Mariah Carey stars in Walkers’ biggest Christmas push

Walkers is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the song All I Want for Christmas is You, as well as launching new flavours and on-pack promotion as it aims to appeal to younger audiences.

Walkers has enlisted the help of Christmas favourite Mariah Carey in a festive campaign to promote its new Christmas flavours that it promises will be its “biggest yet”.

The campaign, created by AMV BBDO, opens with Carey singing All I Want for Christmas Is You on the set of a music video. As the shoot wraps, she walks through the set generously handing out increasingly absurd gifts.

These include a kimono and framed painting of Carey riding a winged unicorn, as she explains: “I love Christmas. It’s a magical time. A time for giving, a time for caring, a time for sharing.”

However, her Christmas spirit wanes as she reaches for the final pack of Walkers new Pigs in Blankets flavour at the same time as a Christmas elf. As the pair politely fight over the crisps, Carey decides to sing her famous high note to get the elf to drop the bag, while shattering a pair of glasses, winning the crisps for herself. It ends with the tagline: ‘Walkers, too good to share.’

The hope is the campaign will tap into a cultural moment around Carey’s song, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Walkers head of marketing Wayne Newton says: “It doesn’t get more Christmassy than Mariah Carey singing All I Want for Christmas Is You and that’s exactly what’s in our new advert. As well as entertaining the nation with our trademark humour, the campaign brilliantly launches our festive flavours for the season.

“This year is one of the biggest yet for Walkers with our new campaign, limited-edition flavours and huge on-pack promotion – we hope consumers will love it.”

The on-pack promotion promises winners “everything they want for Christmas”. Consumers will have the chance to win a range of prizes every hour of the campaign with prizes from game consoles and headphones to cash and festive socks.

The Christmas campaign is part of a wider strategy from Walkers to create “talkability” and “rejuvenate the brand”. In June, it launched its largest marketing investment to-date with a campaign that featured the Spice Girls.

Speaking to Marketing Week at the time, Walkers marketing director Fernando Kahane, explained: “The challenge when you are number one is how do you stay relevant? We need to be at the beating heart of popular culture and tap into what is happening now.”

The festive spot adopts the same tactics as its Spice Girls collaboration, using Twitter to build conversation before a TV debut. Today, (2 November) the brand will begin a ‘Twitter Spotlight’ for 24 hours before the ad appears during the X Factor finale on TV this evening.

The new festive flavours are also part of a plan to increase innovation to attract a younger audience. “We are going to keep bringing in new flavours that excite a younger generation and attract consumers to the brand while elevating the top flavours and reminding people why Walkers flavours are so irresistible,” Kahane explained.

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