Grounds for a new ad Taster's Choice pair percolates

January 11, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

The strange man in her apartment was her brother.

Do you feel better now?

Television viewers learned from a commercial last week that romance continues to percolate between the neighbors who first met when she borrowed his Taster's Choice coffee.

The new ad is the sixth in a series that has perked the public's interest for two years and has increased the sales of Taster's Choice coffee by 10 percent.

In the previous 45-second interlude, the series' hero was dismayed when the door to his lovely neighbor's apartment opened to reveal a good-looking guy who seemed only too comfortable being there. Matters were not helped by the fact that this mysterious stranger didn't bother to reveal his identity.

Now McCann-Erickson, the New York-based advertising agency that handles Taster's Choice advertising for Nestle Corp., has ended the suspense.

As the latest installment starts, the hero is waiting to get on the building's elevator. Carrying two suitcases, he is obviously going away.

When the elevator doors open, our heroine is there.

"Hi," she says. And, looking at the suitcases, she adds, "Was it something I said?"

"No, just business," he replies, obviously uncomfortable.

Finally, he blurts, "I came over last night . . . you had company."

And she replies: "You mean my brother. He just loves my coffee."

He sighs, "Your brother . . . " as the elevator door closes.

Gosh.

The story isn't over yet.

Nestle and McCann-Erickson plan to keep this romance -- and these commercials -- going.

A similar ad campaign, starring the same actors, has been running in Britain for four years now and is still enormously popular. There, the ads push a Nestle's instant coffee called "Gold Blend."

There have been 12 Gold Blend ads -- and in the most recent, the hero, played by actor Tony Head, confesses true love for the heroine, played by Sharon Maugham, who, according to the trade magazine Advertising Age "melts in response."

And Nestle has commissioned an English romance novelist to write a book about the pair. Most likely, just like the affection between the neighbors, a book called "Love Over Taster's Choice" is only a matter of time.

And speaking of time: the elevator episode will also air during NBC's "Cheers" on Jan. 14 and CBS' "60 Minutes" on Jan. 24.

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