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Y&R Feeling Nutty In Holiday Spots

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Diamond Walnuts' Return to Advertising Brings a Shift in Strategy

SAN FRANCISCO--Young & Rubicam here has created an estimated $3-5 million holiday TV campaign for Diamond Walnuts that breaks nationally this week. The effort is the client's first advertising in seven years.
Two 30-second spots for Diamond's shelled walnuts use computer-generated animation created by a 14-member team from Industrial Light & Magic, San Rafael, Calif. The high-tech work allows holiday treats and decorations, including gingerbread people and a snowman cookie jar, to come to life.
The tagline for the campaign is "Diamond Walnuts. Anything else is just nuts."
"These characters are credible baking experts," said Peter Angeles, Y&R's creative director. "After all, who would know better than a gingerbread man . . . which baking ingredients are the highest quality?"
This holiday push and lighthearted approach represent a shift in strategy for Diamond Walnuts Growers, according to Doug Nesbitt, a representative for the Stockton, Calif.-based company. "The ads aim to contemporize the Diamond Walnuts brand and target both older and younger consumers," he said. "We're [trying to reach] 'light' bakers who use the holidays as their one foray into the world of creative baking."
One of the spots features a gingerbread man in love, wearing a pink icing heart on his chest. Sauntering away from his gingerbread friends, he gives himself an icing bowtie and stares longingly at an ornate gingerbread house on an opposite kitchen counter. The counters are far apart, and his buddies use a catapult made from kitchen utensils to help him across. He soars into the air, lands in pile of marshmallows and knocks on the door of the house. A lady ginger cookie answers, and he presents her with a big Diamond Walnut. She grabs him and pulls him inside.
The spots will run until Dec. 20, with national and spot market coverage on network, cable and syndication.
Original music was composed by Jeff Koz and Tommy O'Brien of HUM Music, Los Angeles, and performed by a 55-piece orchestra.