DDB Tags Interstate

DDB Needham Dallas has developed a new tagline for client Interstate Batteries that will bow in a television ad on Nov. 22.
The 30-second spot, shot at Concord Motorsports Park in Concord, N.C., features Bobby Labonte, driver of Interstate’s Nascar entry.
Spending for the ad was undisclosed. The client allocated $3 million on major media advertising in 1997, per Competitive Media Reporting.
The TV commercial opens in mid-race, with Labonte driving his family’s Pontiac Montana minivan painted to resemble his No. 18 Pontiac Grand Prix race car.
Along for the ride are Labonte’s son and wife. Interstate racing team owner Joe Gibbs and company chairman Norm Miller are stretched out in tanning beds in the back of the van.
In the spot, Labonte talks about Interstate batteries as he negotiates race traffic. The camera cuts to reveal his wife in the back seat getting a makeover and his son playing an arcade-size video game.
“With the spot, we wanted to show that a race-proven battery can supply the power needed to run tens of thousands of miles in the family car,” said Charles Suscavage, vice president of public relations and advertising for Interstate.
The commercial introduces the new onscreen tagline, “The official battery of the family car.”
“We wanted to show that Bobby Labonte is more than just a race car driver. He’s also a husband and father who can benefit from the superior power delivered by an Interstate battery,” said Jim Ferguson, chief creative officer at the agency.
The commercial ends with Gibbs and Miller responding to an egg timer that is positioned between their tanning beds. “Flip,” Gibbs instructs, as the timer dings.
Interstate, founded in 1952, said it sells more than 11 million batteries annually. The company also has sponsorship deals with the National Football League and the American Motorcycle Association.