Standee & Deliver

Published in CSP Daily News

NASCAR's Schrader featured in Little Debbie c-store ad

COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. -- NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader, driver of the Little Debbie Ford, will be featured in a new advertising campaign for Little Debbie single-serve snacks. The commercials will be broadcast nationally beginning with NBC's coverage of the Allstate 400 Nextel Cup race in Indianapolis on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2006.

I had an absolute blast shooting the commercials, said 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 c-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. He never complained once about having to eat so many donuts, said Luckie & Company executive creative director Brad White, who led the development of the ad. The cardboard cutout idea, also called a standee' in the advertising business, 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 promoting its products. 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 company has already started discussions with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing about renewing its sponsorship agreement for the 2007 season.

The response to our sponsorship during the 2006 NASCAR season has been enthusiastic across the board, said 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. We're looking forward to working with both of them in 2007.

The spot will be broadcast nationally on NBC and TNT in 13 Nextel Cup races from August through November. In-store point-of-purchase 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.

Schrader has started in all Nextel Cup races this year and is currently 33 in the Nextel Cup standings. His two best performances in 2006 have been at Daytona where he finished 9th at Daytona I in February and 12th at Daytona II in June. Schrader, 51, is the oldest and most active Cup driver in NASCAR. He's planning to compete in well over 100 races this year, including all 36 Nextel Cup races, 10 NASCAR Busch Series races, West Series, ARCA, Southwest Tour Series and smaller races on a number of dirt tracks. Schrader's Cup record includes four victories, 64 top five finishes and 183 top 10 finishes. His autobiography, Gotta Race, is now in bookstores.

McKee Foods, Collegedale, Tenn., makes Little Debbie snacks, Sunbelt snacks and cereals, Heartland granola cereal, and Blinks, the first cereal to be eaten right from the bag.

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