BBDO Backs New Wrigley Gum for Baby Boomers

$15 Mil. Push Takes “Eclipse’ to Potentially Large Untapped Market
CHICAGO-BBDO Chicago will help Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. break out its first new product in five years, backing Eclipse with a $15 million multimedia campaign that positions the sugar-free confection as the first chewing gum for baby boomers.
TV, print and radio advertising will support the gum, which hits store shelves in May. National newspaper inserts will run through summer to generate trials.
Wrigley and BBDO declined to comment on the upcoming campaign. The on-pack slogan developed for Eclipse is “Quickly eliminates mouth odors,” a phrase that some store buyers found unflattering. It is not known if the line will be used as a chief selling point in BBDO’s advertising.
BBDO last year returned Wrigley’s popular JuicyFruit product to the airwaves, and has handled launches for Wrigley’s Amurol division, including Stay Alert caffeinated gum last year.
Wrigley spends about $125 million a year on advertising, according Competitive Media Reporting.
The Chicago-based gum giant is pitching Eclipse to distributors and buyers as unique, noting that baby boomers as a group are not major gum chewers and represent an untapped market.
Consumers 35 and older are a growing group, currently making up 52 percent of the U.S. population. The group most coveted by advertisers, 18- to 34-year-olds, constitute one-quarter of the population. The target group most candy makers chase, 3- to 17-year-old, make up 23 percent.
Wrigley is not known for venturing heavily into new products. The 1975 rollout of Freedent, for example, was its first since Doublemint debuted in 1914.
Current annual grocery, drug and mass sales of Wrigley’s Spearmint, JuicyFruit, Doublemint, Freedent, Big Red, Extra and Winterfresh gums are around $808 million. Wrigley, already the gum leader with half of the category’s market share, projects Eclipse will add $100 million in sales and $40 million in profit.
The spearmint flavored gum is packaged in green, generic-looking blister packs with 12 pieces prepriced at 79 cents. Packs of Warner-Lambert Co.’s Dentyne Ice and Trident and LifeSaver’s Ice Breakers and Care*Free contain 15-18 pieces each, and retail for 99 cents.
-Michael Beirne