Martini & Rossi Returns to U.S. TV After 25 Years

Goodbye Angie Dickinson, Hello 'Cougar Town'

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CHICAGO ( -- Martini & Rossi is back on the air with commercials running during dramas and reality shows on ABC and cable networks. The last U.S. TV campaign from the Italian winemaker ran more than 25 years ago and included sultry spots featuring Angie Dickinson.

The new ad keeps the sex appeal but seeks to reach a new generation of women ages 25 to 34, according to U.S importer Bacardi U.S.A. With an estimated ad buy of $3 million, the commercial will run during the holiday season and promotes the company's Asti, Prosecco and rose sparkling wines.

The spot, by indie shop David & Goliath, was filmed on location in Rome. It ends with a cork pop and the release of balloons into the air with a tagline that urges consumers to "let go and enjoy life."

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Martini & Rossi: Balloons

The winemaker returned to TV to seize the momentum of the sparkling wine category, which has grown for the past eight years, including a 2.5% gain last year, according to a company spokesperson. The company has also completed a labeling makeover begun last year that features Martini in bold lettering, with Martini & Rossi printed below in smaller font.

The brand, named after 19th-century founders Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi, has been casually referred to as simply "Martini" in overseas markets, but the Martini & Rossi name has stuck in the U.S., likely because the popularity of the unrelated martini cocktail. The new label seeks to align the brand across all markets.

In addition to ABC, the ad will run on CW, E!, Style, WE, Bravo, Oxygen, TLC, The Travel Channel and The Food Network.

Below is a classic Martini spot featuring Ms. Dickinson.

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