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McCoy’s Muchos pack a punch without a punchy budget

McCoy’s Muchos pack a punch without a punchy budget

Posted on: October 7, 2021

Key Points

  • McCoy’s needed to drive a sales uplift in a competitive category
  • They partnered with Channel 4 to create a bespoke, creative and innovative TV plan
  • As a result, they drove a 62% uplift in value sales (vs. 20% target)

The Challenge

Despite McCoy’s launching a successful campaign for Muchos (a new type of folded, crispy tortilla snacks) and delivering a strong sales performance, there was still plenty of room for growth. The 2019 launch was KP Snacks’ biggest ever NPD launch and McCoy’s first step into the sharing category (180g), competing with Pringles and the lead tortilla snack, Doritos. However, with fewer promotions in Q4/Q1 2020, McCoy’s needed to recruit new shoppers to the brand, as it appeared that many Muchos fans had switched to other strong flavoured snacks.

The task was clear:

  • Get more shoppers to buy Muchos and entice Doritos fans to put Muchos back in their snack repertoire. The goal was to drive a sales uplift that exceeded 20%.
  • Drive favourability metrics on the brand tracker: make people feel good about, relate to, and ‘consider buying’ Muchos, so they could position Muchos as the superior tortilla.

The TV Solution

As the category challenger, McCoy’s decided to embrace the fact that their major competitor was such a strong brand and let the Muchos personality come through and have some fun. Dunnhumby data showed that Muchos appeals more to pre-family shoppers than other life-stages. Whilst Doritos appeals to these audiences too, they are also their lowest loyalty consumers – a clear growth opportunity to go after younger Doritos fans and get them to move camp.

TV was the perfect medium to drive brand favourability and make people feel good about Muchos, whilst making sure it was distinctive from Doritos.

With no TV ad and no time to create one, Starcom went in search of a partner to overcome this challenge. Channel 4 was a good fit – the right audience profile who are big fans of comedy and irreverent programming - as well as a good personality match – brave, out-there and not afraid to take risks. Alongside Channel 4, they developed the Ultimate Tortilla Take Down.

The Plan

Working with production company Armoury, 2 x 20” ads were created to showcase the ‘Ultimate Tortilla Take Down’. The ads featured wrestlers with animated heads – one shaped like a McCoy’s Muchos tortilla snack (Muchos McCoy) versus one with a standard triangular tortilla chip (Tony Tortilla). Starcom worked with top Channel 4 talent Alex Brooker to provide the perfect commentary. They also identified ‘key usage occasions’; where Together Time came up most strongly – evening and weekend sharing moments with a partner, or family and friends. This insight was used to shape the plan in terms of time of day and messaging. As a result, the 4-week Ultimate Tortilla Takedown plan was built on some key principles:

1.  A Together Time mindset

The plan was based around a build-up to the weekend, focusing on C4’s key comedy pillars on Thursday and Friday to catch people before they hit the shops to stock up on some last-minute weekend snacking ammo and were the days that had the highest level of shared viewing.

2. Packing a punch without a punchy budget

To make the most of a limited budget, Starcom decided to boost the campaign by cherry-picking four key spots over a 3-week period. After the first spot launched, this was backed up with two weeks of ‘standard’ airtime to bulk up the campaign. Channel 4 was the backbone of this ‘standard’ airtime, with Dave as a complementary channel.

3. Maverick programming

The tone of the creative was a key lever for the activation and so Starcom focused on being in fun programming. The cherry-picked spots focused on two programmes that ticked several boxes: they ran on C4 on Thursdays and Fridays; they were comedic; they were co-viewed, and they embodied the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the campaign. Taskmaster and The Last Leg became the obvious champions.

4. Podium Positions

To get as close as possible to Channel 4’s editorial, they had first in break positions on the cherry-picked placements. As a result, they delivered 33% of their C4 airtime in first in break positions, (90% higher than C4’s natural delivery over the same period.)


  • 70% of the audience said they would consider buying Muchos (their best-ever score on the brand health tracker)
  • 81% of Doritos buyers said they are more likely to consider buying Muchos
  • 78% of the audience agreed they felt warmer towards the brand (vs 52% norm)
  • 62% uplift in value sales while on-air (vs. 20% target)

The McCoy's team have been really pleased with this activity, it shows how with linear TV you can still be really creative, innovative and deliver great impact on a budget. Due to this success, we will look to use partnerships more in the future across some of our other brands.

Ilan Arkin Marketing Controller, McCoy’s, Butterkist, KP Nuts at KP Snacks


Sector:  FMCG

Brand: McCoy’s Muchos

Campaign objectives: To drive sales and also favourability

Target Audience: Pre family shoppers

Budget: Approx. £250k

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 22nd October to 30th November 2020

TV Usage: 20” ads

Creative Agency: Armoury

Media Agency:  Starcom

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