Launch week also marks debut of cross-promo ads

Who (maybe politicians) would have guessed dirty laundry and advertising would be such a potent combo? ABC joined marketers using ads on dry-cleaning bags to hype Desperate Housewives. Now CBS aims to clean up in the ratings a coin-operated laundry promo: Washers in Southern California were covered in cling wraps promoting The Big Bang Theory.

Still going.

Ads on washers. Ads on YouTube. Ads everywhere. You'd think we'd be sick of advertising. But no. Starting today, New York City hosts the annual Advertising Week — a week-long celebration of the business — with panels, parties, debates and, of course, award shows.

By Laura Petrecca, Theresa Howard, Bruce Horovitz

Q: We loved the Taco Bell ad that aired on MTV's Video Music Awards and showed winners from a contest. Can you tell us more about the three faces, especially Hunter. Will this be on again?

A: You can see him again — but only on the Web. Mallory Anderson, 19, of Weston, Fla., Obinna Odumodu, 26, of Huntsville, Ala., and your favorite, Hunter Larson, 27, of Virginia Beach won Taco Bell's "TV Me!" ad auditions for personal "avatars" — animated 3D figures. About 17,000 entrants created avatars at site Gizmoz using their own photos and voices.

Your man Hunter's avatar auditioned with a weird tale of Taco Bell food, a piñata and a microwave. The 6-foot-1 graduate of Boston College is an information technology specialist for consulting firm Accenture. Oh, did we mention he's married?

You can see the ad and auditions at tacobell.com.

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