Some tie-ins are a natural

Canada-based McCain Foods has decided it's time for a change -- at least in frozen potatoes, reports McCain will spend its annual online budget between now and early November to capitalize on name recognition with the John McCain, the Republican candidate for president. Working with Chicago-based agency Schafer Condon Carter, the McCain campaign, "Why McCain should be in the White House," touts the company's namesake frozen french fries, sweet-potato fries and kid-friendly "smiles." Since McCain doesn't use oils with trans-fats, one slogan is "McCain goes to war over oil." Another one: "McCain brings 'smiles' to millions," referencing the company's disc-shaped potato product with smiley faces cut out. First in print, then online with politically-themed website, the campaign will showcase a gruff, mumbling "spokespotato" in a suit and horn-rimmed glasses. A variety of sections on-line include "Ask the Candidate," "Recipes for Change" and the ever-important polls (baked or fried?). "We were looking at how to make our ad dollars work harder for us with breakthrough advertising in an Olympic and [election] year," Frank Finn, senior VP-commercial operations for McCain Foods USA, said of his company's search for "disruptive" advertising.