SUPER BOWL BIG SCORE FOR OSCAR MAYER

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Oscar Mayer Foods once again decided to become the halftime sponsor of next year's Super Bowl because of a big lift in sales last January, its first tie-in to professional football's biggest event.

The package, including a 60-second spot, two :10s and halftime title sponsorship (AA, Oct. 21), also includes sponsorship of the NFL Experience, a theme park-style attraction held for four days in the Super Bowl host city.

RECORD RESULTS

VP-Marketing Steve Shanesy said Super Bowl XXX, the first broadcast the company had ever sponsored, netted record results.

"We had very strong shares across the board during January" 1996, he said. "And our ad awareness took a big spike. It was [the company's] biggest single increase in ad awareness ever."

Mr. Shanesy said volume for its cold cut, hot dog and Claussen pickle lines was up 6% for the month.

"It was the strongest January in our history," he noted.

Oscar Mayer won't disclose the content of this year's commercial but Mr. Shanesy said the spot "will be high-touch, not high-tech" like many showcase efforts on the Super Bowl.

"It will focus on kids," he said, hinting it will tie in with the company's Talent Search II, a reprise of last year's promotion where kids across the U.S. auditioned for an Oscar Mayer commercial by singing the company's famous "Bologna Song."

Mr. Shanesy said that although Oscar Mayer has sponsored NFL teams for 14 years, it didn't sponsor the Super Bowl until last year because up until then the company didn't feel it had a big-idea commercial that was "Super Bowlesque." But with the talent search, he said, "We finally had something that matched the Super Bowl's stature."

ROLE FOR WIENERMOBILES

The company's famed Wienermobiles, which figured so much into last year's bowl, will be featured in the :10s urging viewers to tune in to the halftime show. J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, is Oscar Mayer's agency.

Mr. Shanesy said the company plans to try and leverage the sponsorship through its brands and "coordinate" with the halftime show, although the company is wary of overcommercializing the halftime event.

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