Out to Launch

Airborne wants you to spread it. Erik Estrada found in "Monday Night Football" ad. Extended Stay Hotels are a gas. Let's launch!

Universal Orlando launched a TV spot in Florida to promote its 18th annual Halloween Horror Nights, which is held on both Coasts. The new "scharacter" making her debut this year is none other than Bloody Mary. You know the urban legend: Say her name three times while looking in a mirror, and she makes an appearance. The ad begins with a frightening Bloody Mary sitting at her vanity table and beautifying herself. She cleans off her mirror, sees the reflection of a young man who's chanting her name, and breaks on through to the other side of the mirror. I have to admit, the ad scared me, until it concluded with a shill for Coke Zero. See it here. David&Goliath created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.



The Magazine Publishers of America launched a trade print and online campaign that screams, not only is print alive, but print ads drive consumers to search online. It doesn't mean purchases are being made, however. The print component of "Under the Influence of Magazines" shows three brand loyalists surrounded by their favorite products: Adidas, Häagen-Dazs and MINI Cooper. See the ads here, here and here, running in AdvertisingAge, Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek, and online at and When I first saw the ads, I thought they were the latest "Life Takes Visa" ads. See a Visa ad here and let me know what you think. Toy New York created the campaign. The print media buy was handled in-house and Crossmedia handled the online media buy.

British Airways launched three print ads using the artwork from three New York illustrators to comically promote its latest Club World campaign. "A more civilized way to bring someone along," read the ads that offer a complimentary companion ticket when consumers fly Club World. My favorite of the three ads, seen here, here and here, has a husband attempting to pack his wife into a suitcase and yelling, "Suck in, Marge! Suck in!" Ads are running in the New York Times, USA Today, WSJ Marketplace, Business Week, The Economist, Forbes, Fortune and Travel & Leisure. BBH New York created the campaign and Optimedia handled the media buy.

Does adding Italian opera music to the background of an ad for a hotel chain make the spot, which is one big fart joke, any more highbrow? Not really, but that didn't stop me from loving the 60-second ad for Extended Stay Hotels. That's also the amount of time it took for me to figure out what was being advertised. Residents of the hotel will feel so relaxed, that farting will be effortless, like it is when you're home. The people in the ad are so strong-winded that doors close, candles are extinguished, and flowers and bed sheets sway. "No place makes you feel more comfortable," concludes the ad, seen here. Toy New York created the campaign and Crossmedia handled the media buy.

Blue Shield of California launched an outdoor display of life-sized statues stripped of both clothing and health insurance, to draw attention to the 6.7 million California residents who are uninsured. Forty statues, seen here and here, were placed at the Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, with numbers etched on their backs, symbolizing their place in an uninsured world. "Uncovered" aims to show that everyday people, even your neighbors, might go through life without health insurance. A Web site houses a video and activities that further puts the plight of the uninsured into perspective. TAXI New York created the campaign.

Fabio who? Airborne, the immune-system-boosting tablets, launched an amusing TV ad that introduces viewers to Sebastian, a hunky hero plucked from a romance novel, whose mission is to spread Airborne to those in need of a kick. Sebastian rides a horse, does squats, has unusually shiny hair, nice abs and is a do-gooder! He roams the present-day streets for run-down parents in need of energy. The ad closes with Sebastian slipping an Airborne into an unsuspecting woman's drink. Watch the ad here. BBH New York created the campaign and RJ Palmer handled the media buy.

The latest ESPN ad promoting "Monday Night Football" features an ever-so-brief cameo from Erik Estrada. Make that a cameo of a framed picture of Erik Estrada. Good to see he's keeping busy. "Cubicles" follows a man returning to his office cubicle on Monday, dreading the week ahead of him, until he envisions a Monday night full of football, pizza and friends. See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York.

Apple launched a contextual ad on the New York Times Web site called "Editorial," where PC gets emotional. The latest ad from the "Get a Mac" campaign features PC moving an editorial column onto the site that discourages consumers from buying Macs. PC further stresses his point by making a series of angry faces, which only humor Mac. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Media Arts Lab.

Dodge Journey launched a 60-second cinema spot this summer to promote its 2009 model. A group of friends drive to the top of a hilly, city street (San Francisco, maybe), unload the contents of their lone vehicle and erect a large waterslide. A crowd gathers to enjoy the festivities and businessmen in suits leave their offices to take a ride down the waterslide. Nothing like this ever happens outside my office. Watch the ad here. BBDO Detroit created the campaign and PHD handled the media buy.

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