Mr. Clean gets topical in France
[paris] Procter & Gamble Co. has lightened the tone in a new French campaign for leading household cleaner Mr. Clean. Ads from Grey will see the Mr. Clean icon address consumers on a series of topical issues without actually communicating directly about the brand. In the first ad, Mr. Clean wished consumers a Happy Valentine's Day -- the pink poster showed him holding a heart-shape sponge under the slogan "His only love is your interior." P&G first experimented with the topical approach during the 1998 World Cup held in France, when Mr. Clean appeared in a soccer-theme ad. Mr. Clean brand advertising in France will now be based on this approach through 2000, with at least one topical ad per month. The next ad is scheduled to debut in March, but neither Grey nor P&G executives were willing to divulge the topic.
Pepsi, Heinz turn up heat in Russia
[moscow] Pepsi-Cola Co. and H.J. Heinz Co. are making moves to compete with local rivals in Russia. Pepsi-Cola Russia is launching its own version of local herbal and fruit drinks under the Baikal and Tarkhun names. The beverage giant is trying to capitalize on the enduring popularity of Russian soft-drink brands among young people and woo them with better quality products, packaging and advertising. Pepsi has bought the license to bottle the traditional brands from drinks recipe owner Napitok, and will add the name Fiesta to the Baikal and Tarkhum bottles. The new drinks will be promoted primarily via TV commercials and point of purchase. Separately, Heinz ketchup plans to reduce its price by a third starting next month to better compete with cheaper rivals, said Oleg Voyba, sales director at Mistral, the country's exclusive distributor of Heinz products. Increased ad spending also is planned, via Leo Burnett/Moradpour.