10 TOP NONTRADITIONAL AD CAMPAIGNS

Paid Dog Show Enthusiasts, Phallic Bottles, Cigar Polls and More

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NIKE
Wieden & Kennedy, New York

Spot-masters Wieden, also unsung heroes of the nontraditional campaign, produced an hour-long documentary about Roy Jones Jr., boxing champ and Nike pitchman, that aired Dec. 12. While explaining how he developed into a top light heavyweight (and arguably heavyweight), Jones wears the Nike brand with the Jumpman logo. Cost to produce: $650,000. Cost of airtime: Free, thanks to ESPN2.
DNL
Y&R's Brand Buzz

Brand Buzz flipped 7Up's logo, which can be read upside down and right-side up. It added a sweepstakes challenging participants to score a basket during halftime of the PAC-10 semi-final men's championship -- but they had to shoot while suspended upside down by a crane contraption. Also included samplings at record release parties, first-listen-events and a product launch on eBay. Small budget, big buzz.
POLAROID
Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners

Charged with turning around a beleaguered brand at a time when digital pix are far preferred over film, Euro RSCG MVBMS put Polaroids in the hands -- literally -- of influencers in public venues. Hip-hop group OutKast included Polaroid in its song "Hey Ya" while performing on Saturday Night Live, as well as during its appearance on the Vibe Awards.
NISSAN
True Agency, New York

Poet Sypher 1, as the voice of Moyo ("one heart" in Swahili), toured 10 cities in a custom Altima. The poetess interviewed people about the sedan; videos of the interviews were posted on Nissan's Web site and were used in radio ads. Jon Cropper, Nissan's senior manager-youth and urban communications, compared the cost to "six or seven spreads in magazines with decent circulation."
WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW
Media Kitchen, New York

In a new twist on outdoor advertising, Media Kitchen hired dog walkers and owners as street teams, dressing them in garb printed with the dog show's air date and channel (cable's USA network). Print, developed with USA's in-house marketing team, featured peel-on stickers of various breeds. The paw brigade was a howling success, with ratings up 35%.
FUSE
Amalgamated, New York

Fuse, an upstart music TV competitor to Viacom's MTV, needed to build viewership on a small budget, so it tried a cheeky "Save a music video campaign" highlighted with Sally Struthers parodying her well-known "Save the Children" effort. Plastered on a Viacom-owned billboard opposite MTV's headquarters, the billboard garnered big free—media attention for its blatant challenge to MTV.
DELTA'S SONG
Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York

How to generate enthusiasm for Song, Delta's new airline, among urbane but far-from-an-airport New Yorkers? Bring the airport to them. Song in the City opened a Song shop in hipster SoHo for nine weeks only, offering a sample of its inflight entertainment (video-on-demand, Xbox games) and its in-flight fare (Niman Ranch Roast Fajita Wrap, Shaved Turkey on Foccacia).
ABSOLUT
Ketchum and TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York

The iconic vodka bottle was in product-placement heaven as part of a story line in HBO's Sex and the City. TBWA created a campaign for the scriptwriters, featuring a Times Square billboard showing PR maven Samantha Jones' struggling actor-boyfriend positioned with an Absolut bottle between his legs. The tagline: "Absolut Hunk."
PANTENE
Grey Alliance, New York

In its third year, Pantene Pro-Voice, a live-music performance in Central Park, for Procter & Gamble's Pantene, showcased talented female singers and songwriters judged by established artists. The winner performed before a live audience, and her song (and others) can be downloaded at the Pantene Pro-Voice Web site. Her name, Hadas Shalev, is all over the site.
GENERAL CIGAR
McCaffery Ratner Gottieb & Lane, New York

This battle of the brands pitted the company's Sancho Panza and Ramon Allones cigars against each other. Consumers cast their votes by submitting ballots obtained at retail or by voting "absentee" online at www.cigarworld.com. To enable comparison, General Cigar sold limited edition "two for the price of one" packages (with ballot enclosed).
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