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Wild Things Are in the Air
Bell Atlantic and The Lord Group Team Up to Bring
Maurice Sendak's Beloved Book to Life on a Grand
November 23, 1998
(Note to television editors: A video news release with footage about
the making of the Wild Thing balloon will be available via satellite
feed at the following dates and times:
Monday, Nov. 23: 1:45-2:00 p.m. (EST) Telstar 4, Transponder 6, DL
3820, Audio 6.2/6/8
Tuesday, Nov. 24: 4:00-4:15 a.m. (EST) Telstar 4, Transponder 5,
DL3820, Audio 6.2/6/8
Wednesday, Nov. 25: 1:00-1:15 p.m. (EST) Telstar 4, Transponder 23, DL
4160, Audio 6.2/6/8)
NEW YORK -- Maurice Sendak's beloved book "Where the Wild
Things Are" has long been a classic of children's literature. On Nov. 26,
one of the wonderful "Wild Things" characters will become part of another
American classic, this year's 72nd annual Macy*s Thanksgiving Day
Bell Atlantic will sponsor the new, 66-foot-long "Wild Thing"
balloon in celebration of the book's 35th. anniversary and its
successful advertising campaign based on the story.
For Maurice Sendak, having one of his Wild Thing characters in
the parade is "like a dream come true. The Wild Things are inspired in
equal parts by the original King Kong and my terrifying relatives. It is
astonishing - if childish - to see my own King Kong floating beneath the
shadows of the Empire State Building."
In conjunction with the parade, television commercials for a "See a
Wild Thing" Sweepstakes are running on NBC affiliate stations in Boston,
Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. NBC will televise Macy*s
Thanksgiving Day Parade nationally.
Each station currently is airing a 30-second promotional spot that
offers viewers a chance to win a three-day trip for four to New York City,
including VIP viewing of the parade. One lucky family from each city
will win the top prize. Runners-up in each market will receive Bell
Atlantic/Wild Things and NBC merchandise.
The balloon was created by Manfred Bass, parade designer, and the
artists at Macy*s Parade Studio, and represents a collaborative effort
between Macy*s, The Lord Group, Bell Atlantic and Maurice Sendak.
Members of each group spent many hours creating and refining the
According to Michael Hampton, executive vice president and
creative director at The Lord Group, "When you're working on such a
large scale, each detail becomes crucial to ensure that the end result looks
perfect. We labored over the finer aspects of shape and color, and we're
all extremely pleased with the result."
As a Bell Atlantic brand icon, the Wild Thing balloon will be seen
by millions of current and potential Bell Atlantic customers both along the
parade route and as part of the nationwide television audience. "The
balloon is a great way of providing the public with a special gift, and
keeping awareness of Bell Atlantic and the Wild Things campaign at high
levels during the upcoming holiday season," said Janet Keeler, Bell
Atlantic vice president for Brand Management and Marketing
"This program caps off a year of successful advertising for Bell
Atlantic," she said. "In addition to being a unique creative device, the
Wild Things campaign has really helped exemplify Bell Atlantic's
commitment to customer care."
Bell Atlantic's Wild Things advertising campaign was created by The
Lord Group, to communicate Bell Atlantic's message of customer care. The
jungle in the Wild Things story is the perfect metaphor for today's
intimidating and complex communications environment. With exploding
technology and a dizzying array of new choices, Bell Atlantic is the
trustworthy and powerful ally that helps customers make sense of it all.
For The Lord Group, the balloon and sweepstakes make up an
exciting program that demonstrates the agency's ability to develop and
execute unique integrated marketing solutions for its clients. According to
Roger Chiocchi, executive vice president and general manager of The
Lord Group, "This balloon and sweepstakes reaches consumers in a non-
traditional way. Each is a unique means of extending Bell Atlantic's
corporate brand campaign. And they're fun too."
The Lord Group, a joint venture between Young & Rubicam,
Inc. and Dentsu (of Japan), is a fully-integrated marketing
communications consultancy based in New York. In addition to general
advertising, capabilities include direct and database marketing, sports
marketing, cause-relating marketing and Internet programs. With
approximately $350 million in capitalized billings, The Lord Group's
client partners include Bell Atlantic, Kraft Foods, Siemens AG, KeyCorp,
Mita Copiers, Chock full o'Nuts, The Sports Authority and The WIZ.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.