Cheerwine ad debuts during Super Bowl

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007

By Mark Wineka

Salisbury Post

CHARLOTTE — Salisbury-based Cheerwine, which claims to be the original cherry soda, will launch a new advertising platform during the Super Bowl with a 30-second commercial in the Charlotte and Greensboro television markets.

The ad represents a sneak preview of an advertising campaign that will be launched in April, featuring a zany, investigative Cheer-watch News Team dedicated to “Protecting Your Right to Drink Cheerwine.”

The ad will be shown in the first break for local stations heading into halftime of the Feb. 4 Super Bowl game between the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears.

The Charlotte and Greensboro markets together will reach the lion’s share of Cheerwine customers, according to Tom Barbitta, Cheerwine’s vice president for marketing.

WFMY Channel 2 in Greensboro and WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte will air the ad, in which the Cheer-watch News Team reports that Yankees are hoarding Cheerwine and creating a shortage.

Barbitta said the Super Bowl XLI ad “is a real statement for the brand.”

Cheerwine was first produced in 1917.

“After 90 years the brand is more relevant today than ever,” Cliff Ritchie, president of Cheerwine Bottling, said Wednesday morning at an annual bottlers meeting, where the new ad campaign was introduced.