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Butterfinger Launches Peanut Butter Cups with Super Bowl Ad

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:37pm
MAE ANDERSON, AP Business Writer
This undated image provided by Nestle shows the company's new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup, the brand’s first line extension in five years, (AP Photo/Nestle)

NEW YORK (AP) — Move over Bart Simpson. To launch its Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups, the brand's first new product in five years, Nestle is bypassing Butterfinger's longtime spokescharacter for a humorous Super Bowl ad teaser about peanut butter and chocolate going to couples therapy.

Nestle is hoping that promoting the new product during the Super Bowl will help it gain ground against Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, the market leader. With more than 100 million viewers each year, the Super Bowl, which will air on Fox on Feb. 2, is a popular launching pad for new products since it is live and people like watching the ads. Advertisers used to keep their Super Bowl ads secret until the game. But in recent years, many have released ads ahead of time, or released "teaser" ads that hint at the ad's content, in an effort to make them stand out in the crowd.

Butterfinger's teaser ad, which is posted online, is related to the upcoming Super Bowl ad. It doesn't plan to release the actual Super Bowl ad ahead of the game but it will have the same couples therapy theme.

Even though the Super Bowl is more than two weeks away, advertisers have begun to leak some details about what they are planning. First-time advertiser Jaguar released a teaser showing British actor Ben Kingsley as a British villain in its ad, which will feature the brand's F-Type coupe. Celebrities will feature prominently in many ads, with Scarlett Johansson promoting SodaStream soda makers and Stephen Colbert starring in an ad for Wonderful Pistachios.

"You need to open up as much awareness (for a new product) and what better way to do that than with a Super Bowl ad," said Jeremy Vandervoet, brand manager of Butterfinger, which is owned by Nestle. Butterfinger has been developing the product for two-and-a-half years, and it's the brand's first foray into the Super Bowl.

In the Butterfinger teaser, which has a 1970s vibe, a couple wearing T-shirts reading "peanut butter" and "chocolate" sit in a "food therapy" waiting area.

"Don't you think it would be nice to try something new and crunchy?" asks the woman representing chocolate.

"The cup is about to get crunchy," the tagline reads.

The ad will be promoted on social media and be available on www.butterfingercups.com

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