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Baskin-Robbins Double Dips With Hershey

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NEW YORK Baskin-Robbins has expanded a partnership with Hershey, which will be backed by new family-oriented creative.

Baskin-Robbins, Canton, Mass., first partnered with Hershey, Hershey, Pa., last year to create Candy Bar Madness: ice cream treats that feature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Heath and Kisses candy. The treats are back this year with York Peppermint Patties added to the 13-SKU line.

"Consumers are looking for variety [with their ice cream] and they want it to be indulgent ice cream varieties," said Scott Colwell, vp, marketing, Baskin-Robbins.

The Hershey offerings hit Baskin-Robbins stores Feb. 18 and will be available through June 1. This year's Candy Bar Madness promotion runs a month longer than last year's, which lasted about three months. The promotion currently includes in-store merchandising and e-mails sent to members of Baskin-Robbins' birthday club. TV and print ads launch in April to kick off the ice cream maker's peak season.

Colwell said the TV work builds on last year's "Unexpected Alliances" campaign. Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, handles. The new 15-second spot is not yet finalized, but the message remains: "There is always someone who wants to go to Baskin-Robbins more than you do," he said. It focuses on Hershey's strongest brand, Reese's, touting Reese's sundaes and shakes. Colwell said Baskin-Robbins would support the York and Heath treats with other marketing materials such as freestanding inserts and in-store merchandising.

The spot features a grandmother taking care of her grandchildren. The mother comes home and says that if the kids were good they would go to Baskin-Robbins. Even though the house has been destroyed, the grandmother smiles and says the kids were perfect. The spot ends with the Baskin-Robbins tagline, "Yay!"

Baskin-Robbins is increasing its ad spend slightly this year. The chain spent $12 million on measured media (excluding online) in 2007, up from $3 million in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.