SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Greg Ness, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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StarKist® Brings 'Charlie® The Tuna' Back To The Small Screen

-- StarKist® teams up with renowned animator Steve 'Spaz' Williams to give the iconic spokes-tuna a modern look and invites consumers to have 'your lunch, your way' with single serve Tuna Creations® --

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- StarKist's beloved Charlie® the Tuna is swimming back into the television advertising spotlight as a classic hipster with a fresh new look. The leading tuna brand is reintroducing the jive-talking tuna in 3D animation as the starring voice of a new "My Lunch. My Way. My Creations.™" campaign, inviting consumers to add personalized flavor variety to lunch with the brand's seasoned Tuna Creations® pouch line.

StarKist enlisted the directorial assistance of renowned animator and visual effects supervisor, Steve "Spaz" Williams, to reintroduce Charlie with modern 3D animation that still harkens back to the classic character that was developed more than 50 years ago.

"Since Charlie's debut in 1961, his red hat, trendy glasses and cool mannerisms have made him a true pop culture icon, and now for the first time in more than a decade, Charlie is reclaiming his starring role in our advertising campaign in a big way," said Mike Brookhart, Director of Marketing, StarKist.  "The return of Charlie as the 'Star' marks an evolution in our brand.  We are staying true to the classic StarKist taste consumers know and trust, while highlighting the newest individual flavors of our complete StarKist Tuna Creations product line for delicious, convenient and better-for-you lunch options."

New Look to a Classic Icon

StarKist and its lead agency, Harrisburg, PA based Pavone Inc., teamed up with Buffalo, NY based animation studio, IBC Digital and Cornerstone Pictures, to bring the Charlie the Tuna animation to life. To make an even larger than life splash, the brand recruited Director Steve "Spaz" Williams – the lead graphics animator and visual effects supervisor on famed movies such as Jurassic Park, Jumangi, Terminator 2, Return of the Jedi, among others – to direct the final product. "It doesn't get much more iconic in the animated ad world than a classic like Charlie the Tuna," said Williams. "I was thrilled to work with StarKist, IBC Digital and Cornerstone Pictures to bring one of the most identifiable characters to life in a fresh way, while staying true to Charlie's unique style."

To retain the classic look, tone and personality of the beloved original, character sketches from the very first Charlie the Tuna were studied and used to create the "new" version using 3D animation. The :15 and :30 second television spots showcase a contemporary office atmosphere, featuring Charlie providing flavorful salad solutions to make "your lunch, your way" with single serve Tuna Creations. While the ad has a modern feel, it also evokes a sense of familiar nostalgia with Charlie delivering his iconic catchphrase: "Tell 'em Charlie sent ya!"

Charlie Brings His 'Good Taste' to Social Media

In addition to advertising, Charlie will take a lead role in StarKist's social media presence, hosting a highly visual and engaging Facebook game—"Charlie's Brain Pleasers". From now until February 3rd consumers can 'like' StarKist on Facebook to unlock Tuna Creations-inspired mini games for a chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card each week. Games include, "Ranch Memory Mash", "Lemon Pepper Quick Pick", "Hickory Smoked Smoke Screen", "Sweet & Spicy Simon Says" and "Herb & Garlic Winning Combo". The game will be supported via Facebook Like ads, digital display banners and a FSI.

Visit www.StarKist.com to learn more about new Single Serve StarKist Tuna Creations® products, be sure to become a StarKist fan at www.Facebook.com/StarKist, and check out "Charlie's Brain Pleasers", as well as follow us on Twitter @StarKistCharlie and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/StarKist.

About Charlie the Tuna
Created in 1961, StarKist's Charlie® the Tuna was the brain-fish of notable character creators, Tom Rogers and the Leo Burnett agency. Initial character design for animation was done by the legendary director and animator Chuck Jones of Warner Brothers, and DePatie-Freleng Studios, the creative animation studio behind the Pink Panther, brought Charlie to life. When the first commercial debuted, Charlie was an instant hit, going on to star in more than 80 commercials.

About StarKist
StarKist Co. is a leading producer, distributor and marketer of shelf-stable seafood products in the United States. A category leader in innovation, StarKist® was the first brand to introduce the StarKist Flavor Fresh Pouch®; StarKist Tuna Creations®, a line of lightly seasoned tuna; and, a dolphin-safe policy.  As America's favorite tuna, StarKist represents a tradition of quality, innovation and consumer trust and is well known for its charismatic brand icon, Charlie® the Tuna, who swam into the hearts of tuna fans in 1961 and is still a fan favorite today.  StarKist Co. is a subsidiary of the Dongwon Group.

 

SOURCE StarKist Co.

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