Big Red Pushes New Formula

BBDO Chicago continues to focus on attracting younger chewers to Wrigley’s Big Red gum in a new campaign that touts a reformulated, purportedly longer-lasting flavor.

Television spots, which break today, are the second year of a move away from Big Red’s traditional “kiss a little longer” theme and jingle.

The agency last year introduced Clyde, a hip, older men’s “lounge” attendant who advised consumers about the right choice for fresh breath.

“Our message is, ‘Big Red is the gum for hooking up,'” said Steve Dusenberry, senior vice president and group creative director at BBDO Chicago. “The brand needed to be contemporized; [the Clyde campaign] detailed that shift.”

Clyde has only a minimal presence in the latest campaign, which shifts most of its focus to the reformulated gum. One of the spots shows writhing limbs under satin sheets while on screen text reads, “Tastes better. Lasts longer. You’ll thank us in the morning.” Clyde then flashes on the screen to utter his tagline, “It looks good on you.”

“We didn’t think the Clyde campaign was a good product message campaign,” Dusenberry said. The agency employs text rather than a voiceover, “which provides a bridge to where we’re going with this,” Dusenberry said.

The new work, which includes print and radio, will run through the first half of the year. A new campaign that moves Clyde out of his men’s lounge environs is expected in June, Dusenberry said.

The campaign is thought to mark the first time Wrigley has touted a reformulated product in its advertising, Dusenberry said. Highlighting the change is important to contemporize the brand, and position it to compete with breath mints, Dusenberry said.

“It’s making [Big Red] relevant to consumers,” he said. “Their tastes have changed; they want more.”

Wrigley spent $18 million on advertising Big Red through September 2000, ac-cording to Competitive Media Reporting. Spending was negligible in 1999, per CMR.

Separately, BBDO is preparing TV spots for a May launch of a sugar-free extension of Bubble Tape from Amurol Confections, a division of Wrigley. The budget is less than $5 million and placement will include kids’ programming. AFP / FABIAN GREDILLAS