Debbie Goes Hollywood

Child actor Jonathan Lipnicki of Jerry McGuire fame stars in a national television campaign breaking today for Little Debbie brand snack products.
Luckie & Co., Birmingham, Ala., created the work, a continuation of the “Unwrap a smile” theme developed by the agency two years ago.
Agency executive creative director Leo Wright said the six commercials–one 30-second and five 15-second spots–“cover the whole gamut of who the Little Debbie audience is.” A series of vignettes features kids, parents and grandparents, with each spot focusing on a specific product.
Lipnicki stars in the 30-second spot and one shorter version. In both executions, his character engages in the same precocious banter displayed by the actor on the big screen. As he eats a Little Debbie Nutty Bar, his dad holds up a toy kangaroo and tells the boy: “If you were a little kangaroo, you’d be called a joey.” The child responds: “If you were a kangaroo, you’d be a marsupial.”
In another spot, when an elderly woman notices her box of Little Debbie Creme Pies is empty, her guilty husband tries to distract her with an invitation to dance.
Each commercial ends with the “Unwrap a smile” tagline and Little Debbie logo. The campaign has two flights–September-November and January-May–on network and cable television.
The budget for the campaign was not disclosed. The maker of Little Debbie snacks, McKee Foods Corp. of Collegedale, Tenn., spent $8.5 million on advertising in 1996, per Competitive Media Reporting.