Bill Cosby is bringing the giggles back to jiggling desserts. The comedian is reteaming with Jell-O after after a decade-long break as its pitchman, only this time around he's not in front of the camera, as he was from 1974 to 1999.
Cosby is executive producing its new "Hello Jell-O" campaign which kicks off today with a new logo and series of spots, a multimillion-dollar effort that's the gelatin and pudding brand's biggest marketing effort today.
"You watch TV, all these reality shows and profanity and things like that, we need to show the heart and the laughter that children have," Cosby told AP. As part of the reformed partnership with Jell-O, he will off a 22-city US tour next month to find America's best giggle.
Jell-O is inviting fans to "spread the happy" on its Facebook page, and is updating its logo with a smiling, new face that's a little reminiscent of the smiling new logo for Seattle's Best Coffee.
Jell-O tried to inject more fun into the brand with last summer's marketing campaign, but clearly felt it needed the old Cosby magic to really click with consumers.
With this new rebranding effort, Kraft is now "trying to breathe new life into the gelatin and pudding market, which it dominates," AP notes. "Shoppers are switching from branded products to store brands and skimping on purchases to save money."
Kraft's hoping its Cosby-crafted giggle campaign will remind boomer parents of the beloved Jell-O spots they grew up with, such as the one below, and (of course) re-energize the brand and its sluggish sales.
Despite being a low-cost, family-friendly dessert option, sales of Jell-O gelatin and pudding fell more than 6% in the 12 months ending mid-April, excluding sales in Wal-Mart and club stores, according to market researcher SymphonyIRI Group.