StarKist Debuts Advertising for New Tuna in a Pouch

Spokesfish "Charlie the Tuna" Promotes Convenience and Fresher Taste

When Charlie the Tuna talks, the folks at StarKist listen. And now he's ready to talk to consumers about StarKist's new Tuna in a Pouch.

StarKist's advertising campaign for tuna in a revolutionary, vacuum-sealed, flavor-fresh pouch began Jan. 15 on network television. It is the first time StarKist is advertising its new, innovative StarKist Tuna in a Pouch, which began appearing on store shelves in September 2000. In the television ad, an animated Charlie the Tuna is making a pitch in StarKist's executive offices, encouraging the "Big Boss" to be more innovative.

"StarKist needs to do what's never been done in the history of tuna," Charlie exclaims. "Something fresh tasting, really easy." The boss, Ms. Big (Chase Masterson), catches hold of his idea and reels in a big one -- StarKist Tuna in a Flavor Fresh Pouch.

The commercial then reveals that Tuna in a Pouch is easy to open, with no draining and no hassle. Charlie concludes that the easy preparation and firmer, fresher taste makes it, "Our best ever!"

"In this campaign, Charlie's a fish out of water. He's outside of his ocean home and promoting tuna that's virtually liquid-free," said Don Binotto, managing director of StarKist Seafood, a division of Heinz North America. "Charlie has been with StarKist through many decades of improvements and innovation. Who better to help us ride the wave of consumer excitement as we introduce a firmer, fresher tuna that requires no draining?"

Advertising for StarKist Tuna in a Pouch will run nationwide, Jan. 15 to 31, 2001, and from March 1 to 31, 2001, in both primetime and daytime slots. The advertising was developed by Cincinnati-based Northlich. StarKist's new Tuna in a Pouch will also be featured in print ads in consumer publications, along with coupons and nationwide supermarket sampling.

StarKist found that consumers preferred the new product five to one over canned tuna, rating it higher in quality, fresh taste, texture, appearance and convenience.

Tuna in a Pouch began shipping to retailers in September 2000. It is available in three healthy and nutritious 7-ounce varieties: Premium Albacore in water; Chunk Light Tuna in water; and Chunk Light Tuna in sunflower oil, all of which contain almost no liquid. Suggested retail price for the chunk light variety is $1.99 and for the albacore, $2.79.

About Charlie the Tuna

Charlie has appeared in 85 commercials and guest appearances for StarKist since his creation in 1961. In the early '90s, Charlie was given a "makeover," becoming a slightly slimmer, more modern Charlie on StarKist packaging and print materials. In 1999, he returned to national television advertising to promote StarKist's new and improved solid white albacore. Charlie had been off the air for 10 years but his return generated great consumer and media excitement.

About StarKist Seafood

StarKist Seafood, an affiliate of the H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ - news), is the No. 1 brand of canned tuna and the category leader in innovation. StarKist represents a 60-year tradition of quality and consumer trust. StarKist was the first to introduce a dolphin-safe policy and portable tuna lunch kits. Around the world, other leading Heinz brands of tuna include John West, Greenseas and Petit Navire. For more information about StarKist Seafood, log on to

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