Take the biscuit!
As a nation of biscuit lovers, the UK enjoys 100 million McVities biscuits everyday, with two packets being eaten every second. The new McVities campaign, called ‘Take the Biscuit’, is a reflection of our biscuit eating moments and our everyday biscuit eating habits. The campaign was designed to be a celebration of the way biscuits create sharing and the way we experience these everyday moments.
The campaign is made up of 30 second adverts, featuring cute kittens and puppies. All of the adverts are attempting to capture a Great-British feel good mood, as the music in each advert are from British TV shows, including Fawlty Towers, Blockbuster and Murder She Wrote. The logo is seen distinctly through all the adverts in the campaign and the new design of the biscuit packaging allows the McVities brand name to be more prominent, whist still keeping the traditional McVities colours. All the adverts, which feature the slogan ‘Sweeet’, have been designed to elicit the same emotional responses and feelings to eating a McVities biscuit.
Research by Halford et al. (2004) found that a consumer’s ability to recognise a food commercial had a strong relationship with the amount of food that was eaten after exposure to a food advert. This could boost McVities sales, as this relationship mainly occurs for sweet snacks.
The first advert shows a family in their home about to enjoy a cuppa and a digestive biscuit., a tradition in many homes. Unwrapping the packet of biscuits transforms the everyday family moment, when cuddly corgi puppies appear. The whole family adore the world of puppy cuddles before the mum takes a bite into the digestive and everyone experiences the ‘crumbly cuddle’ feeling.
The next video, follows the same style, but this time it shows three nurses in a hospital canteen about to have a cuppa and a chocolate digestive. Again, the packet is unwrapped and kittens appear and the nurses are taken to a world of cuddles. Once the nurse takes the first biscuit bite, they all receive the ‘chocolatey snuggle’ feeling. Research by Bellfield et al. (2011) found that using cute animals in adverts increased the emotional connection to the advert, with females showing a greater connection than males.
These adverts are part of a £12 million relaunch and revitalisation of the brand McVities and is the biggest media investment by the company. There has been a massive media focus, from online marketing to social media. The media impact allowed the brand to take over the homepages of YouTube, Msn and Mail online, with many allowing consumers to pick their favourite advert to watch, allowing a personal touch. A new look website was launched to advertise their brand to a wider target audience, with features such as ‘Release the snuggles’ and ‘Site snuggler’.
McVities have not only targeted the online communities but also the in-store supermarket communities. The company have attempted to create maximimum brand awareness and brand memorability by creating supermarket ‘Sweeet’ aisle takeovers, with the entire biscuit aisle selling McVities biscuits. The 10 week trial has been created to win over new customers and retain loyal customers in a bid to drive product sales.
The overall aim of the campaign is for McVities to become a family of brands, which includes brands such as ‘Club’ and ‘Penguin’. This is an example of the halo effect, in which McVities competes to become a masterbrand. Research by Leuthesser, Kohli, & Harich (1995) found that the halo effect can provide a useful marker of brand equity, especially in commonly purchased house goods.
In conclusion, the adverts are funny and engaging, and whether the campaign is effective is still unknown. It looks like McVities are set to become the masterbrand of biscuits.
Bellfield, J., Bimont, C., Blom, J., Dommeyer, C. J., Gardiner, K., Mathenia, E. & Soto, J. (2011). The effect of a cute stimulus on personally-initiated self-administered surveys. Marketing Bulletin, 22, 1-9.
Halford, J. C., Gillespie, J., Brown, V., Pontin, E. E., & Dovey, T. M. (2004). Effect of television advertisements for foods on food consumption in children.Appetite, 42(2), 221-225.
Leuthesser, L., Kohli, C. S., & Harich, K. R. (1995). Brand equity: the halo effect measure. European Journal of Marketing, 29(4), 57-66.