- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2001

Advertising & Marketing

Washington is taking the Pepsi Challenge.

The taste-test to find out which cola Pepsi or Coke tastes better has been caught on tape and is airing on local markets this summer. Obviously, the people who chose Pepsi have been selected to star in the ads.

Washington is one of 27 markets where local taste-testers will appear in a new 30-second spot. Four local residents are included in the current ad, that also stars Ananda Lewis, an MTV veejay. Pepsi has footage of hundreds of other people taking the challenge who they may incorporate into more ads later in the year.

"We wanted to showcase as many people as we could," says Angelique Bellmer, senior marketing manager at Pepsi.

After about a 17-year hiatus, the Pepsi Challenge was brought back last year to appeal to a new younger generation of cola drinkers who had never been exposed to the Pepsi Challenge, Ms. Bellmer says.

The idea for a new ad campaign soon followed.

"When we actually go out, we can only reach so many people," Ms. Bellmer says. "Advertising gets the word out to so many more."

Last month, Pepsi taped taste-testers at Six Flags America in Largo and used the drinkers with the best reactions to star in the commercial.

Pepsi will continue to set up the taste test at events throughout the Washington area for the rest of the summer, including appearances at Six Flags and Nissan Pavilion at Stoneridge.

Condom ad approved

Condom advertising, banned for many years on network television, is acceptable to most Americans, according to a new study sponsored by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

A national survey of more than 1,100 adults showed that 71 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing condom ads on television. One in four adults say condom ads should not be aired at all.

Three of the six major broadcast networks Fox, CBS and NBC allow condom companies to advertise on their networks, with some limitations on message, tone and when those ads can air, according to the foundation.

Crafting new ads

Mastercraft Interiors, an upscale furniture retail chain, has kicked off a new ad campaign in two regional publications.

Ads, created by the Dan Rosenthal Co. in Bethesda, are now appearing in Washingtonian magazine, the monthly lifestyle publication, and Home & Design, a regional interior design and home furnishings magazine. Those publications reach Mastercraft Interiors' core audience: women between the ages of 35 and 64, who have a household income of more than 150,000.

The first of six ads appeared earlier this summer. The ads will continue to run over the next year.

Mastercraft Interiors has five locations: one each in Rockville, Annapolis and Gaithersburg, and two in Fairfax.

New wins

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has been awarded a three-year contract by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. The firm's Washington office will develop a national communications campaign in support of HIV vaccine research. The first year of the contract is valued at $3.4 million.

• The Museum of African American History and Culture has named the Campbell Group as its agency of record. The Baltimore ad agency partnered with the London Group, a marketing and consultation firm in Columbia, to pitch the account.

Both agencies will handle integrated marketing and advertising campaigns for the museum, which is scheduled to open in Baltimore in late 2003 or early 2004. The 80,000-square-foot museum will have interactive learning centers, exhibits, a theater and a museum shop, among other things.

• Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other week.

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