Out to Launch

Skinny Santa doesn't fly with me. Baseball ads that spoof "A Christmas Story" do. Let's launch!

Denver shopping district Cherry Creek North launched "The Yuletide Project" to increase sales and pedestrian traffic, but also offer free or inexpensive events for nearby residents to enjoy. Official Yuletide Project events include free hayrides and caroling. A bevy of ads suggest quirky, free ways to enjoy the holiday season. Ideas range from "Stick a holiday bow on someone's back," "Act out a scene from your favorite holiday movie," to "Carol with a stranger" and "Invite a crowd of people to catch snowflakes on their tongues." All creative ends with the tagline, "Find the reason for the season at Cherry Creek North." See the ads here, here, here, here and here. Ads are running in the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and other local papers and magazines. Cultivator Advertising & Design created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.



Musselman's applesauce launched its largest advertising campaign, and its first TV spots in three years, in an effort to compete with that other "M" in the applesauce category, Motts. "Grower-owned since 1949," concludes the TV ads starring three generations of men working the apple orchards. Targeting moms with school-age kids, the first ad emphasizes the high quality of apples used for making applesauce. Watch it here. The second ad observes the eldest of the three-generation team looking for the best word to describe Musselman's applesauce. He chooses "tasty," while his son and grandson attempt to outdo him. See the ad here. Brunner created the campaign and handled the media buy.

I'm all for makeovers, but Santa Claus sans belly and Mrs. Claus? Not doing it for me. Santa also dropped his first name, "call me Claus," in a massive holiday ad campaign for Palm Centro. In "Anthem," the tables are turned on Santa as he receives a gift from his wife, a Palm Centro. Before you know it, Santa is trimming his beard, dropping weight, his first name and contact with is wife, because he's too busy lounging poolside and flirting with the ladies. See it here. And Claus DJs in his spare time because in a down economy even he could use some side work. Watch the ad here. Claus uses valet parking for his reindeer in the final ad, seen here. TV ads are running on Bravo, MTV, VH1, ESPN, ESPN2, Comedy Central, G4, Fuse and TBS. Print ads, seen here, here and here, feature Claus sitting on a rooftop, beside a fireplace and riding in his sleigh. Creature created the campaign and handled the media buy.

I love baseball and I love "A Christmas Story." Combine the two and I'm one happy camper. South Carolina minor league baseball team, the Greenville Drive launched a series of print ads that pay homage to "A Christmas Story." Using the tagline is "Make it a Baseball Story," each ad recreates an iconic scene from the movie, with a baseball twist. Click here, here, here and here to see a tongue stuck to a foul pole, a leg lamp clad in baseball garb, a boy with broken glasses due to a baseball and bat and a boy laying in the snow in an oversized snowsuit. Erwin-Penland created the campaign.

In the spirit of the holidays, Lucky Brand wants you to "buck off" characters from a reindeer, all in an effort to win a discount that can be used toward products bought online or in-store. Users control a green-nosed reindeer with their left and right arrow keys in an attempt to "buck off" an elf, snowman or Santa Claus for discounts ranging from 20% to 30%. It took me three tries, but I scored the 30% discount. LIME public relations + promotion created the site.

The Gap created a Merry Mix it iPhone application for all you tech-savvy iPhone-carrying folk. Users can mix and match holiday styles and create gift lists for loved ones, as well as change the style of hats, scarves and sweaters on the models. The Gap application can be found in the iTunes Store or directly on an iPhone. If you do not have an iPhone, like me, you can watch a video demonstration online. The video is posted on Facebook, so you must be logged into your account to watch the demo. AKQA created the application.

Zippo launched a blazing online campaign consisting of three pairs of vertical banners; the top ad promotes a faux brand and bottom ad hawks Zippo. The bottom ad generates so much heat that it "indirectly" affects the behavior in the top ad. A woman donning casual work wear becomes so hot that she strips down to her bra. See it here. A toupee becomes a hindrance for its owner in another ad, seen here. A professional dancer becomes a dancing fool when a Zippo ignites in the final ad, shown here. Ads ran on Accuweather, eBay, CareerBuilder,, CNNSI, AutoTrader and DrudgeReport, among others. Brunner created the campaign and handled the media buy.

The Charmin Restrooms are back in Times Square for the third consecutive year, giving tourists and holiday shoppers an early holiday gift: clean, free bathrooms! An outdoor campaign, created by Publicis New York, began with a teaser billboard consisting of a silver box wrapped in Charmin bath tissue and topped with a bow with toilet paper rolls at each end. See it here. Tourists riding the double-decker tour buses will find toilet-shaped decals on the seats that read, "Gotta go? Charmin Restrooms. 46th & Broadway." Click here to see it. Note to self: avoid area at all costs...

1 comment about "Out to Launch".
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  1. Carolyn Hansen from Hacker Group, December 17, 2008 at 5:49 p.m.

    Re: the Cherry Creek North shopping district. Haven't just about all the Christian churches in America already used that "reason for the season" line for the past few decades . . . meaning, Jesus, and specifically NOT shopping? Seems like an odd choice.

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