Popchips looks to first national TV push to grow the sub-category it pioneered

After laying claim to the creation of the “popped” chip category when it launched in the UK in 2012 and saw other brands follow suit, Popchips is looking to maintain the impressive sales growth it has seen through its first national TV campaign.

The £1m “snack magic” campaign is part of the brand’s largest advertising investment in the UK to date, more than doubling its spend on previous efforts, which have included events and grassroots campaigns as well as London-focused outdoor and print advertising. In 2013, its campaign garnered attention by featuring investor Katy Perry.

Will Bowler, general manager for Popchips UK & Europe, told Marketing Week:

“The new national campaign will push the brand to a new group of people and give us an awareness boost, and no other media does the job of awareness as well as TV.

“Our US partner just ran this creative in a successful campaign, and with great awareness to trial results for us in the UK, we thought three years in was a good time to spend big.”

According to Bowler, the brand has seen growth of over 40% each year, and plans to grow by a further 40-45% in 2015.

Other brands have been quick to move into the popped chip category. Kellogg’s launched its own popped chip, Special K Cracker Crisps, later in 2012, while Walkers launched Walkers Pops last year.

However, Bowler says Popchips was the creator of the popped category, using heat and pressure to create the chips, which the company believes filled a better-for-you void in the snacking category with less than 100 calories in each single-serve bag.

“Fried is the vast bulk of what people buy, but new technology allowed us to create a new sub-category,” Bowler says.

The new ad looks to add themes of indulgence and humour to the “all the flavour and half the fat” message of the chip, as Bowler says Popchips is not a diet brand and “no one snacks to be healthy”.

“We’re outselling other companies in-store, and consumer panels tell us we’re the best-tasting popped chip,” he says.

However, Bowler says the brand isn’t about making big claims and bashing competitors, and plans to continue field marketing through digital and events such as London Fashion Week.

“We don’t want to be a corporate multi-national,” he says. “We’ll continue to spend big on these things and push one bag at a time.”

The spot will run on prime time until 8 Feb.

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