They're not slasher films, but Neiman Group's new series of spots for Tom's Java, sold at Tom's Convenience stores, contain screams and horror not usually linked with coffee. The campaign breaks May 8.
One of the 15-second spots shows a man waking up to a ringing alarm clock. He turns over, only to start screaming when he sees the blue-faced, sunglass-wearing Tom's cat mascot in bed with him.
Another spot shows the guy getting into his car and checking his rearview mirror. He screams again as the mirror reveals the mascot in the backseat. The tagline is: "Wake up with Tom's Java."
The effort marks the mascot's first foray in TV, said Rudy Banny, executive creative director at the Harrisburg, Pa., shop. The cat previously showed up in radio and in-store ads.
Spots are running on local broadcast in the Pennsylvania area through the summer.
The shop also created a promotional spot for the York, Pa., client featuring an animated version of the mascot.
Still, Banny said he would be cautious with any possible appearances of the big cat. "He scares the living crap out of people," he noted.