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Grey Touts Banana Boat

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NEW YORK Whatever you're doing in direct sunlight, Banana Boat has got you covered.

That's the pitch of a new campaign, via Grey, New York, for the sun care brand. It's a departure from Banana Boat's traditional fun-in-the-sun creative, accompanied by tags like "Play Out" and "Get on the Banana Boat."

Dubbed "At Your Service," the new creative launches next week and features butlers brandishing large yellow umbrellas to protect a melange of runners, sunbathers, Frisbee players, volley players, bicyclists and beach walkers from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays.

In one TV spot, the voiceover states: "There's no better way to protect yourself and your family from the damaging rays of the sun than with Banana Boat." The brand's SPF 50 Ultra Defense Mist Clear spray sunscreen is prominently featured. The spot closes with the tag: "Unbeatable protection. Now. Later. Longer."

"Forever and ever, Banana Boat has been part of family fun in the sun, and the truth is that consumers want sun protection, and even though they've always provided it, Banana Boat never presented themselves that way," said Bob Sullivan, Grey's creative director. "So this campaign was really a big shift in their presentation to be at your service for total sun protection."

The ads will initially run on TV and in print executions across lifestyle titles. However, elements from the TV spot could extend to a multitude of other branding platforms, said Beth St. Raymond, director of sun care at Playtex, Banana Boat's parent company.

"When I look at that yellow umbrella, I see that having so much potential outside of the TV or print campaigns," said St. Raymond, adding that the brand is exploring doing direct and event marketing across major markets in the summer, tying in the umbrella imagery.

Banana Boat will also be the official sun care sponsor of the Association of American Volleyball Professionals tournaments this summer.

St. Raymond said the brand would be increasing its ad spending this year, but didn't disclose specific figures. Banana Boat last year spent $15 million on advertising, excluding online, up from $10 million in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.