Out to Launch

Dentyne wants face time. Southwest Airlines wears only one face. Meet IKEA's furniture muse. Let's launch!

Here's a campaign that I loved watching and found incredibly fascinating -- but I would not want to live near the location of this experiment, nor would I want to drive over it. Because driving over rumble strips is not pleasant. Honda Civic transformed Avenue K in Lancaster, Calif. to "The Civic Musical Road" where rumble strips (those loud grooves that tell you when you are veering into the shoulder) were carved into the road, playing the "William Tell Overture" when driven over by cars going more than 55 mph. The experiment was no easy feat; serious math was involved to get the grooves spaced properly to play "The Lone Ranger" theme song over a quarter-mile area. The ad does a great job editing down the project from start to finish. See it here. And yes, the road has now been repaved. RPA and Bicoastal Park Pictures created the campaign.



Talk about when destinies collide. Nike Football launched an incredible TV ad called "Fate," which acts out the lives of football players LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu. The ad begins in utero, showing an unusually active, kicking baby. The commercial then follows two children as toddlers, high school and college athletes until their fates collide in a NFL game, where the two play for opposing teams. Tomlinson has the ball and is running straight toward Polamalu; once the two collide, a shot of two little boys collapsing in their beds in a fit of laughter flashes on the screen. "Leave nothing," concludes the ad, seen here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

ESPN International launched a brand campaign in the Asia Pacific region starring Travis Winks, Anchor on SportsCenter Australia. Winks returns from a day's work to find his wife sitting at the dining room table, all dolled-up and visibly upset. "You don't even know what today is, do you," she asks. "It's the anniversary of the Australian Cricket team's 16th and final victory..." says Winks, as his wife breaks down. "All we know is sports," concludes the ad, seen here. DDB San Francisco created the campaign.

IKEA launched three TV spots focusing on the brand's inexpensive kitchen products. An interesting spokeswoman makes her debut. She's part IKEA furniture muse, and part subconscious thoughts of your brain. I like her. A woman slams her kitchen cabinets after a rough day of work in "Hinges." The muse tells the woman it's OK because the hinges are sturdy enough and her boss is an idiot. See the ad here. A woman sneaks a bite of chocolate hidden in a kitchen drawer just as her family returns from an excursion. Good thing the drawers close silently, so her secret is safe... or is it? A doting Dad makes cupcakes for his son's class while the Muse takes pleasure in his frosting technique. Watch the ad here. Deutsch New York created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buy.

Dentyne launched a TV, online and outdoor campaign called "Make face time." Anytime I hear the words face time, I immediately think of Peyton from "Rock of Love 2," who complained so much about not having enough face time with Bret that "Saturday Night Live" parodied her. The gist of the campaign is to step away from all electronic devices and converse in person, not via the phone, IM or Facebook. Easier said than done. I consider myself low-tech for updating my FB status just once a day. TV ads star groups of young people frolicking on the beach, lounging in one's bedroom, swimming and playing soccer. Each action is paired with copy such as "chatroom full" and "friend request accepted." See the ads here, here and here. Outdoor ads, which I've seen more often now than "Dexter"'s faux magazine covers, continue with the theme, showing a couple kissing along with the copy, "the original instant message." See the ads here, here, here, here, here and here. My favorite part of the campaign is a Web site that entertains you for three minutes -- then shuts down. Smart. McCann Erickson created the campaign.

Southwest Airlines launched "No Fees," a TV, print and outdoor campaign touting the brand's what-you-see-is-what-you-pay mantra. When a traveler is told he can check two pieces of luggage at no charge, fellow travelers break out and sing "Hallelujah." See the ad here. The second ad shows a hidden, mildly demonic side to SW's competitors, as hidden charges come to life. Watch the ad here. One print ad is both informative and entertaining, as it's a hidden fee word search puzzle. Find the hidden fees that other airlines might charge. Another print component is only partially legible to the naked eye; to read the rest of the ad, it must be held up to light. See the ads here, here and here. GSD&M Idea City created the campaign and Camelot handled the media buy.

SEPTA, the public transit system for greater Philadelphia, launched three TV spots to promote its additional buses and extended services. One woman has a rough time getting ready for work, but her commute to the office is drama-free. See the ad here. A man busses his in-laws to numerous cheesesteak establishments in another ad, seen here. The best part of one man's workday is his commute home. See it here. Red Tettemer created the campaign.

This Web site is a few months old, but deserves a mention. Prior to launching their album "When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Sh** Gold," hip-hop duo Atmosphere launched a Web site that allowed fans to listen to tracks from the new album and tag the Web site of their choice. I immediately went to MediaPost's site, spray can in hand, and let my creative side shine through. So, I'm not that artistic, but I legibly painted my name and had fun doing so! Users can choose from a variety of nozzles, markers and stencils that can be resized and rotated. Top entries are "Certified Gold" by Atmosphere's record label. Colle+McVoy created the site.

Paris Las Vegas launched "Taps," a print ad that makes beer taps look sexy. Because, according to the tag line, "Everything is Sexier in Paris Las Vegas." The taps feature Napoleon stout (ha!) and Marie Antoinette ale sharing a kiss. See it here. I'm still partial to a previous ad, "Cake Topper." You? R&R Partners created the campaign.

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