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'The Restaurant' star now a star for Lincoln

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 17, 2006


Rocco DiSpirito, the charismatic New York celebrity chef, is touting luxury fare in new TV ads - only this time, what he's hawking isn't edible. The TV spots show DiSpirito picking up ingredients for a feast in a black, 2007 Lincoln MKX. The ads, part of Lincoln's Dreams campaign, are intended to drum up interest - and sales - for Lincoln's first luxury crossover SUV. "The idea is to showcase the product and emotionally connect with consumers by being genuine," said Mike Richards, general marketing manager for Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln and Mercury brands.

Sorry, kids, Haggar's guy is a baby-boomer

Haggar has launched the biggest advertising blitz in its 80-year history. The ads star ordinary-looking men between the ages of 30 and 45 in light-hearted situations. One pretends to advise on "throwing your daughter's boyfriend out the window," cautioning that if doing so, a man should wear a pair of Haggar pants with a Flexible Waistband. The style comes in handy "when you gotta grab a squirmy one," one of the characters says. The casual men's clothing maker is recognizing that many of its customers are in their 50s and 60s. "Our guy is the baby-boomer guy," says CEO Stephen Croncota, adding that past attempts to woo young men were a "stretch."

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Jim Cramer suggested these stocks on his CNBC show this week:

KBR Inc. (KBR) and Nymex Holdings Inc. (NYMEX): KBR, the construction and engineering subsidiary of Halliburton Co., will likely go public at the "sickeningly cheap" price of $15 and $17 a share, Cramer said. Cramer said the company is being valued at a 20 percent discount to other engineering and construction companies and that even accounting for the risk of Democratic Party distaste for the company, it should be worth more. "The numbers should start speaking for themselves," he said. Nymex, owner of the New York Mercantile Exchange that serves energy and commodity futures markets, will join a group of companies that have risen rapidly since their IPOs, Cramer said. While he didn't give a price target for the stock, Cramer said it would be worth buying, even at $25 a share above its offering price.