SAN FRANCISCO-Sunsweet Prunes retires longtime spokeswoman Barbara Mandrell and now invites viewers into a "magical orchard" where trees dance and juggle fruit in two new spots developed by J. Walter Thompson here.
The national campaign, which breaks this week, features the tagline, "Prunes with a twist."
In "Juggling," prune and orange trees use their limbs to toss their respective fruit back and forth. They stop playing when a grower enters-played by director Ron Howard's father, Rance Howard-but resume when he turns away. The second spot shows lemon and prune trees linking limbs and swaying to the strains of "Bolero." Again, when the grower appears, the trees stop making mischief.
The spots were directed by Vincent Patterson, choreographer for the movie Evita and for Michael Jackson's world tour. JWT's David Bigman is the campaign's creative director.
"The first phase of the campaign is centered on Sunsweet's orange and lemon 'Essence' products," said JWT copywriter Steve Weiss. "In focus groups, we found that people didn't know about these products."
The ads target "primarily women aged 45 and older and other light users of prunes," said Erin Hull, Sunsweet's vice president of U.S. marketing. "We're doing something exciting with prunes, and we want people to think of them beyond their health benefits."
The goal is to "put prunes in a more youthful and energetic light," Weiss said.