Ogilvy Initiates Snack Attack

ATLANTA-A handful of tongue-in-cheek reminders marks Ogilvy & Mather’s first advertising campaign for the National Peanut Board.

The Atlanta agency’s print ads for the $3 million account breaks this month in People, USA Today and USA Weekend Magazine. A series of 15-second television spots will debut in April on CNN. Radio buys include ESPN and Inspirations Across America, a minority network. Subway cars in Atlanta, Chicago and New York will also carry the client’s ads. MindShare North America handles media.

“We’ll also be printing the messages on sample bags the advisory will give out at events across the country,” said Ogilvy executive creative director Steve Saari.

Ogilvy captured the Atlanta-based NPB’s inaugural account last September over Mithoff Burton & Partners in El Paso, Texas, with a humor-driven campaign proposal.

“We’ve come up with over a dozen messages,” Saari said. “The tone of voice is consistent.”

Each print piece shows the homely legume in its shell with text such as “How many things can improve the taste of beer and chocolate?” and “Studies show people who eat peanuts live longer than people who don’t eat.”

Others ads tease airlines which have removed peanuts from in-flight service.

“Millions of people have been conditioned to expect peanuts on a plane,” said Saari, who created “Has flying been less fun lately, or is it just us?” and “At least this fuel hasn’t gone sky high” to run inrelevant sections of USA Today. “It’s the kind of target we like,”he added.

According to Saari, advertising is as simple as the product. He described one TV spot featuring a snacker so consumed by the bad news on television that he begins eating his peanuts faster and faster. A voiceover reminds him: “Peanuts may be good for your heart. Especially in this market.”