Gummi Bursts Juice Up TV, Online

NEW YORK As Mars expands its line of Starburst candies with the addition of Gummi Bursts, an integrated ad campaign comprising TV and online elements was unleashed this week using the tagline “Share something juicy.”

A Starburst channel on YouTube is hosting a series of video shorts with the umbrella title “A Starburst Moment in Sharing.” One clip portrays a young man and llama feeding each other Starbursts on a green hillside. Several other shorts expose two people casually sharing too much personal and “juicy” information. Digitas, New York, handles online efforts.

Other Starburst video shorts will be dispersed on blogger sites.

An animated series, called Nite Fite, will be sponsored by Starburst and syndicated online via NextNewNetworks. Written by Dan Meth and Mark Vitelli, Nite Fite emulates a late-night talk show in which two characters, Penalty and Lloyd, debate controversial topics. The site allows consumers to make comments or vote on who they side with, Penalty or Lloyd. premiered Thursday; some episodes can also be seen at Starburst’s newly renovated Web site,

The target demo for Gummi Bursts is consumers in their late teens, which prompted the heavy emphasis online. “You have to be out there to draw [teenagers] in,” said Ryan Bowling, a Mars rep. “Being comical helps too.”

In a 30-second TV spot for Gummi Bursts, two men in a science laboratory enter a “hazardous zone” to attain some of the candy they were analyzing from the outside. Once inside, they obsessively begin eating the new candy. TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, is lead agency for Starburst.

Mars spent just over $20 million on Starburst ads in 2007 (not including online) and $2 million January-April this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.