Out to Launch

There's a magazine in my Levi's. "Monday Night Football" is back. Let's launch!

ESPN launched three comical TV campaigns promoting "Sunday NFL Countdown." An unusual set of judges turn up for an episode of "Dancing With The Stars." Conversation motivates Mike Ditka to dance the 1985 Super Bowl shuffle, for obvious reasons. See the ad here. Steve Young, Chris Berman and others talk global warming on Capitol Hill. "It's definitely hot... just like the NFC North's running game," says Young. Watch it here. My favorite ad is "Antiques," where the resident football experts spoof an episode of "Antiques Roadshow." Appraising a rare, valuable, feline figurine never looked so good. See it here. Wieden + Kennedy New York created the campaign.



The California Academy of Sciences launched a branding campaign to promote the Sept. 27 opening of its new facility. The Academy houses an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and living roof, planted with native California vegetation and sustainable without artificial irrigation or fertilization. Creative has a lot to cover. Print ads focus on the impressive roof and the experiences that take place inside the museum. In addition, 12 bus shelters were wrapped with colorful images of a rainforest, outer space and a coral reef. One bus shelter received its own living green roof, which the Academy hopes to maintain as a permanent fixture and gift to San Francisco. See the ads here, here and here, created by Heat.

Steak 'n Shake launched two TV ads that respond to consumers' submissions to a suggestion box, no matter how outlandish the request. The first ad, seen here, shows how things would run if a former highway patrolman worked for Steak 'n Shake. If you're lucky, you might even get a burger for a fair price. The second spot highlights employee talents other than making burgers and milkshakes. See it here. Young & Laramore created the campaign and EchoPoint Media handled the media buy.

I wish real life played out like a Barilla pasta ad. Then I'd have a sister living in Italy, who's trying to set me up with her gorgeous neighbor and keep me well fed at the same time. That's the gist of "Sisters." Did I mention this plot unfolds while Andrea Bocelli is crooning in the background? See it here. Bocelli's voice is prominent in the second ad, "Surprise," but this ad is lighter on the saccharine. Promoting Barilla Piccolini, the ad follows a mother and young daughter into a restaurant where the chef prepares a plate of miniature pasta specially for the young girl. The chef delivers the meals and the viewer finds out that the little girl is his daughter. Watch the ad here. Euro RSCG Chicago created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

New Yorkers love football and stealing. This is what I learned from ESPN's "Is It Monday Yet?" outdoor campaign for "Monday Night Football." Twenty bus shelter ads constructed from turf-like materials were stolen in a seven-day time span. Really? Postings feature phrases such as "T.G.I.M.N.F." "Sack Monday's Doldrums" and "Stiff-Arm Monday's Suckery." It would have been really clever if there was a message left below the stolen ads that continued to promote MNF, despite the initial ad being stolen. But then you'd be assuming the ads would be stolen... Los Angeles reported 13 ads stolen followed by six in Chicago, five in Washington D.C., three in Boston and two in San Francisco. The campaign has been halted, needless to say. Check out the ads here and here, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York.

Red Tettemer launched a guerilla campaign for Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery as a cultural and educational destination. Vinyl clings were placed on sidewalks, monuments and elevators in Manayunk, Center City, East Falls and Old City, Penn. "Here lies no one. What a waste of perfectly good marble," reads one ad, seen here and here. Other elements, seen here and here, feature a metal fork stuck inside an outlet and a toaster floating in water. Affixed to each are stickers that say, "Attention. For an easier way to get to Laurel Hill Cemetery, visit"

Pioneer Electronics launched a brand campaign supporting its KURO televisions and line of home audio video products. Creative is just as strange as the first phase of this campaign, which featured mouths in eyeballs, eyeballs in chests -- weird stuff. TV and print ads show men and women who are transformed into objects they see or hear on TV. See the TV ad here, running on cable and throughout ESPN college football. Print ads, running in Esquire, Men's Health and WIRED, illustrate one woman morphing into a rose and another sprouting butterfly wings for ears. A man looks like he was run over by a racecar in another ad, and the final shows a man becoming a trumpet, though he looks more like a snail to me. See the ads here, here, here and here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.

Levi's Hong Kong launched an interesting campaign supporting a new 501 collection, and taking the brand platform "Live Unbuttoned," quite literally. The brand partnered with East Touch Magazine to make readers work for their magazine. A miniature version of the new Levi's 501 conceals the magazine, so readers must unbutton the jeans to unveil it. The displays, seen here and here, will be sold at newsstands and 7-Elevens across Hong Kong. TBWA/ TEQUILA/ Hong Kong created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.
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