Out to Launch

Alton Brown digs Welch's. PC can't get no satisfaction. Let's launch!

The Ad Council teamed up with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for a TV, print and online campaign that aims to increase the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who seek treatment for mental health issues upon returning home to their civilian lives. The TV spot, "Alone," follows a vet on his return home. He walks through a vacant airport, rides an empty subway and walks the streets of New York City, with nary a soul in sight. He reaches the Flatiron building and is greeted by a fellow soldier. "Welcome home, man," says the solider, while New York quickly transforms into its usual busy self. See the ad here. Print ads consist of action shots taken during combat, alongside phrases such as "99% of Americans try to avoid getting caught in traffic. 1% of Americans try to avoid getting caught in an ambush" and "99% of Americans have seen combat on TV. 1% of Americans have seen combat in Iraq or Afghanistan." See the ads here, here and here. Creative drives traffic to a Web site for veterans where they can share experiences and search a national and local database for jobs, education and health services. BBDO New York created the TV and print campaign and BarkleyREI developed the Web site.



On Veteran's Day, the U.S. Army launched the next phase of its "Army Strong" campaign in an effort to recruit candidates who never considered a career in the Army. In "Company," a group of white-collar workers toil harmoniously throughout the office, climbing rock walls and talking at the water cooler. A second ad, seen here, shows Army men and women working together in a large athletic facility. The final ad, seen here, describes the busy lives of students preparing for a life in the Army. Each TV spot drives viewers to, which features actual Army Soldiers sharing experiences such as basic training, living on an Army installation, and being deployed. McCann Erickson New York created the TV campaign; MRM New York handled the online creative and Universal McCann New York handled the media buy.

I love me some Alton Brown, Food Network personality and star of Welch's latest TV and print campaign. Instead of talking to the back of his refrigerator, he's touting the nutritional values of Concord grapes from the middle of a vineyard. In the TV spots, seen here and here, Brown spouts big words like polyphenol and how drinking Welch's can support a healthy heart, mind and immune system. The ads are running through March 2009 on ABC, NBC, Bravo, TLC, The Food Network and ABC Family, among others. The print component, seen here, will run in People, Parenting, Women's Health and Cooking Light. The VIA Group created the campaign.

Dorchester Collection launched a print and online campaign promoting its portfolio of hotels. The print ad creeps me out; let me know if it has the same effect on you. The first ad in the campaign promotes The Dorchester, London by featuring famous guests from past and present: Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Sellers, Noel Coward, Joan Collins, Andy Warhol and Thandie Newton. I'm not a fan of the grouping of dead celebrities with living celebs regardless of the fact that they all stayed at one of the hotels. The Web site does a better job explaining celeb connections to the hotels. For example, Elizabeth Taylor found out that she won the starring role in "Cleopatra" while bathing in the marble bathtub in the Harlequin Suite. The print ad, seen here, launched in the U.K. and U.S. editions of Vanity Fair. Draftfcb London created the campaign.

Ever park your beverage on the roof of your car, forget it was there, and drive off? I've never personally done it, but I've seen it happen. And Coke Zero made a great online game combining this feat with NASCAR. Rooftop Racer stars NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler and the bottle of Coke Zero he left on his roof during a pit stop with only five laps left in a race. The gamer's job is to keep the bottle on top of the roof for the remaining laps. There's hidden content for high scorers, but I wouldn't know, since I could not get past lap 2. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the site.

Mac and PC star in a "Get a Mac" online contextual ad that's running on,,, and, among others, until Nov. 21. "Satisfaction Meter" shows the high customer satisfaction rating Mac has attained, according to a survey. PC takes matters into his own hands by breaking off the odometer arrow and placing it at the bottom of the meter. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Media Arts Lab.
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