Neither Mild nor Wild: Tic Tac Bold!

CHICAGO The equity of Tic Tac, along with one-and-a-half calories per mint and a clear plastic package that emits the signature “shake-shake” sound, is that it’s not a power mint.

So while Tic Tac Bold!, coming to retail in January in mint and fruit, will pack more breath-freshening taste, brand stewards describe it as an in-between confection—more enjoyable than an intense mint with flavor that builds but doesn’t overpower. Remember: it’s not a power mint.

A television and print campaign, being developed by Merkley + Partners, New York, will roll in late April. Fifteen-second teaser spots began airing last month. One shows a woman juggling Tic Tacs on her tongue. TV trailers for Disney’s Chicken Little movie also mention the brand.

About $5 million of the Ferrero brand’s $15.6 million ad budget in 2006 will be dedicated to Tic Tac Bold!, per the company, with the total brand marketing spend slated to be $20 million. Media outlays hit $19 million in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, but only $6 million January-August 2005.

The Bold! platform won’t stray far from the core brand’s “fresh entertainment” message. Creative will provide Tic Tac’s interpretation of what a strong mint should be: fun, friendly and enjoyable, per sales materials. Bold! will skew slightly younger (18-34) than Tic Tac (18-49).

Ferrero would like to see Bold! refresh the brand’s sales figures. Tic Tac has not been the category’s leader in dollar sales since 1999, when Altoids led the intense-flavor charge that helped the breath-freshening mints category grow 12 percent annually from 1998-2002, per Euromonitor, Chicago. Although Tic Tac is still the unit share leader, drug, mass and grocery sales decreased 6.8 percent amid a 3.4 percent category decline for the year ended Oct. 2, per IRI.