Out to Launch

Out to Launch is back. Weight Watchers gives hunger a face, Dunkin' Donuts thinks "You Kin' Do It" -- and, jellybeans or soybeans: which would win in a fight? Let's launch!

T-Mobile USA launched a TV spot over the holidays supporting its myFaves service and partnership with the NBA. Magic Johnson and Julius Erving star alongside regulars Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley in "Old School Legends." Wade calls his friend Barkley, who's in the midst of shooting a video game alongside Magic and Dr. J. The videogame's theme -- pitting younger players against old and graying NBA legends -- was something Barkley was apparently unaware of. That, and you cannot hide any flaws when wearing tight black Lycra suits. See the ad here. I wonder if the ad remains in rotation, given Barkley's recent arrest? Publicis in the West created the campaign and Optimedia handled the media buy.



This concept reminds me of the Emerald Nuts campaign that starred the late Robert Goulet as a midday office saboteur to those with low energy. This time around, it's the "Battle of the Beans," jelly or soy, in a TV ad for SOYJOY. Soybeans battle sugary jellybeans atop an office desk in a war for sustainable energy. The jellybeans run amok while the soybeans rally in troop formation to fend off launched paperclips and build a wall from Post-its, until the jellybeans lose their spunk and give up. Watch the ad here. RPA created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Speechless hockey team mascots can garner audible laughs in two TV ads for ESPN SportsCenter. A woman turns up the heat in the ESPN offices, only to have Iceburgh, the Pittsburgh Penguin mascot, lower the thermostat. The spot ends with NJ Devil, the mascot for the New Jersey Devils, turning up the heat. See the ad here. SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris waits for the elevator in "Going Up." Harris asks the lone elevator passenger, NJ Devil, if he's going up. NJ Devils shakes his head no, causing Harris to get off the elevator. Watch the ad here. Wieden + Kennedy New York created the ads.

Honda is launching three TV ads this month supporting its partnership with the NHL. One ad is hockey-themed, the other two conclude with a five-second NHL tagline. "Reliability" shows the combination of owning a Honda and snowy weather means hockey parents can get their kids to practice on time, day or night. Watch it here. "Monster Chess" is "World's Strongest Man" meshed with the intellect needed for chess. Athletes move heavy game pieces across a large game board to promote the Honda Ridgeline. See it here. A family is left stranded when their Monster Truck runs out of gas. A Honda Pilot owner picks them up and regales them with his car's MPG. "But can it crush cars?" responds the Monster Truck owner. Watch the ad here. RPA created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Weight Watchers broke its latest campaign Dec. 28 touting its new Momentum Program and introducing a physical picture of hunger in the form of a furry orange monster, with a hidden mouth, or no mouth at all. I'm up in the air about Weight Watchers using a puppet to illustrate hunger. The puppet is cute -- but when I'm hungry, it's not a pretty sight. The first TV spot, "Hungry At Home," shows the orange puppet named Hungry attempting to sabotage a women's self-control by dancing in front of the TV with a cake and opening a pizza box as she opens her laptop. See the ad here. The second TV spot takes place in the office, a prime food temptation zone, where Hungry hides in a vending machine, desk drawers, and lingers around the photocopier. Watch the ad here. McCann Erickson New York created the ads and Mediaedge:cia New York handled the media buy.

Dunkin' Donuts bowed a $100 million ad campaign complete with a new slogan: "You Kin' Do It." Be honest: did anyone else immediately think of exercise machine hawker Tony Little, the pony-tailed, hat-wearing guy who motivates people by yelling, "You can do it?" The campaign cheers on ordinary people tackling everyday tasks, from starting an exercise regimen to shoveling out of a blizzard and assembling a jungle gym. All with the aid of DD coffee, natch. Remaining ads promote the company's longevity and low-calorie flat bread sandwiches. "You Kin' Do It" is not replacing "America Runs on Dunkin'" a tag line still prominently featured in some of the new ads. See the ads here, here, here, here and here. Hill Holliday created the campaign and handled the media buy.

The Collegiate Church of New York launched its first integrated advertising campaign, positioning its congregations as places of welcome and hope, regardless of people's lifestyle or beliefs. Handbags, shopping bags and musical instruments roam New York City without visible owners, to demonstrate how easy it is to roam the city unnoticed and sans identity. Once parishioners file into a Collegiate Church, however, they become visible and complete. Watch the ad here. A new symbol and Web site was created for the Church; the symbol {+}, means "positive and inclusive." See the brand identity here and here. Gotham Inc. created the TV and outdoor ads and Gravitate created the Web site.

Xbox launched "Lips," a TV spot promoting a video game with the same name, where players sing into a wireless microphone to any tune in their music library. The spot begins with a singing mouth with legs (stay with me, people!) walking across busy streets, through a construction site and riding the subway. All the while, the mouth is singing the awesome '80s hit "Take on Me" by a-ha. The mouth eventually makes his way to a man sitting on a couch who's about to belt out the song's chorus. I loved that the singing mouth sang out of tune, much like I do when playing Rock Band. I'm tone deaf, but I have fun. See the ad here. Cut + Run edited the ad, created by T.A.G.
1 comment about "Out to Launch".
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  1. Kelly Samardak from Shortstack Photography, January 7, 2009 at 4:01 p.m.

    Yeah, see... the hungry guy is a total misfire. He is so cute, all I want to know is where I can get my own. I don't want to kill or squash him. now, make hungry that guy who would flip up the nail on your big toe and scratch around... then... THEN I'd want to take him for a long walk off a short pier.

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