Out to Launch

Holiday ads. The BlackBerry Storm is upon us. Let's launch!

Best Buy Canada launched two holiday TV spots starring shoppers looking for the perfect gift that will elicit the perfect reaction. A father is looking for direction in "Daddy." He asks a Best Buy employee where he can find any "Daddy, daddy, I love it" products, as he jumps up and down while raising his voice an octave. See the ad here. "Twins" is hysterical. A set of parents are shopping for gifts for their twin girls and they confront two store employees by shrieking and gesturing in tandem The best part is how said employees deliver a reply. See it here. Zig created the campaign and Media Experts handled the media buy.



Then, there are these ads -- not as amusing as the Canadian adaptations. Best Buy launched two holiday ads starring actual employees who suggest creative ways customers can surprise their loved ones this holiday season. A Best Buy employee helped a woman surprise her hubby with an upgraded cell phone in the first ad, seen here. A grandfather can watch his grandkids, who live in another country, open their Christmas presents thanks to Webcams and a Best Buy employee. See the ad here. BBDO New York created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

Now this is a clever way to advertise both reading and buying books. Waterstone's bookshops in the U.K. launched two TV spots that encourage readers to "discover something new" this Christmas. The first spot begins with astronaut Neil Armstrong just steps away from reaching the moon's surface. Mission control asks if there's a problem, to which Armstrong replies, "I'll be saying all that giant leap stuff, just as soon as we get discovered, Houston." Armstrong patiently waits on a ladder and jumps onto the moon once a man discovers Armstrong's biography at Waterstone's. Watch the ad here. The second ad features a man about to be buried alive -- but can't be until someone discovers the crime novel where the plot originated. See the ad here. CHI & Partners created the campaign with help from production company Epoch Films. OMD handled the media buy.

Canadian Tire launched a TV campaign promoting its durable windshield wipers. Their range of motion is so good that you won't know what season it is. "Summer Breeze" follows a man in full winter gear, driving through his neighborhood on a sunny summer day. He's swaying to the music and grinning ear to ear as he passes unusual circumstances: a mailwoman delivering mail in winter garb and a snow plow driving down a snow-free street. When the man arrives home, he steps out of his car and into a blizzard. "For days when seeing is believing" concludes the ad, seen here. TAXI Toronto created the spot.

BlackBerry Storm from Verizon Wireless is finally here, following months of ongoing teaser ads. Now come two ads touting the first touch screen BlackBerry. One of them is holiday-themed. The first ad, shown here, demonstrates the Storm's ease of use along with a number of non-business functions it performs. The holiday ad shows a happy recipient playing with the Storm while children sit, a bit too perfectly, beside the Christmas tree. See the ad here. McCann Erickson New York created the campaign and Universal McCann handled the media buy.

LeBron James and Nike launched "The Chalk," promoting the Nike Zoom LeBron VI. I have no idea what the shoe looks like, but I loved the 30- and 60-second versions of the ad. The spots revolve around James' pre-game ritual of tossing talcum powder in the air at the scorer's table and features cameos by Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hicks and Lil' Wayne. James' ritual prompts others to copy his actions, seen here and here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

Sesame Workshop, creators of "Sesame Street," launched a revamped Web site for preschoolers, their parents, and anyone in the mood for a childhood flashback. Because, yes, I browsed the classic videos section and found my all-time favorite video: how crayons are made. The site features live-action Muppets that greet and guide children through the site's features. One new option, Sesame Playlists, houses more than 3,000 videos and 400 games that can be sorted by subject, theme or character. An application called "PlaySAFE" prevents kids from navigating to other sites. Magnani Caruso Dutton designed the site.

Honda launched three TV spots under its "Happy Honda Days" umbrella that are less salesy, more heartstring-tugging. A husband and wife drive a great distance to surprise a relative in the first ad, seen here. A group of friends volunteer to clean a park, making it aesthetically pleasing and usable, in another ad, seen here. The final ad, seen here, shows a father and son donating food to a food bank. An online component drives consumers to a Web site where Honda will donate $1 to a Honda-aligned charity for every user who registers. RPA created the campaign and handled the media buy.

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