In the Pits- KSR
Schrader stars in ad campaign
Ken Schrader, driver of the No. 21 Little Debbie Ford on the Nextel Cup circuit, will be featured in a new advertising campaign for Little Debbie single-serve snacks. The commercials, broadcast nationally, began with NBC’s coverage of the Allstate 400 Nextel Cup race in Indianapolis on Aug. 6.
“I had an absolute blast shooting the commercials,” says Schrader, who appears in the spots in a convenience store with a mouthful of Little Debbie Powdered Mini Donuts. “I hope they sell lots of Little Debbie snacks.”
In the 30-second TV spot, a NASCAR fan is listening to a Nextel Cup race on the radio in his truck as he pulls into a convenience store. He heads to the Little Debbie display rack. He selects a Little Debbie snack off the shelf and notices Ken Schrader holding an opened package of Little Debbie Powdered Mini Donuts as if he were a cardboard cutout display. “Ken Schrader, is that you?” he asks. “Maybe,” says Schrader with a mouthful of Little Debbie donuts. The NASCAR fan then asks, “But who’s driving the car?” The commercial cuts to a Ken Schrader cardboard cutout driving the No. 21 Little Debbie Ford.
“Ken Schrader has a great sense of humor, and he loves the product,” says Luckie & Company executive creative director Brad White, who led the development of the ad. “The cardboard cutout idea is really a parody of NASCAR sponsorships. It’s taking a familiar object and putting it in a not so familiar situation.”
This is the first time that McKee Foods, makers of Little Debbie snacks, made use of Schrader in a TV commercial. The company signed a one-year contract with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing last October, and the Little Debbie/Sunbelt Ford is making its appearance in a total of 19 NASCAR Nextel Cup races this season.
“The response to our sponsorship has been enthusiastic,” says McKee Foods CEO Jack McKee. “Our relationship with Wood Brothers/ JTG Racing and Ken Schrader has been a positive experience, and both have been great representatives for our brands.”
The spot will be broadcast nationally on NBC and TNT in 13 Nextel Cup races from August through November. In-store materials featuring Schrader are being displayed in 10,000 c-stores across the country, the company said. Also, an online campaign will give Little Debbie and NASCAR fans an opportunity to win Little Debbie racing merchandise.