THE MARKETING 100;SCOTT HEIM;ZIPLOC

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Scott Heim might not tell you his lucky number, but his favorite digit is certainly Finger Man.

America's favorite spokesdigit pointed the way for Ziploc food storage bags to hike case sales 14% in 1994 over the previous year.

That jump helped Ziploc increase its share of the $680 million zippered bag market from 44% in 1993 to 50.6% last year, according to Information Resources Inc., flicking off competitors such as Glad-Lock.

The 34-year-old director of marketing, home food management, at Dow Brands didn't create Finger Man. That honor goes to what was then called Della Feminia, McNamee & Partners (Campbell-Mithun-Esty later picked up Dow's ad business).

While some have fingered the ad symbol as silly, Finger Man has certainly aided brand recognition, says Mr. Heim.

"Originally, critics were negative. But when we tested him, people said he was a pleasant distraction, someone that makes them stop and pay attention .....and keeps interest level high," the executive notes.

He's also well-dressed.

"We debate what he [Finger Man] wears and how he dresses," says Mr. Heim.

"He wore earmuffs for freezer bags. For sandwich bags, we're appealing to moms, so he wore a baseball cap. For storage, it's a chef's hat."

Ziploc's ad spending "is in excess of $12 million for 1995, but less than $20 million," notes Mr. Heim, and TV receives the bulk of the budget.

Finger Man does grace magazines and newspaper ads, and direct marketing claims a significant amount of the brand budget. All media carry the theme, "Ziploc. It's all you need."

Finger Man and his pal Green Thumb have left prints all over the introduction of new types of Ziploc bags-including Extra Long Veggie Bags introduced into Northeastern markets this past spring.

And Mr. Heim says to expect to see the finger fellow lending a hand in future product introductions.

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