Durham ad agency McKinney lands cool new account: Mentos mints

dranii@newsobserver.comSeptember 4, 2013 

A still from Mentos commercial by McKinney

PHOTO COURTESY OF MCKINNEY

Durham ad agency McKinney has just upped its cool factor.

It’s been named the ad agency for Mentos mints and gum.

It’s a significant win for McKinney, by far the Triangle’s largest ad agency.

Perfetti Van Melle, the European confectionary company that makes Mentos, plans to spend more than $30 million in the next 12 months to advertise the brand, according to The New York Times.

The first Mentos commercial produced by McKinney launched this week. It’s scheduled to air on cable networks USA Network, Nick at Night, VH1, MTV, Comedy Central, FX, BET and others.

The 15-second spot, whose theme is “Roll with it,” follows a Mentos-chomping skateboarder and his near-calamities, set to the tune of a bouncy new jingle.

“People know Mentos and react very positively to the brand, but there are many consumers who haven’t had a Mentos in a while,” Alex Van Gestel, managing director of McKinney’s New York office, said in a statement. “We plan to change that!”

Perfetti also is launching a new Mentos breath mint.

“In the case of our new mints, they definitely freshen breath, but the look and delightful taste are nothing like what consumers have come to expect of breath mints,” Craig Cuchra, senior brand manager of Mentos, said in a statement.

McKinney was hired by Maurice Herrera, vice president and head of marketing for Mentos and Perfetti. He joined the company last year from Kraft, where he was senior marketing director promoting the company’s portfolio of gums, which includes Trident, Dentyne, Stride, Bubblicious, Chiclets and Clorets. A change in marketing executives often triggers a change in ad agencies.

McKinney has about 200 employees – 170 in Durham and 30 in its New York office – in the wake of laying off about 30 workers in May after one of its larger clients was acquired. Its client roster includes Nationwide, Travelocity, Samsung, Meijer, Sherwin-Williams, Gold’s Gym, Mizuno, Royal Canin, Big Boss Brewing and Urban Ministries of Durham.

McKinney was acquired last summer by Cheil Worldwide, a global marketing and communications company based in South Korea.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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