Bayer Itching For Exposure

The ending of Seinfeld coincides with the beginning of flea season, which is why Bayer Corp. added its name to list of advertisers on the NBC show’s finale.
The much-hyped show’s ad lineup will include a spot for the Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based company’s Advantage Topical Solution flea control. The 30-second spot, which has been airing since March, features puppies and kittens singing (thanks to animation) the praises of Advantage. The spot was created by Bernstein-Rein Advertising in Kansas City, Mo.
“It’s a once-in-a-product-lifetime opportunity that we could get so many viewers,” said John Payne, vice president of Bayer’s animal health group. He said the final episode’s May 14 air date is right around the beginning of the flea season.
“Our commercial will educate the biggest pet-owning audience gathered to watch a television event about flea control and the importance of regular vet visits,” he said.
Payne declined to disclose the cost of the buy, but the average price paid has reportedly been $1.7 million. Other confirmed advertisers for the show include Anheuser-Busch, Clairol, Coors Brewing, Gardenburger, Sony Entertainment and Warner Brothers.
Bayer spent about $26 million on advertising for Advantage in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Payne said the company has increased its budget for 1998, but declined to define the increase.
“We have increased our advertising budget, and the reason we have is because it’s working,” he said.