Category leader Frito-Lay will link its brands to "The Flintstones" cartoon characters, while Keebler Co. will rely on a national promotion tied to the movie "The Shadow" in the company's return to consumer marketing.
In its first co-branding agreement, Frito-Lay hopes to jazz up the range of flavors by adding K.C. Masterpiece's slightly sweet barbecue taste to Lay's, the nation's top-selling potato chip. The PepsiCo unit will keep its Lay's barbecue flavor for those who like hickory.
The new potato chip will be the centerpiece of the company's national "Flintstones Bedrock Bedlam" in-store promotion from DDB Needham Promotions, Dallas, featuring the prehistoric cartoon characters from the Hanna-Barbera Productions series. Starting this month and running through July 4, the program is timed to the May 27 release of Universal Pictures' "The Flintstones."
The in-store displays will re-create the fictitious city of Bedrock, where the Flintstones and friends will enjoy "Bedrock Barbecues."
The national store promotion won't include advertising. "In the summer, potato chips sell themselves, so brands that win are the brands that have the most impactful store-level activity going on-regardless of advertising," said Steve Sears, Frito-Lay director of potato chips. "*`Bedrock Bedlam' is a real powerhouse for us."
To make itself heard again, Keebler on June 1 starts a two-month promotion tied to another Universal film, "The Shadow." The effort, from Kobin Enterprises, New York, marks a shift back to consumer marketing after a year of focusing on trade activities. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles advertising.
In the "Keebler Salty Snacks Presents `The Shadow'*" promotion, the company will use national and local radio, a June 12 free standing insert, extensive point-of-purchase material and an interactive game to promote its brands, including O'Boisies potato snack chips.
A toll-free number, 800-THE-SHADOW, will be promoted in stores to encourage consumers to call to win from among 10,000 prizes. A random drawing based on the products' Universal Product Codes will give purchasers the chance to win "Shadow" merchandise-from T-shirts to a pinball machine.
Like Frito-Lay, Procter & Gamble is looking to new flavors. Pringles Ranch went national this spring. TV spots from Wells Rich Greene BDDP use the theme "Once you pop, you can't stop." P&G also introduced a double stackbag, a new type of packaging for the Pringles canister line.
Eagle Snacks plans to break its marketing silence after more than a year. The Anheuser-Busch Cos. division is evaluating marketing approaches and has put its account into review. Presentations this month will come from the St. Louis office of incumbent TBWA, New York; Publicis/Bloom and Gleason & Calise, both Dallas; and Glennon Cos., St. Louis.
The category's big unknown is the fate of the 12 regional potato chip lines marketed by Borden. Earlier this year it announced plans to sell its snack foods division but in the meantime appears to be focusing on the chip business.