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Post ads rock Bedrock with tween Pebbles ads

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Pebbles cereal isn't just for kids anymore. In an estimated $10 million campaign for its new Cinna-Crunch variety, Kraft Foods' Post unit is extending the Flintstones-themed cereal franchise to tweens and adults.

Post research found the cinnamon flavored corn and wheat puffs, introduced in November, are more broadly appealing than Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, which has tended to skew toward the younger side of the brand's 6-to-12-year-old age group. So Cinna-Crunch Pebbles will be targeted to tweens with print, TV and radio ads, and to adults via print.

FRED AND BARNEY

The broadcast effort starts this week, with the tween magazine ads beginning to run in March issues. The print ads targeted to adults appear in April issues.

The campaign, from Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles, still centers around "Flintstones" characters Fred and Barney in Bedrock but, because of the older target, incorporates a few new twists. The TV spot, which will air on network, syndication and cable, adds first-time live-action scenes to the animation typical of Pebbles ads.

"The live-action element makes the advertising more relevant to older kids, who wanted to see kids their own age in the advertising," said Trissa Koda, brand manager for Pebbles.

Radio spots, utilized for the first time, reach out to tweens with an announcer interviewing Fred and Barney in a talk-show format.

"Radio was an interesting way of getting across the experiential crunch aspect of the cereal," Ms. Koda said.

The tagline for tween print is "Rock your worldwith new Cinna-Crunch Pebbles."

MOVING On UP

The Cinna-Crunch variety, originally introduced as a limited-time cereal last May, was credited with moving Pebbles from its No. 10 position in kids cereals to No. 7.

While overall cereal sales were virtually flat, the Pebbles brand climbed roughly 10% in 1999 vs. 1998, according to Kraft research. For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 5, Fruity Pebbles rose 6.3% to $124 million; and Cocoa Pebbles were up 3.7% to $74 million, according to Information Resources Inc.

Kraft spent $11.4 million on advertising for the Pebbles flavors in the first nine months of 1999, compared with $16.4 million for all of 1998, per Competitive Media Reporting.

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