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 Advertising Mascots - People

Taster's Choice CoupleTaster's Choice Couple - In the 1990s, Taster's Choice coffee began running serialized commercial spots starring British actors Sharon Maughan and Anthony Head that followed the romantic encounters of a man and a woman whose shared a fondness for Taster's Choice. The commercials created a soap opera environment which enticed and teased the viewers to tune in next commercial to see whether the attractive couple would progress beyond just sharing a cup of coffee to possibly sharing a date, or dare we hope...a bed? The successful commercial spots produced a 10 percent increase in products sales soon after they aired.

The Taster's Choice ad originated in England in 1987 for a Gold Blend Coffee Campaign; Mr. Head and Ms. Maughan reprised their roles in the U.S. campaign in 1990. In Britain, a 300-plus page paperback novel based on the ads entitled Love Over Gold was written by an established mystery writer, Susan Moody, under the pseudonym Susannah James. It revealed the character's bios: He's Matthew Prescott, art investment counselor; she's Alexandra Maitland, magazine editor. In England, Tony and Sharon went off to live happily ever after; and they were been replaced by different actors in a new series of ads. The McCann-Erickson ad agency created the Gold Blend/Taster's Choice coffee campaign in both Britain and America. Gold Blend was the No. 2 instant coffee in the UK after Nescafe.

TRIVIA NOTE: After their stint in commercials Anthony Head resurfaced in the horror drama BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER/WB/1997-2003 as Giles, a school librarian and expert in the occult; and Sharon Maughan turned to writing screenplays.

Taster's Chice JarOn February 01, 2005, the Associated Press reported that Russell Christoff, a former model who posed for a two-hour Nestle photo shoot in 1986, was awarded $15.6 million by Los Angeles County Superior Court because Taster's Choice used Christoff's image without his knowledge for years on Taster's Choice freeze-dried coffee labels. Christoff, who is now a kindergarten teacher in the Bay Area community of Antioch, discovered the violation in 2002 while shopping in a drug store. .


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