The AdCritic

Snapple, Starburst, Orbitz and Wrigley's

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Our editors take a look at new campaigns for Snapple, Starburst, Orbitz and Wrigley's Extra. Let us know what you think by sending us your comments.

Snapple "Pamplona"
Snapple: Pamplona, Bachelorette Party and Wedding

Deutsch/New York's "Bottles" campaign for Snapple seemed smart when it debuted last year, and it still seems smart now. Although it might seem like just fun and games, it takes advantage of the brand's two distinguishing characteristics -- the iconic Snapple bottle and the satisfying pop of its vaccuum-packed cap. This being the second round, Deutsch has done a good job of evolving the campaign. Rather than parties and skateboarding stunts, the bottles here get involved in more specific activities: running with the bulls (played by guinea pigs) in Pamplona, getting wild at bachelorette parties and interrupting weddings Ben Braddock-style. It's the same campaign without being the same old campaign. In short, this sequel is as good as, if not better than, the original. (JH)

Starburst "Baby"
Starburst Sour: Baby

This spot is the second from Grey to tout new Starburst Sours and their potentially dangerous face-puckering properties. Like the first, it's a winner. Grey has wisely lassoed top directing talent (the last spot, "Date," was directed by Rocky Morton, this one by Kinka Usher) to execute funny scenarios in which Starburst Sours consumers pop the candies into their mouths at inopportune moments. The end line urges chewers to "Use Responsibly." This latest spot, "Baby," features a young man who, while his family gushes and coos around a new baby, pulls an uncontrollable sour puss upon viewing the tot. The spots are funny, fresh and perfectly convey the character of the product -- that would be extreme sourness -- with just the right tone. The fact that the Sours spots feature Hispanic and Asian-American families would not bear mentioning, except that -- given the preponderance of white folks in most mainstream spots -- it earns Grey extra points for its mass market multicultural portrayals. (TI)

Orbitz "Hotel Matrix"
Orbitz: Hotel Matrix, Flex Search and Customer Care

While Orbitz -- the online travel service backed by the major airlines -- has managed to become the third most popular online travel site since arriving late to the scene less than two years ago, one thing it has lacked is personality. The site didn't even exist when William Shatner began jiving about Priceline, so the branding deficit is understandable. Here, Y&R/Chicago takes a stab at solving it with -- what else? -- marionettes. I predict that these spots will flat out work, as they bust through the clutter and add Orbitz to consumers' mental list of sites they should be checking out when booking travel. After that, it's up to the site to impress them with features like "Flex Search" and the "Hotel Matrix," the nuts-and-bolts of which come through loud in this campaign, which manages to attract attention and deliver the message. (JH)

Wrigley's "Date"
Wrigley's: Date

Yow! What's going on here? This spot from DDB/Chicago is the most puzzling we've seen in some time. It gives us a singing -- or rather droning -- red gumball who's pissed that a young shopper has passed by the gumball machine and opted for a pack of Extra. Aside from the bad song, and the general weird-but-not-in-a-good-way quality to the production, this spot raises a vexing question. Does Wrigley really believe that villifying gumballs (Gumballs! Who chews gumballs???) is going to confer any benefit on the brand. Aren't there other gum products situated alongside Extra on the gum and candy rack that might cut into Wrigley's bottom line more than the gumballs, which are situated in gumball machines -- well where exactly? Are there even gumball machines in stores anymore? The gummaker has done well for itself lately behind a Wrigley's scion who is unafraid to freshen up the company's heritage brands with bolder creative. That mandate has worked well in some cases -- we've seen a compelling new graphic look for Wrigley's Spearmint and an eye-catching campaign for Big Red (both out of BBDO/Chicago). This spot might be called bold in many ways, but none of them are good. (TI)

(THE REVIEWERS: Jim Hanas is the editor of Teressa Iezzi is the editor of Creativity magazine.)

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