TBWA/C/D Wins Star Wars Pitch

The Force Was Not With Y&R, BBDO for $30-40 Mil. Tricon Job
LOS ANGELES–TBWA/Chiat/Day has prevailed over BBDO Worldwide and Young & Rubicam for a new ad assignment to back Tricon Global Restaurants’ cross-promotional push behind the next Star Wars theatrical release, sources said.
The pitch for creative duties on the estimated $30-40 million business included only Tricon roster shops, said sources. TBWA/C/D, Playa del Rey, Calif., creates ads for Tricon’s Taco Bell chain, while BBDO and Young & Rubicam, both New York, handle Pizza Hut and KFC, respectively.
Y&R’s Media Edge unit in New York won a pitch earlier this year to handle the network buying portion of Tricon’s total $500 million account. BBDO is handling Pizza Hut’s overseas promotional advertising related to Star Wars .
Executives at the three agencies either declined comment or could not be reached. A representative for the $7 billion company in Louisville, Ky., said it was “premature to discuss” advertising plans for the new film. The upcoming Tricon promotion falls under the aegis of the $2 billion deal PepsiCo inked with Lucasfilm Ltd. in 1996 to serve as the promotional partner for all new Star Wars films.
TBWA/C/D’s pitch was led by account director Pam Keehn and creative directors Chuck Bennett and Clay Williams, who will oversee the business, said sources. The team created a series of Chihuahua spots last year supporting Taco Bell’s tie-in with Sony’s Godzilla, which proved to be more popular with some viewers than the film itself.
For the first time, the agency’s ads will feature all three fast-food chain brands simultaneously, said sources. The campaign will be part of a massive promotional push by Tricon, Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay. The latter two have been mulling an ad buy on the Super Bowl to push their connection with the hotly anticipated prequel, said sources. Lucasfilm may also run trailers during the game. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is scheduled to open May 21, 1999.
Advertising and marketing plans for the film have been under tight wraps for months. Director George Lucas has been working directly with Tricon president David Novak on strategies, said sources. Executives at Lucasfilm also declined comment.
–with Sloane Lucas and Andrew McMain