The night before Tango’s now infamous Orange Man ad was set to debut, Trevor Robinson, art director at ad agency HHCL & Partners, turned to his co-creator and copywriter Al Young and said: “This is either going to really make our career or destroy it. Because people are going to go ‘what the hell is this?’."
The slapstick 40-second film was the complete antithesis of the slick advertising trendy at the time. The scene of a short, rotund man slapping a Tango drinker now sits in advertising's hypothetical hall of fame but in 1992, as Young and Robinson tentatively waited for it to air, it felt like a huge risk.
But a risk is what Tango needed.
“Back in those days Tango was a tired brand," Young explains. "It was described as ‘gathering dust on the shelves of chip shops across the country’".
However, Tango-owner Britvic knew that in taste tests the drink excelled. Consumers described it as a “taste hit” and based on this insight Tango’s top marketer at the time, Tony Hillyer, sent out a wide brief to agencies: “Show the hit of real oranges in Tango”.
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