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From Puppies to Purpose

McVitie's Sweeter Together Campaign launching March 2018

This article first appeared on The Drum on March 9, 2018.

'Sweeter together': inside McVitie's bold £9.7m pivot from fuzzy kittens towards purpose

By Rebecca Stewart-09 March 2018 00:00am

McVitie’s is to ditch its longstanding, and popular, ‘Sweeet’ campaign, exchanging fuzzy kittens and puppies for a £9.7m purpose-driven push launching under the strapline ‘Sweeter Together’.

Created by longstanding ad agency Grey, the snackmaker’s new UK proposition is pinned around the idea that in a society nose-down in smartphones, the simple act of sharing a biscuit has the power to bring people together.

Since 2014, the emotional resonance afforded by cuddly ads from McVitie's depicting CGI creatures such as tarsier monkey’s and alpacas popping out of its product packs has helped grow brand equity and boost sales.

However, Sarah Heynen, vice-president of marketing for UK and Ireland at the brand’s parent company Pladis, told The Drum it was the right time to move on.

“The surprise factor we had in the first couple of years of an animal sprouting from a pack has diminished over a period of time,” she said.

While McVitie's is sticking with a master brand strategy and will continue to bundle all its biscuits under one campaign, it is undoubtedly a bold move to pivot from a commercially successful, and much-loved platform.

The fresh ‘Sweeter Together’ drive kicks off with a 60-second animated spot called ‘Crane’, which tells the modern-day fable of Rod, a crane operator who works dozens of metres above the ground.

Every day, Rod is shown observing his colleagues below him enjoying the camaraderie of a tea break and biscuits. When his own waves and smiles go unnoticed his mood turns melancholy until he sees the steal beam he has lifted has been loaded with snacks and a cuppa courtesy of his workmates below.

The gesture instantly lifts his spirits, with the ad looking to show that 'sometimes the little things are actually the really big things'.

Heynen said the campaign stemmed from the insight that although biscuits seem trivial, they can be "extremely powerful" in bringing people together.

“We talk about our purpose enabling real human connection, the rationale behind that is that [in theory] we are more connected that we’ve ever been before – we have more digital friends, more ‘likes’ but real human connections are dwindling,” she added

The prizes we organised for this campaign are as follows. For more information on providing purposeful prizes please get in touch at hello@thehappyprizeco.com or @happyprizeco

  • 5 x Dream Family Holidays
  • 20 x Weekend Breaks for 2 people
  • 500 x Family Days Out Vouchers
  • 1,500 x pairs of Cinema tickets
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