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BBDO Uses Cheese to Sell Gum

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Wrigley looks to distinguish its Extra Polar Ice gum line from other "icy cool" flavors with an irreverent, teen-oriented campaign from BBDO Chicago.

The first line extension of Extra in nine years is aimed at teens, who chew the most gum, with ads that take a low-tech approach to reach a group that "is really media and advertising savvy" said BBDO client services director Stacie Boney.

Eight 15-second TV spots and one 30-second spot that break today show, in deliberately amateurish ways, teens who chew the intensely flavored gum taking on the attributes of polar bears, said Phil Gant, BBDO Chicago's chief creative officer.

"It's a cross between Wayne's World and The Blair Witch Project," Gant said. "It's what Garth and Wayne would have done."

Print executions follow a similar line, depicting photos of teens with polar bear fur on their chest or back and handwritten copy such as, "It messes ya' up!" and "They're hiding the side effects."

The campaign moves the line away from Extra's traditional long-lasting flavor positioning to one of "intense curiosity," Gant said. That theme is summed up in Polar Ice's "Just gum?" tagline.

"We want to leave a question in people's minds that they have to try to answer," he said.

In introducing the new line, BBDO's orders were to separate the Polar Ice brand from other intense mint flavored-gums, said Rory Finlay, consumer marketing director for Wrigley.

BBDO Chicago created that category's blue-toned look 10 years ago with its campaign for Wrigley's Winterfresh gum, Boney said.

Spots will air on teen-oriented programming and networks such as MTV and the WB. The print work will appear as posters on college campuses. The campaign will also include radio and Internet components.

Wrigley is expected to spend $16 million on the introductory campaign [Brandweek, May 1].