McCann Picks Its Apples

Washington Group’s $20 Mil. Budget ‘Just the Thing’
LOS ANGELES–The Washington Apple Commission launches a national campaign today aimed at converting people who don’t eat apples regularly.
McCann-Erickson in Seattle created the ads. The client is putting $20 million behind the effort–almost three times more than last year.
The campaign introduces a charismatic character named “Apple Guy” who delivers Washington Apples on his motor scooter to the weary. “He’s one part Buster Keaton, one part superhero,” said Jim Walker, the agency’s executive vice president, creative/managing director.
In one of three new TV spots, Apple Guy rescues a father and daughter, exhausted after a day at the zoo. He braves a charging elephant, chess-playing monkeys and a penguin-filled pool to give the tired pair a couple of apples. After biting into one, the revitalized girl says, “Thanks, Apply Guy.” “My pleasure, little lady,” he replies.
The tagline, “Just the thing,” replaces the previous “The best apples on Earth.”
The Wenatchee, Wash.-based organization has shifted its brand strategy from targeting people who eat a lot of apples to those who don’t. The ads are aimed at women 25-54 who have children, Walker said.
The hefty budget is designed to boost national apple consumption by 15-25 percent in three years. TV ads will air in national spot markets throughout the year. Radio and outdoor ads, retail promotions and nontraditional media are also part of the effort.
“This is a consumption strategy,” Walker said. “We want people to know that apples are appropriate any time.”