Velamints Takes Smooth Route

Amurol Confections seizes on “smoothness” as a point of difference for Velamints in a campaign from Northlich that repositions the brand.

The campaign is the first major relaunch for Velamints in a decade and includes two TV spots and two print executions set to break late this spring. The campaign is tagged, “Velamints, the smooth mint,” said Don Perkins, executive creative director at the Cincinnati shop.

Media plans for the effort were still being finalized.

Amurol, a unit of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., purchased Vela mints in June 2001 from German confectioner Ragolds Suesswaren. Advertising was minimal under Ragolds, with no spending recorded since 1992, according to CMR.

Amurol assigned the brand to Northlich several weeks after the purchase and plans to spend $5-10 million on the brand’s relaunch, said Bruce Thompson, the Yorkville, Ill., confectioner’s vice president of marketing.

The concept is to position Velamints as a smooth mint in a category where competitors such as Altoids, Certs and Tic Tac have taken a harder approach in advertising by emphasizing the strength of their cool mint taste, Perkins said.

Northlich’s campaign uses deceptive images to illustrate Velamints’ smoothness.

In a TV spot for Velamints Chocolate, smooth jazz music is heard from a record album, which begins to turn into a bowl of chocolate. The bowl slowly changes into a tiny Velamints Chocolate mint. A hand is then seen grabbing the mint.

A concept, still on storyboards, takes a similar approach for Velamints Peppermints. A Zamboni machine smoothes down an ice rink as the camera pans back to show the Zamboni cruising along on top of a tiny mint in a tin.

“It’s a world-within-a-world concept,” Perkins said. “We wanted to illustrate smoothness in dif ferent ways.”

Print takes a similar tack. One execution shows a chef stirring a vat of chocolate that’s changing into a bite-size mint; another has a miniature Zamboni sitting on the rim of a mint tin.

Besides brand repositioning and advertising, Northlich is handling public relations, direct marketing and interactive services for the brand.

In addition to Velamints Chocolate and Velamints Peppermints, Velamints’ offerings include Vela mints Wintergreen and Intense Vela mints Sticks.

The brand was introduced in the U.S. by Ragolds in 1977.