Kia Shifts ’05 Spend to Cable, Plans $30 Mil. Sportage Effort

Los Angeles Kia Motors America will back the relaunch of the Sportage small SUV with a $30 million campaign that breaks at the end of January, said Peter Butterfield, president and CEO. But the creative—by independent davidandgoliath, Los Angeles, which recently defended the account in a six-month $270 million review—will get slightly less network TV despite an incrementally larger outlay, Butterfield said. The Irvine, Calif.-based automaker continues its “shift from national to more cost-efficient mediums,” he said, noting that in two years, KMA has gone from nearly 100 percent network TV to a projected 75 percent in 2005. The category-defining Sportage will get a direct-marketing campaign that will reach as many of the 300,000 Sportage buyers as the company can track down, offering them a dealer incentive.

GNC Promises Health and Wellness in New Year’s Spots

NEW YORK With its New Year’s resolutions still ringing in its ears, health and fitness products marketer GNC launches a $40 million, year-long, multimedia “What’s your goal?” campaign today that focuses on the brand rather than individual products for the first time. TV spots, via independent Cramer-Krasselt in Milwaukee, position GNC as a destination for anyone interested in health and wellness, not just gym rats and the diet-obsessed. Eight spots for the nation’s leading specialty retailer of nutritional supplements will run during news-oriented network and cable programming, illustrating people’s goals as they are relaxing or exercising via floating animated text. Accompanying print ads will appear in about two dozen publications, and the campaign also includes 50 million pieces of direct-mail, outdoor and Internet efforts.

Agassi’s Act Gets Old in Riney’s New 24 Hour Fitness Campaign

NEW YORk Tennis star Andre Agassi contemplates his life after retirement in a national TV campaign breaking this week from 24 Hour Fitness centers. In 60- and 30-second executions—via Publicis Groupe’s Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco—Agassi is shown on an early-morning run, passing visions of himself at a retirement ceremony, becoming a sportscaster and selling a George Foreman-like grill in an infomercial. The ad ends with the not-yet-really-retired Agassi running into a 24 Hour Fitness club. These are the first ads by Agassi for the company, who signed him to an endorsement deal last January. The client spent a little more than $20 million in 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

AARP Ads Attack White House Social Security Plans

Washington The AARP will launch a $5 million, two-week print campaign tomorrow to oppose President Bush’s proposal to establish private Social Security accounts, the lobby group for older Americans said. The work, which will appear in more than 50 newspapers around the country, including the New York Times and USA Today, is done by the group’s lead agency, Omnicom Group’s GSD&M, Austin, Texas. In one ad, the copy reads, “There are places in your retirement planning for risk, but Social Security isn’t one of them.” A second spot features a couple who declare in the copy, “If we feel like gambling, we’ll play the slots.”

Finalists Await Decision in Dish Network Creative Review

New York A handful of finalists await a decision in EchoStar Communications Corp.’s review of creative duties on its Dish Network brand, following a round of presentations to EchoStar CEO Charles Ergen two weeks ago, sources said. Before the final round, there were four contenders: Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, Publicis’ Publicis in Seattle, Interpublic’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis and New York independent DiNoto [Adweek Online, Dec. 17]. Last week, however, sources said some of the shops were no longer in the mix; the agencies either declined comment or could not be reached. Although client executives have not been explicit about the scope of the business, contenders are seeking to become lead agency on Dish, offering more than traditional ads, said sources. Last year, Nielsen Monitor-Plus recorded about $120 million in major media spending on the brand. The Englewood, Colo. client declined comment.

Disneyland 50th Birthday Gets Global Promotional Push

Los Angeles With the tagline “The only one missing is you,” the Walt Disney Co. last weekend launched a worldwide effort to strengthen both its characters’ iconic images and theme-park attendance. The campaign revolves around Disney’s original park, Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif., set to celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year. Its initial component: a 60-second TV and Internet spot by Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, featuring computer-generated characters, live-action backgrounds, Kelsey Grammar voiceover and original score by Oscar-winner Alan Silvestri. In the spot, Mickey, Dumbo, the hippos from the classic Disney film Fantasia, and other familiar characters—most of whom haven’t been seen together before, and never in CGI—scramble from locales including the African savannah, the Great Wall of China and the Rocky Mountains in an effort to bring the entire family back “home” in time for the 18-month celebration’s May 5, 2005 kickoff. Budget was undisclosed, but this is the first time Disney has attempted this level of global promotion, said Disney evp, marketing parks and resorts Michael Mendenhall. “It’s all about anticipation.” Disney backed its parks with more than $160 million in U.S. adspend in 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

News Roundup

Computer Associates International has awarded global marketing services duties to a team of Interpublic agencies led by Draft, Initiative and Jack Morton, all in New York, the client said. Billings are estimated at $150 million. Creative and media ad duties were handled by the New York offices of WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam and Mediaedge:cia, respectively. The shift came after Y&R struggled to come up with the right marketing mix for the Islandia, N.Y. client [Adweek, Dec. 13]. … Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty has added international creative duties on Smirnoff Ice, a brand that it already handled in the U.S., the client said. Billings are estimated at around $15 million. The London office of BBH bested incumbent J. Walter Thompson and AMV BBDO, both in London, after a review [Adweek Online, Dec. 23]. … Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi has joined the Novartis roster of agencies, landing four non-prescription brands from Novartis Consumer Health with total billings estimated at $150 million, sources said. The brands, which were awarded after a review [Adweek Online, Dec. 17], are TheraFlu and Triaminic, which shifted from Omnicom’s Corbett Healthcare Group, and Otrivin and Voltaren, which shifted from Havas’ Euro RSCG, according to sources.