partnered with Adblade to develop a customized Facebook widget. The MediaPost Feed provides online media, marketing and advertising news and commentary. And there's an interactive voting and commenting feature that allows users to vote and comment on their favorite stories. Download the app on Facebook here.

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