Commentary

Out to Launch

Melting snowmen. Mac and PC put their differences aside... temporarily. Let's launch!

If you own a camera phone and digital printer and live in Colorado, California or Arizona and happen to be frugal, then this campaign will make your day. FirstBank launched an in-mall campaign that encourages shoppers to take a picture of backlit posters that serve a dual purpose: they're an ad for the bank and feature a free gift that can be printed out and framed for a not-so-loved one. The first ad is a picture of a ship sailing the sea with a beautiful sunset in the background. FirstBank suggests printing out a picture of the painting, framing it, then giving it as a gift. Wouldn't the plexiglass from the ad inhibit a high-quality snapshot? Not that I was thinking about regifting... Other ads include a label for homemade jam, to print out and stick to something store-bought, and a star adoption form. See the ads here, here and here, all ending with the tagline, "We're here to help you save." TDA Advertising & Design created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

 
Dogmatic created an amusing gift generator application that lets users determine how much sugar and spice and naughty and nice each present receives. Combine three pints of love at first sight, puréed, with one unexpected quickie at room temperature, one full quart of walk of shame and one teaspoon of candle glow and you get... a Dogmatic get-out-of-jail-free card, which may be kept until needed or sold.

Apple launched two "Get a Mac" holiday TV spots where Mac and PC become animated version of themselves, much like last year's holiday spots. PC can float, build things in fast motion and talk to animals in "I Can Do Anything." When a rabbit tells PC that he's off to the Apple store for last-minute gifts, PC pushes the head from a snowman on top of the poor, pink bunny. See the ad here. In "Tree Trimming," Mac and PC put their differences aside to decorate a Christmas tree. A reflective Mac tells PC that he's happy that the two are friends. When it comes time to turn on the tree lights, Mac sees PC's hidden message, literally in lights: "PC rules." "I'm sorry about that. It just sort of happened," says an embarrassed PC. Watch it here. TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and handled the media buy.

AT&T has done a great job competing with Verizon with an ongoing TV campaign that promotes its cell phone coverage in remote places. A holiday-themed TV spot stars a snowman that succumbs to dreaded consequences because he didn't have AT&T. The Snowman went away to his winter cottage, but since he doesn't have AT&T, he missed an important phone call warning him of an impending heat wave. Wonder who gets the cottage? Watch the ad here. BBDO Atlanta and New York created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buy.

Marshalls launched three holiday-themed TV ads that describe how one man's misfortune becomes a money-saving bonanza for others. A sporting goods store awaits an arrival of high-end apparel, but cancels the overdue shipment when it's delayed by a group of reindeer that escaped a Christmas display. Marshalls scoops up the canceled shipment for a low price, meaning bargains galore for consumer. And in this down economy, every little bit helps. See the ad here. Another "shopportunity" arrives when a craftsman who specializes in hand-painted plates misses a delivery because his entire town is attending a wedding, leaving him without workers. Watch the ad here. The final ad shows a toy maker who thinks more like a child and less like a businessman. Bad for his business, but not for Marshalls. GSD&M Idea City created the campaign and Hill Holiday handled the media buy.

Happy holidays, everyone! I wish you all a wonderful 2009. Out to Launch will not publish next week and returns to its regularly scheduled schedule on Jan. 7.

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