Out to Launch

Swedish Fish: friends you can eat. ASICS tugs at my shoelaces. No need to vote, things are fine. Let's launch! has made some changes to its site and launched three TV ads created by its new agency, Hanft Raboy & Partners New York. Nagging questions take on a human form, with a head that rests on the shoulders of people that need answers. A pregnant woman wonders where her Kegel muscles are and whether it's safe to have sex in the third trimester, among other burning questions. A policeman wants to know when "Cops" airs on TV and how he can make his mustache thicker in another ad, seen here. An eighth grader wants to put on muscle and converse with girls in the final ad. Oh, and did I mention that all the lingering questions have accents! Intriguing. Mullen handled the media buy.



New York City's 42 Street Shuttle train has been branded with ads inside and out to promote season three of History's "Cities Of The Underworld." Interior wraps have been executed for years -- I'm partial to HBO's Deadwood campaign from 2005 -- but an exterior ad wrap is a first. So is it safe to say that the MTA will not be raising fares? I'll keep dreaming. The series follows urban explorer Don Wildman hundreds of feet underground to explore hidden gems that make up the groundwork of cities. What better place to advertise than underground? See the shuttle pictures here, here and here, created by CBS Outdoor and Horizon Media.

I love Stephen King, Yankees-bashing -- and SportsCenter ads combining those things. Thank you, ESPN. Kenny Mayne tells viewers that anchors write their own material... most of the time, in "Ghostwriter."Occasionally outside sources are brought in, like diehard Boston fan Stephen King, who writes that the Red Sox defeated the Yankees because New York's lineup was possessed by the demon. I've fallen for stranger things. See the ad here, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York.

Swedish Fish launched a print campaign using the tag line, "A Friend You Can Eat." Is the candy positioning itself as a "friend with benefits"? Ads compare Swedish Fish to friends that you wouldn't dare eat. A man's head is topped with a salad in one ad with "nej," the Swedish word for no, placed underneath. A Swedish Fish is next to the salad head with "ja," Swedish for yes, nearby. The campaign can be found in issues of People, Rolling Stone, ESPN and Us Weekly. Other ads show a kitten in between two slices of bread and a teddy bear in a panini maker, complete with grill marks. See the ads here, here and here. JWT New York created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buy.

American Airlines launched "Producer," the latest TV spot under its "We Know Why You Fly" umbrella. The ad shadows a film producer who's working with an eccentric director on a film about Parisian squirrels that ride scooters. The director constantly changes locations, which leaves the producer with limited rest time except for international flights in American's Business Class. See the ad here. TM Advertising created the campaign and handled the media buy.

I was waiting for a provocative voting campaign to come along and push the public to vote. Here it is. Borders Perrin Norrander and Pollinate Media created a pro bono print and online campaign that does a great job illustrating important issues facing the country, along with the nonchalant tag line, "Don't Vote. Things are fine just the way they are." A Web site houses all downloadable creative, and various ways to spread the word to voters of all ages. Ads depict the blurred line between church and state, a backwards healthcare system, a melting Antarctica, the Statue of Liberty giving the middle finger and a gas pump in the shape of a noose. See a bevy of ads here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

ASICS is a brand that really knows how to speak to its target audience. The company launched a print and outdoor campaign promoting its sponsorship of The 2008 ING New York City Marathon. "Sound Mind x Sound Body x New York = Heart" read the ads, featuring runners kissing the finish line and showing what exhaustion really looks like. See the ads here, here, here and here. In addition, runners can enter the "Tell Your Heart Story Contest" by sharing inspirational stories to win a chance to be in a TV commercial that will air during the marathon on November 2. Vitrorobertson created the campaign and OSI handled the media buy.

The Sports Museum of America launched a print and outdoor campaign that replicates different facets of the museum. "Sometimes politicians lead our country. Sometimes athletes do," reads one ad that shows Jackie Robinson shaking hands with Duke Snider as he crosses home plate. Another ad features Brandi Chastain celebrating the World Cup Soccer win with her jersey in-hand, along with the copy: "Work hard and one day kids may hang posters of you in their bedroom." See the ads here, here and here. The Gate Worldwide created the campaign and Spero Media handled the media buy. launched last week to support the Oct. 28 release of "Fallout 3." The incredibly elaborate global site serves as a window into Fallout's violent retro-futuristic world. Content is viewed through an aged TV that features nine channels of 50's-style ads that transition into video game content. AKQA and Bethesda Softworks created the site, which is part of a larger campaign for the game.
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