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After a 16-year absence from television, Bazooka bubble gum is back on the air with new commercials beginning this week, as the re-launched gum simultaneously rolls onto store shelves.
With an initial five week run, the 15-second spots will air on ABC Family, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, ESPN, Nick@Night and TEENick. The advertising concept takes its cue from a classic camp song. The Bazooka marketing campaign includes five commercials aimed at children ages six to 12, developed by Duval Guillaume/ New York.
The commercials focus on the "Bazooka-Zooka" song, originally a top 20 hit titled "Choo'n Gum" recorded in 1950 by Teresa Brewer. Over the years, it was adopted as a sort of anthem by young summer campers, who altered the lyrics to "Bazooka-Zooka Bubble Gum."
"We heard rumors of a Bazooka camp song," said John Budd, vice president marketing for The Topps Co., makers of Bazooka. "Then one day an employee picked up his daughter at summer camp and witnessed kids spontaneously singing and dancing to it; from there the ad campaign was born. The song builds on the inherent bubble blowing and comic entertainment value of the brand."
The television advertising is part of a $1.22 million marketing campaign re-launching Bazooka, including online/viral components. Bazooka has been known for its square shape, "hard chew," distinctive smell and featuring Bazooka Joe and his gang. This summer's re-launch finds a new soft chew formulation, longer lasting flavor and bigger bubbles, while maintaining its same memorable scent. Ranked number one (84%) in total brand awareness by the Bubble Gum Incidence Study, October 2004, the gum was also included in a psychological study of tastes and smells that recall memories. The study found Bazooka was one of the most frequently identified items.