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Starbucks Coffee Co. may be the first marketer to turn Americans into ice coffee enthusiasts with its Frappuccino, a sweet and slushy drink responsible for long lines at units nationwide.

Whipped in a blender from coffee, ice and lowfat milk, Frappuccino has attracted a whole new customer base to Starbucks, said a spokeswoman, an important feat during the hot summer months when coffee consumption drops.

Starbucks says it doesn't break down sales of individual products, but notes that Frappuccino is driving additional daily visits from regular customers and has boosted afternoon and evening traffic.

Frappuccino has even managed to overshadow Mazagran, the ballyhooed coffee beverage Starbucks developed with Pepsi-Cola Co. Mazagran is being tested in two Starbucks units in Santa Monica, Calif. A bottled version of the carbonated beverage will be tested in supermarkets there next month.

Local newspaper ads and bus posters from Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco, will support the supermarket test. Starbucks and Pepsi are now developing their second coffee-based beverage, a Pepsi-Cola spokesman said.

The coffee retailer makes its second major foray into outdoor boards to promote Frappuccino in Washington, D.C., and Oregon. Radio and print ads from EvansGroup, Seattle, hawk the beverage in most markets.

Starbucks will name a new agency to handle its $7 million account within six weeks. The four finalists are said to be: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Riney, San Francisco; and Ketchum Advertising and BBDO, Los Angeles.

Starbucks' competitors are heavying up marketing behind their ice coffee beverages to cash in on the demand Frappuccino has created. Allied-Lyons' Dunkin' Donuts has expanded ice coffee to 90% of its 3,000 units nationwide, from 50% last year. Ice coffee sales represented more than 10% of total sales in units selling the beverage last summer, a spokesman said.

Fred the Baker dons swimming trunks to promote ice coffee in a TV spot from Ally & Gargano, New York. "It's very cool" is the themeline used in TV, radio and point-of-purchase ads.

Allied-Lyons' Baskin-Robbins USA Co. unit this summer adds TV spots from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Los Angeles, to its support for Cappuccino Blast, a coffee-flavor milkshake introduced last year with outdoor boards and freestanding inserts.

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