Out to Launch

David Duchovny. LL Cool J. Mac and PC. Erik Estrada? Let's launch!


Apple launched four -- that's right, four -- new "Get a Mac" TV spots, starring Mac and PC. I laughed out loud at each one, causing my neighboring co-workers to look at me strangely. Let's start with "Calming Teas." Even Justin Long can't keep a straight face in this ad, where PC launches a line of herbal teas to appease Vista owners. See it here. PC hides in a pizza box in the next ad, in an effort to trap college students into choosing PCs over Macs. "I'm a Mac, and I'm free pizza," begins my favorite ad, seen here. PC is the supposed king of the castle in "Throne." Until he finds out how easy it is for PC users to switch to a Mac. Watch it here. The last ad has the same theme as "Throne," featuring a Mac Genius convincing PC users to make the switch. PC doesn't like her tone, and pulls the plug on the ad, even making the beep noise when a station goes off the air. See it here. TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and handled the media buy.



Old Spice launched a print and TV campaign promoting its Swagger brand of products, starring football player Brian Urlacher and LL Cool J. Ads portray the two men as geeky and scrawny until Swagger becomes a part of their lives. Ulracher is depicted as a scrawny, bifocal-wearing teenager with a love for the medieval period. Makes me want to visit Medieval Times, stat. He is mocked by his peers, until he starts using Sawgger. "Who's laughing now?" giggles Ulracher. Watch the ad here. LL Cool J runs away from a hot chick at a high school dance in the next ad, seen here. Now he's the one who's hot. Print ads are equally funny, showing before and after shots of each men alongside boastful quotes of thanks. See the ads here and here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Liberty Mutual launched three TV ads this month, "Carnival" "Sidestep" and "Steering Wheel," with the latter two ads running heavily throughout the Olympics. "Carnival" keeps to the company's "pay it forward" concept, showing acts of kindness begetting more acts of kindness. See it here. "Sidestep" and "Steering Wheel" promote Liberty Mutual's accident forgiveness, new car replacement, and unlimited car rental coverage. A car is sideswiped in one ad, and unsurprisingly, no note is left. Watch it here. Viewers watch hands on a steering wheel react following an accident, in the final ad, seen here. Questions that run through a person's mind are scribbled out onscreen, while a voiceover describes an array of Liberty Mutual's products. Hill Holliday Boston created the campaign.

Stop Handgun Violence launched an outdoor ad in Massachusetts that draws attention to a gun show loophole allowing criminals and terrorists to buy guns without a criminal background check in a whopping 32 states. The Vegas-style ad is a mock gun-show announcement describing the ease with which people can buy guns. "We sell guns! No ID required. No background checks. Criminals and terrorists welcome" reads the ad, seen here. Wild postings designed as "for sale" posters are being distributed at both the Democratic and Republican National conventions. See an ad here. Modernista! created the campaign.

Apple launched two TV spots that demonstrate how easy it is to download applications from its App store immediately to an iPhone. Lonely Planet and Cro-Mag Rally are the two Apps that were prominently featured in the ads, seen here and here. I wonder if these were paid placements. Both spots conclude with a voiceover stating, "this is going to change everything." TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Annie's Homegrown print campaign, highlighting the brand's line of snack foods, like cereals and crackers, is targeted to parents in issues of Body & Soul, Everyday Food, Family Fun, Health, Parents and Wondertime. Using a new tag line, "Kids love it," ads show the influence of kids staunchly aware of what they want for lunch. A lunch box sits in a child's cubbyhole, protected by a combination lock in the first ad, seen here. The second ad, seen here, features a list of moms who bring in snacks -- a list that's clearly been edited by someone with certain preferences. A world geography folder in the third ad, found here, hides a snack box, but not very well. TDA Advertising & Design created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Bloom launched a TV, radio, in-store and guerilla campaign that amusingly attempts to vanquish consumers' real-life problems with ridiculously mundane solutions, like Bloom's stock of 130 varieties of coffee. The dark inner thoughts of shoppers are resolved out loud by Bloom employees in three TV spots, where olive oil and hand-made artisan bread quell sad tales of woe. One woman used to baby-sit her new boss; a man has an unexplained rash; problems like these are bandaged with fresh seafood and a large produce selection. My favorite ad features a cameo by Erik Estrada, complaining that he came in second in an Erik Estrada look-alike contest. See the ads here, here and here. "Bloomism" stickers were added to packaged goods and produce, bearing quirky sayings like "There is no 'I' in Bloomism. Except for that one. But focus, people. We're trying to make a point here." Click here and here to see more. BooneOakley created the campaign and handled the media buy.

I Can Has Cheezburger, the site known for its lolcats, launched a new Web site called that highlights hysterical Asian to English translations. Like its predecessor, the site is a huge procrastination tool that will rope you in, hypothetically speaking, of course. Pictures range from dirty translations to tamer ones like "fresh crap," "tunnel execution ground" and "tampon hockey." Covered Communications created the site.

David Duchovny is the latest celeb spokesman for Johnston & Murphy, a brand of men's footwear, apparel, luggage and accessories. Past spokesmen included Jeremy Piven, Ziggy Marley, and Tiki Barber. Is it just me, or does Duchovny look a bit stiff in the ads? Judge for yourself here, here and here.Ads featuring Duchovy are running throughout the summer and fall. Toth Brand Imaging created the campaign and Brand Cottage handled the media buy.
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