Out to Launch
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Vacationing cows. A swan song. Let's launch!
  • To be a kid again. Castorama created "Magic Wallpaper" that actually comes to life with help from a tablet or smartphone. Characters on a child's wall can be scanned one at a time to create a unique bedtime story.

    Story possibilities become endless if a parent scans two characters to be paired for a completely different story. Fast math isn't my thing, but with dozens of characters, parents and kids have tons of storytelling options, like the running rhino or princess who doesn't like dresses.

    TBWA\Paris created the campaign.

  • Butt-crack isn't frowned upon, but embraced and proudly shown in an ad for Liquid-Plumr.

    Created by FCB Chicago, crack is everywhere, on every shape, size and age. The 45-second ad is set to Rosemary Clooney's "Too Marvelous For Words" and follows the backsides of a florist, seniors swimming in a pool, a bowler, boxer and fireman. The final crack belongs to a woman pouring Liquid-Plumr down her clogged sink, because "there's a plumr in all of us."

  • Does having an adorable young boy as a spokesman for a portable bidet make you any more likely to purchase said product? Not necessarily, but it did keep me watching a two-minute video about poop, hemorrhoids and UTIs. That's something.

    Tushy launched "Time To Get With The Clean Poop Program, People," to describe the benefits of using a portable bidet from a young boy's perspective.

    Targeting Millennials, Danny describes the pros and cons of bidet cleaning and toilet-paper wiping. In Danny-speak, "it's like a car wash, but for butts."

    This car wash costs $69 and if it's so easy to install. Why didn't Danny do it? This would have soothed my bidet-installation fears. Captain Worldwide created the campaign.

  • This truly is a short movie for Santander Bank --18 minutes -- but it poses an interesting question: Would you sell your memories, the big, life-changing moments, for money? How do you put a cost on the memory of your first love? If you're a fan of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," give this film a go.

    Kike Maillo directed the film, for which no expense was spared, as it was given a legit premiere at a sold-out theater in Madrid.

    Adriana Ugarte stars as Lucia, a woman who marries a wealthy man. She lives in a mansion surrounded by help, and wears only the best clothes. When her husband's company takes a turn for the worse, Lucia starts selling her memories for beaucoup dollars -- $255,000 euros for one big event.

    She gets addicted and starts selling memories left and right. Is the money and luxury that important? Does she really need so much help around the house? She loses track of present-day events, and arrives home one day to find she doesn't recognize her husband or realize she has a baby!

    The movie ends with Lucia buying back her wedding-day memory since she sold it and can't remember her husband. Moral of all this: Keep your balance. Money is great, but don't let it destroy your happiness. MRM/McCann Spain created the campaign.

  • May is National Burger Month and May 28 was National Burger Day. To celebrate the long weekend, the Chick-fil-A Cows are skipping town, which means their luxury super-fun barn in Jasper, GA, is empty and rentable on Homestay.com.

    A nearby barn keeper help guests with anything they need. And a stay is free. Not too shabby. Also: availability is already gone. In the age of social media, one must strike while the iron is hot.

    The barn comes equipped with oversized outdoor games, a movie theater, piano and arts and crafts area. Most important, families will eat free Chick-fil-A twice a day.

    Created by McCann NY, the listing received more than 1,500+ submissions in 48 hours. A barn stay was up for grabs from May 23-May 31.

  • Long movies drive me nuts, but not for the same reasons that TGV, France's high-speed train service, has for encouraging a move to shorter films.

    Starting July 2, TGV is speeding up. Riders will be able to travel from Paris to Bordeaux in just over two hours, compared to three hours, 15 minutes.

    This is a huge problem for riders watching a typical movie. They'll arrive at their destination with an unfinished movie. A big issue -- said no one, ever, over the age of 10.

    TGV's client relationship manager high-tails it to Hollywood to convince Kevin Costner, and the film industry as a whole, to stop making movies longer than two hours. That's a petition I would happily sign.

    Camille Lou plays Valerie Ducombe, the woman who borderline stalks Kevin Costner in an attempt to shorten his latest film.

    She sneaks on set, confronts Costner and is escorted out by security, but not without a copy of the script. The tenacious woman goes to her hotel room, edits the script down to less than two hours, and sneaks into Costner's office to leave the finished product.

    He finds her hidden under a desk, but is impressed with her changes and vows to introduce her to other Hollywood directors. The video ends with Valerie taking the train and noticing the man next to her finishing a movie just as they arrive at their destination. Mission accomplished.

    Buzzman created the video, directed by Kim Chapiron.

  • 84 Lumber Company launched a follow-up ad to its 90-second Super Bowl spot, "Wall," that focuses on space travel and NASA's call for applicants to prepare for a journey to Mars. Applicants must be unique, excellent problem-solvers and full of moxie to be selected for the coveted position.

    "Runners-up, we invite you to apply to our management trainee program," says a voiceover.

    The ad is running on FOX, ESPN, ESPNDeportes, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Future digital campaigns will center on different high-pressure, distinctive jobs. Brunner, Pittsburgh, created the campaign.

  • The Alzheimer Society of Calgary and Dementia Network Calgary launched a 45-second spot that illustrates the cruelty of degenerative brain diseases on patients and their families.

    A woman tells the story of her brother's time as a soldier in World War II. As the soldier runs through a forest to dodge bullets, the woman has trouble remembering the man's rank and how injured he was. Present day, the woman is comforted by her grandson as she rambles apologetically.

    "Dementia takes more than memories," closes the ad, by Someplace Nice.

  • Check out this human version of Google that French newspaper Liberation created to fight fake news during the French presidential election.

    Checknews.fr was the slowest search engine around, but also the most accurate. It's wasn't powered by algorithms, but by journalists from Liberation who investigated each query, meaning answers were anything but instantaneous.

    Before the vote, citizens asked questions and real journalists answered, taking easily spreadable fake news out of the equation. Most questions were answered in a few hours; others, in days. JWT Paris created the campaign.


    And now for some real news: After 17 years and close to 1,000 columns -- as I mentioned earlier in this post, fast math isn't my thing -- today marks my final Out to Launch column and last day at MediaPost.

    A big thanks to Joe Mandese for giving me free reign to write a column that never once felt like work and to my tireless editor, Phyllis Fine.

    I am profoundly grateful to my readers who stuck with me for so many years. Thank you for making me part of your Wednesday afternoon routine. I enjoyed interacting with all of you, those who agreed with me wholeheartedly and those who passionately challenged me. It was all a blast.

    If you ever want to talk about advertising, running, food, or simply remind me how bad my beloved Mets are doing this season, drop me a line. TTFN.