Promo Spotlight: Bestfoods blankets beach with Skippy peanut butter ads

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Marketer: Unilever Bestfoods, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., for Skippy peanut butter.

Effort: Sand advertising.

Vendor: Beach n' Billboard, Leonia, N.J.

Twist: Printing ads into the sand at high-profile beaches, marketers get consumer exposure in a memorable environment. The Skippy ads were rolled out fresh each day behind sand sweeping machines. The ads appeared on beaches in Seaside Heights and Wildwood, N.J., last year; Unilever plans to renew the program in 2001. Municipalities are paid to sweep up the beach before the ad images are carved into the sand.

Vital statistics: The average cost is $600 to $1,000 per day, depending on location and size of beach. Beach n' Billboard sells minimum one-month contracts for its product. With public service messages imprinted along with ads, litter on participating beaches reportedly has been reduced by about 20%. Philips Electronics and Chase Manhattan Bank are in discussions for beach ads this summer. Other shorelines may include South Padre Island, Texas, and Silver Beach State Park in Michigan, as well as sites in Florida, California, the U.K., Italy, Israel, Venezuela and South Africa.

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