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Tried-and-True TV for Blue Bell

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Lyle Metzdorf, the longtime creator of advertising for Blue Bell Ice Cream, next month unveils the latest television commercial for Texas' most famous creamery.

Like previous efforts, whose images focused on old-fashioned, pastoral images of the Texas countryside, the new 30-second spot is long on smiling kids, swimming holes and cows.

The newest execution adds a spiritual theme with a song titled "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?" The music plays over emotional scenes such as reuniting veterans and praying families. The final scene in the spot shows dozens of Blue Bell cartons floating on the surface of a stream, each holding a lighted candle.

Metzdorf, who has worked with the Brenham, Texas-based client since 1963, said the new ad was inspired by customer feedback.

"Countless letters over the years have said that Blue Bell ice cream is heavenly or that eating Blue Bell ice cream is like going to heaven," said Metzdorf. "So I kept asking myself, 'Is there anything I can do with that?' "

The goal, he said, was to create a subtext suggesting "wouldn't it be nice if life on earth were really like this?" or "maybe this is exactly how heaven should be."

The new spot was directed by Gerald Cotts of Santa Monica, Calif., with original music by Aaron Barker of Nashville, Tenn. It will begin airing March 12 across the Southwest and Southeast where Blue Bell is distributed.