Looking for a lickin'

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Chupa Chups-the Spanish lollipop maker known for its appeal to adults fostered by risque promotions that include scantily clad samplers and "suck lines" outside discos-is looking to appeal to tweens and younger children in new TV ads. The spots are a test for the company's Crazy Dips product in three U.S. markets.

Chupa had planned to transfer ads used in Spain but that fell through when they were rejected by cable networks because they showed acts considered dangerous. Chupa's U.S. shop, WonderGroup, Cincinnati, was forced to develop a new ad in one week last month.

A week is record turnaround for the 25-employee WonderGroup, which specializes in youth marketing, though President Dave Siegel said it's common for toy manufacturers to seek one-month turnarounds because of the uncertainties of distribution in the industry.

Crazy Dips, an "interactive" foot-shaped lollipop dipped in crackling candy, has been distributed in the U.S. for more than a year under Chupa's alliance with M&M/Mars. But the company has decided to back it with media for the first time. Chupa has toned down racier aspects of marketing for its other lollipops since striking the deal with M&M/Mars, but Mr. Siegel said the ads needed to change anyway.

"The version from Spain was targeted to a much older audience of teens," he said, adding that the U.S. candy market is far more child-focused than in Europe.

Copywriter Darren Wiedman composed a jingle in an afternoon. It was set to rap music within 48 hours by Post Score, Cincinnati, and produced in the city by Lightbourne. John Kitzmiller of WonderGroup was art director.

Print and TV ads broke last month in test markets that Mr. Siegel declined to specify. Full national rollout of the campaign, expected to total $4 million to $5 million, awaits results of the test.

WonderGroup has traditionally focused on product and packaging development for consumer product companies, including H.J. Heinz Co., for which it helped develop Heinz EZSquirt ketchup and Ore Ida Hot Bites. But more clients lately have turned to the agency for advertising, too, said Mr. Siegel, who said about 50% of the agency's work now comes from creating ads.

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