The baking firm premiered the ad for its new ‘giant crumpets’ last Saturday (14 November) during the X Factor, and it sees Kermit the Frog barging his way into chairman Jonathan Warburton’s office with an idea to celebrate the launch of the product.
The ‘Giant Crumpet Show’ campaign stars all the Muppets’ characters, including Kermit the Frog, The Swedish Chef, Fozzie Bear, Statler and Waldorf, Sweetums and Miss Piggy.
The 120-second ad is part of a £25m integrated campaign, the brand’s largest to date. The long form ad will only run for two weeks before the campaign switches its focus to social channels and OOH.
The ad was created by WCRS, which recently won an award for ‘Agency of the year’ at The Masters of Marketing 2015.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Warburton’s marketing director Mark Simester said that the ad is geared to drive the quality perception of the brand – but seeks to do so in a surprising way.
“We suspected that a lot of people might expect us to do another Sylvester Stallone advert, or include a similarly famous actor like Arnold Schwarzenegger. We wanted to make sure that when the second ad landed, people would be really surprised and that we would get the same impact,” he explained.
“Not everybody fully understands what goes in to making Warburtons the brand that it is. While we take our bread very seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Despite retail brands such as Morrisons distancing themselves from celebrity tie-ups, following its failed Ant and Dec campaign, Simester is convinced celebrity-based marketing is the right strategy. The latest ad, he says, is part of a bigger series of planned celebrity tie-ups for Warburtons.
“Certainly for the foreseeable future, for our wider ‘From our family to yours’ campaign, more famous people are going to come in and pitch innovative ideas to Jonathan Warburton. Who knows who it could be next?” he added.
While there are no immediate plans to feature Sylvester Stallone again, Simester would “never say never” due to the success of the campaign.
“The campaign had a great initial impact. What we’re trying to do with our campaigns is to get bakery on the front pages of newspapers and get them talked about on the Monday morning at work and at school. We did that with the first Stallone film,” he explained.
Simester knew that launching an ad in November would be a risk, due to other retailers’ Christmas campaigns dominating the airwaves. As a result, the brand decided to steer away from overly emotional messaging.
“We suspected that many brands would want to pull on the heartstrings of consumers with some sad stories and there have been brands that have tried to do this,” he added, perhaps referencing John Lewis.
“But we were pretty sure that having a real celebratory fun Muppets extravaganza would set a completely different tone and make the brand stand out from the crowd.”