Thursday, October 10, 2002

Too sad.

CHIMPANZEE USED TO SELL CANDY

Brandweek Magazine, www.Brandweek.com
Published: October 7th

Tools of the Trade--This Spokeschimp Really Puts the Monkey in Too Tarts' Business

Using monkeys to win hearts isn't novel, but Too Tarts Jackson just might be unique enough to eventually rank with Cheetah, Bonzo and Lancelot Link in the chimp hall of fame.

For one, his adoptive parents didn't raise him as a pet, but more like a human child, and never once caged him. Plus, he's the new spokeschimp for Too Tarts. "Within a year, I don't think there will be a household in the U.S. that hasn't heard of Jackson," said Armand Hammer of Too Tarts maker Hammer Corp.

Saving him from being sent to a lab, Ben and Rachel Gunter got Jackson from an animal refuge at 3 weeks old, brought him home to Dallas where he has his own Curious George-decorated room, a dog and an electric car. He takes showers and brushes his teeth and likes to watch Scooby-Doo, go to the park and the movies, and is learning sign language and "chimpanese"--sounds that he and Mrs. G. use to communicate.

And he likes crowds. He regularly visits hospital patients and was at a recent raucous Wal-Mart corporate meeting where he planted a kiss on one of the execs. He can also eat Too Tarts sour flavors with a straight face.

Hammer is in the process of buying a bus, "just like the rock stars have," to set Jackson off on a U.S. tour. Talk shows are interested in booking him, and he'll show up at store openings, trade shows and charity events. Marketing plans include a Too Tart Jackson music video and a special on-pack decoder so kids can speak chimpanese. A TV commercial featuring the Too Tarts Jackson jingle could be in the works next year.