ADVERTISING WATCH

MOTT'S AT THE MOVIES's U.S.A. partnership agreement with the cable television programming company Nickelodeon here is bearing fruit. Mott's apple sauce and juice products feature characters from Nickelodeon's popular Rugrats cartoon series and link the products to the launch of "The Rugrats Movie" coming out for Thanksgiving.The line of Mott's products features Rugrats characters including Tommy,

MOTT'S AT THE MOVIES

's U.S.A. partnership agreement with the cable television programming company Nickelodeon here is bearing fruit. Mott's apple sauce and juice products feature characters from Nickelodeon's popular Rugrats cartoon series and link the products to the launch of "The Rugrats Movie" coming out for Thanksgiving.

The line of Mott's products features Rugrats characters including Tommy, Chucki and Angelica on packaging from September through December 1998. Their likeness is on products such as Mott's Fruitsations, Mini Mott's single-serve apple sauce and multiserve apple juice. In addition, Mott's, Stamford, Conn., will time three new apple-sauce flavors -- watermelon, fruit punch and grape -- with the movie's release. Each flavor will depict a different movie scene on its package. They will be available for a limited time during the fall promotion period.

The company is supporting the new line with a kid-targeted television ad campaign on Nickelodeon for three weeks beginning Oct. 26.

MILLER KICKS OFF

MILWAUKEE -- Miller Brewing Co. here is launching its Miller Time NFL Football Guide for the 16th year -- and backing up the effort with television and print advertising and point-of-sale displays.

The 33-page guide outlines the upcoming football season, containing complete NFL and college team schedules, as well as game data and other facts. It will be packed inside specially identified packages of Miller Lite. The guides will also be available free via tear-off pads on displays in many markets.

The book will be promoted at POS displays featuring Detroit Lion Barry Sanders, the 1997 Miller Lite NFL Player of the Year, who appears on this year's cover.

Along with TV and print advertising, team-specific packaging and display materials that promote NFL teams in particular regions will be featured in supermarkets and other retail outlets.

TREE TOP Cuts college costs

DES PLAINES, Ill. -- The maker of Tree Top Apple Juice here are ready to zero in on two perennial concerns families face -- tuition and pumpkin carving.

In October, in-store Tree Top displays will come with free guides that offer carving and decorating tips to help parents and children have more fun creating Halloween pumpkins. Targeting what may be weighing more heavily on the minds of parents, Tree Top will also be offering participation in a $20,000 college scholarship bond sweepstakes. Parents can enter by filling out an entry form available at point-of-sale pumpkin displays and mailing it in along with a photo of their child with a carved pumpkin. In addition, the company will include $1 instant coupons on its juice packages.

SIDEWINDERS ROLL OUT

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. -- Favorite Brands International here is introducing a new twist in the fruit roll format with Farley's new Sidewinder fruit rolls. As part of the kick-off promotion, the back panel of each Sidewinders box will contain a Sidewind game and two playing pieces shaped like skateboarders. The object is for kids to "race" along a winding track. The promotion will be supported by a print ad campaign, including coupon inserts slated to go into 36 million newspapers nationwide.

The Sidewinders offer two flavors side-by-side on each roll. Made with real fruit and fortified with vitamins C, E and beta carotene, the Sidewinders will come in two flavor combinations -- strawberry/watermelon and cherry/lemonade.

HORMEL TENDERS PORK AD

AUSTIN, Minn. -- It may have taken Hormel here about a century to run an ad campaign for its fresh-pork products, but it seems to be making up for lost time. A television ad campaign will be airing on such top-rated shows as "Touched by an Angel," and "Friends" and a special that usually garners a healthy share of viewers -- the annual Country Music Awards.

The premise of the campaign for Hormel's Always Tender brand is "Pork so tender, you can cut it with a fork." Ads, titled "The Fork Chop," will show consumers easily cutting and eating Hormel's fresh pork with just a fork.

"When you think about it, it's a fairly big deal -- the end of dry pork," said Denny Haley, executive creative director for BBDO Minneapolis, which developed the campaign. "And you don't announce something like that with a series of dry spots."