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Halls' 'Wolfboy' Hacks Before He Howls

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NEW YORK Halls this week will unveil its first new television commercial in five years, timed to coincide with the approaching coughing, sneezing and sniffling of cold and flu season.

The spot, "Wolfboy," via JWT in New York, supports Halls' menthol product line as it revisits "The Three Little Pigs" fairy tale. In the ad, Wolfboy stands outside a brick house, clearly out of breath. Three men with pig snouts taunt him from within their safe confines.

"Big bad wolf, what a chump!" says one pig who is playing video games. "Huff and puff on this, Wolfboy," says another. Wolfboy then reaches into his fanny pack and takes out a package of Halls. Soon after taking a cough drop, he gets an evil grin and inhales deeply.

The tagline, "Breathe big," is incorporated into the spot as a voiceover says, "Breathe big. Halls with vapor action."

The spot debuted during the airing of Rush Hour 2 on Fox on Oct. 17. It will continue to air regularly on all of the major networks. Whether "Breathe big" will remain the permanent tagline has yet to be decided.

The Cadbury Schweppes-owned brand wants this fresh creative to keep its sales breathing clearly. Halls accounts for more than half of all cough drop sales worldwide, per the company; sales were up 17 percent globally for the first half of the year, according to IRI. The Halls core brand raked in $104 million, up 7.8 percent for the 52-week period ending Sept. 4.

Halls was the crown jewel of Cadbury's $4.2 billion acquisition of Pfizer's confectionery division in 2003. Cadbury put $23 million in media behind Halls last year and $11 million during January-August 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

JWT is also readying new Halls Fruit Breezers TV and radio ads for 2006.