Marmite takes over the Sep/Oct 2020 Thinkboxes

Using TV as the key channel for Marmite’s latest campaign was a ‘no-brainer’, according to Fik Woldegiorgis, brand experience director for Marmite. ‘Mind Control’, an ad created by adam&eve/DDB, in which the power of psychic persuasion plays a central role, is the latest ad to be rewarded for brilliant creativity in the Thinkboxes.

“The brief was to bring to life Marmite’s purpose, which is to encourage the nation to ditch sugarfilled breakfasts and broaden their breakfast horizon and, in the process, turn Marmite haters into lovers,” Woldegiorgis explains. “For an iconic brand like Marmite that enjoys broad-based appeal, the key marketing objective is to reach as many people as possible, build strong memory structures and create lasting impact.”

The idea of the ad was that Marmite haters would be recruited to join a 15-minute hypnotic mind-control experience to try to turn them into fans. Those selected would then travel to a lab where they would participate in the experiment, overseen by a hypnotherapist, under controlled conditions. The TV ad would be set in a research kitchen and show Marmite haters reacting to the mind-control film. 

“We love creative storytelling to bring our purpose to life in an engaging and intriguing way, and the consistency – how the TV script embodied Marmite’s long-established essence of love it or hate it, and the brand’s tongue-in-cheek personality,” Woldegiorgis says.

  • Creative agency: Adam & Eve/DDB
  • Creative team: Ben Tollett, Matt Fitch, Mark Lewis, Andre Sallowicz, Simon Vicars
  • Client: Fik Woldegiorgis
  • Production company: Moxie Pictures
  • Director: Martin Granger

Other shortlisted ads:

Cadbury Dairy Milk 'Fence'

This heart-warming spot features a lonely old man who tends his immaculate garden through fair weather and foul and is constantly (sometimes with a grimace of irritation) throwing back the balls and whatnot that fly over the fence courtesy of the noisy kids next door. The kids, at long last acknowledging Mr Thompson’s generous nature, throw over a bar of Dairy Milk… and a couple of faces appear above the fence to tell him he doesn’t need to throw this one back

  • Creative agency: VCCP
  • Creative team: Rob Ellis, Peter Reid, Chris Birch, Jonny Parker, Darren Bailes
  • Clients: Ben Wicks, Benazir Barlet-Batada
  • Production company: Academy Films
  • Director: Frédéric Planchon

Churchill ‘Chill’

Our favourite bulldog brand ambassador puts the Chill into Churchill by hopping onto a skateboard and gliding around some downtown city streets to a backing track of Britney Stoney’s soothing 2018 track, O.D. What better way to show the company’s commitment, in an increasingly complicated financial world, to making things easy for its customers? There’s no traffic, the sun is shining, it’s a beautiful summer’s morning. As the pay-off has it: "Isn’t this how insurance should make you feel? … Oh yes."

  • Creative agency: Engine
  • Creative team: David Dearlove, Richard Nott, Christopher Lapham, Aaron McGurk
  • Client: Lucy Brooksbank 
  • Production company: MJZ
  • Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

The Guardian ‘Hope is Power’

The brief here was to reinforce The Guardian’s positioning as a brave voice of challenge. In this high-concept film, we see a butterfly, trapped in a bare and slightly sinister room, fluttering relentlessly against the glass of its closed window. As the backing music (Nothing Changes from the Broadway musical Hadestown) suggests, this is a pointless struggle. Or is it? At last, the glass shatters and the butterfly is free, proving, clearly, that "change is possible" and that "hope is power".

  • Creative agency: Uncommon
  • Creative team: Uncommon Creative Studio
  • Client: Sonia Sudhakar
  • Production company: Pulse Films
  • Director: James Marsh

National Citizen Service ‘No We Can’

NCS exists to foster a sense of independence in young adults and so its latest ad evokes a whole generation on the march. Co-created by teenagers and featuring NCS grads, it’s an energetic montage of young adults being patronised, put down, misunderstood and told they can’t do all sorts of stuff – only for them to respond politely, firmly: "No… We can!" The TV campaign is part of a broader Government-funded "No We Can" initiative launched back in the summer.

  • Creative agency: Karmarama
  • Creative team: Adam Kean, Meigan Brown, Tobias Owen
  • Client: Adam Boita
  • Production company: Riff Raff Films
  • Director: Finn Keenan
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