In the news, 12th January 2012
TGBD's Top Brand of 2011: Tetley Tea
(Above: Screenshot from third-party Youtube video)
For me, 2011 was the year of the Tea Folk. Having awoken from their slumber the year prior, Gaffa, Sydney and co proved themselves as industrious as ever with ads coming thick and fast over the course of the year, exciting new products lines introduced, one or two great bits of merchandise released and a fab Facebook page. Indeed, I have nothing but praise for the effort that has been put in to the Tetley account and, with the promise of so much more to come, I envisage another corking year for the brand.
See here for an excellent PDF summarising the brand's activties thus far.
TGBD's Top Product of Christmas 2011: Marks & Spencer Advent Calendar
What a beauty. As a huge fan of Christmas, an advent calendar - preferably one with chocolate inside - is a must for me. That said, I have been somewhat underwhelmed in recent years by the designs with many looking either too babyish or not very Christmassy. Thankfully, M&S come to the rescue with this beautiful product sporting a traditional Christmas setting that exudes a sense of fun and warmth without losing that lovely touch of class.
With regards to the chocolate, each one came moulded in the form of something relatively festive - always a nice touch - and were just the right size to get a good hit of milk chocolate. Alas, the chocolates didn't get bigger as you got nearer the big day but the product quality was good and, at the end of the day, I would rather take this over size any day of the week.
Sydney limbering up for new Tetley ad
They're not slacking off...2012 is just beginning and Tetley already have a new ad out. Fittingly, it's for their Green Tea offering as the brand, presumably, tries to capitalise on the New Year detox/exercise trend.
The ad features Sydney bending various limbs whilst the wise, old Gaffer sits in his armchair knowing full well that before one embarks on any such strenuous activity plenty of tea is required to properly lubricate the joints. Indeed, it's short and sweet with a nice balance of fun and warmth. Good solid stuff.
Twinings expand and redesign Green Tea range
It seems Tetley aren't the only one's pushing the green stuff with Twinings announcing an overhaul of their Green Tea range.
Reportedly, the following 6 flavours are being added to their portfolio: Mango & Lychee Green Tea, Tangerine & Verbena Green Tea, Peach & Cherry Blossom Green and Tea; decaffeinated ‘Pure’ Green Tea; and Twinings Pure Yunnan Province Green Tea and Pure Anhui Province Green Tea - premium offerings. Moreover, the entire range has been redesigned with each flavour featuring unique illustrations to reflect the ingredients.
See here for more details, including product shots.
Cadbury kick off 2012 with some bubbly
It has just been announced that a new aerated tablet bar called Cadbury Bubbly will soon be hitting store shelves. As Matthew Williams, Marketing Activation Director at Kraft Foods, said: "The launch of CDM [Cadbury Dairy Milk] Bubbly aims to inject excitement into the category by introducing a dynamic and quirky new way to eat tablet chocolate."
Personally, when I first heard about this I was a tad underwhelmed; a plain, aerated bar targeted at the female consumer...whoopty-doo. However, from the pics I've seen it does look as it they are trying to do something a bit different with the concept and I'll be interested to see what sort of textures it delivers. That said, as a guy I would like to make one request to Cadbury on the NPD (new product development) front: create something exciting this year that we can really sink our teeth in to. Such sadly discontinued bars as the Fuse - a densely packed offering of chocolate, peanuts, crisp cereal, raisins and fudge pieces - and Aztec - Cadbury's take on the Mars Bar - point the way for me.
See here for more details, including product shots.
In the news, 16th Novemeber 2011
Yorkshire Tea and Wallace & Gromit team up for another tea party
Just when I thought I couldn't like Yorkshire Tea any more than I already do they went and teamed up with one of my favourite double acts of all time. In collaboration with Wallace & Gromit's Great British Tea Party (1st - 10th December), the tea manufacturer will once again be encouraging British tea drinkers to register for their free fundraising packs, host tea parties up and down the country and, hopefully, raise a good amount of money for sick children in hospitals and hospices - there is even the chance to win a visit from Yorkshire Tea's mascot, Little Urn.
As a certain somebody would say, this sounds like a 'cracking' cause and, needless to say, here at TGBD we wish everybody the best of luck with this. In the meantime, be sure to check out the charity's website and the Yorkshire Tea Facebook page for more details. Also, head on over to quires-shop.com where 'Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Celebration Cakes' is currently available for just £9.99. The book contains 21 novelty celebration cake recipes and, most importantly of all, £1 of every sale goes to Wallace & Gromit's Children's Foundation.
In the news, 25th October 2011
New Aero Finesse Mousse from Nestlé
Available at Tesco and Asda, new Aero Finesse is described in a fdin.org.uk article as combining "the light texture of Aero mousses with layers of chocolate, to create a new confectionary based chilled dessert". The product is low-calorie with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and, as such, is positioned as a "guilt-free indulgence"' for the mature female market.
The product comes in packs of four pots with a card wrap-around. The layering of the mousse and chocolate is quite eye-catching and the packaging enables it to be clearly visible on the store shelves. Moreover, the graphic design is suitably effeminate from the little yellow flowers decorating a nice product shot to the connotations that come with using words such as 'finesse'.
All in all, this does look like a bit of fun and with two flavours to try (Aero Finesse Chocolate Mousse with Dark Chocolate Swirls and Aero Finesse Vanilla Mousse with Dark Chocolate Swirls) I am sure many will be giving these a go.
HP say 'mo-over' to Houses of Parliament with limited edition release
For the first time in the brand's history, HP's graphic of the Houses of Parliament is going to be temporarily replaced by a gentleman sporting a bowler hat and a tash. Coupled with the text "Men of Britain: Grow your Mo”, this limited edition label is in support of Movemeber, an annual moustache-growing charity that raises money for men's health.
Admittedly, I'm still not best pleased about the recipe change but this promotion is for a great cause so I wish them the best of luck.
From the Neet Weet Gang to...wait for it...Weetakid?!
It's probably best that I start with the positives. Firstly, we have a new brand character that wants to inject some fun back in to breakfast - always a nice thing to see in a world seemingly hell bent on reducing everything to tedious and patronising health messages. Secondly, Weetabix are introducing some very nifty looking technology called augmented reality whereby a customer can hold up their iPad or iPhone to a special area on the packaging and the design will appear to come alive in 3D space. Thirdly, there's a free game to download from App store featuring the aforementioned brand character.
Now, sadly, for the negatives. As you might have guessed from my headline, I'm just a tad underwhelmed at the choice of name - if someone really does get paid to come up with stuff like this then I am definitely want a piece of the action. Moreover, Weetakid's design...hmmm, where do I start. It is like they have merged the Blob with that little yellow creature from Pokemon and thrown in some goofy teeth for good measure. Apart from not liking the aesthetic at all, the character just feels very babyish and not particularly endearing. That said, it is better than their recent Weetos effort which, after the demise of the Professor, amounted to simply sticking some brownish looking arms and legs on to a plain cereal graphic. Finally, as great as the augmented reality and game are, all of these things require access to an iPhone or iPad - pretty expensive pieces of kit. Of course, many won't have these technologies readily available and will, consequently, miss out on the fun completely. In my opinion, stuff like this should supplement not replace traditional methods of engaging the consumer.
In the news, 24th October 2011
Tetley merchandise to hit Tesco store shelves
The Tea Folk Facebook page has just confirmed that the first wave of new Tetley merchandise will be exclusively stocked by Tesco from next week. Comprising of a tea caddy and mug, the products are designed to look like the Gaffer (see here for the mug and here for the caddy).
In a world that has become too short of fun food-related merchandise in my opinion, you won't hear a bad word from me on the products themselves. However, I'm in two minds about whether the move to sell them in-store was a good one or not if it was on the basis of exclusivity. On one hand, you'll get the impulsive shoppers who see the products and pick them up but, on the other, many Tetley fans may miss out because they don't have a Tesco's near them. Perhaps a traditional on-pack promotion where everyone can get involved in collecting and sending off tokens for merchandise would have been better.
Anyways, big congratulations have to go to the Tetley team for their efforts and I for one will certainly be keeping an eye out for future releases. In the meantime, I'll cross my fingers that Tetley will do some fun on-pack promotions for various collectables - I would love to see a range of miniature figurines or something in-product like the old trading card concept. Also, I think Tetley will be missing a big trick if they don't explore the heritage of the brand with their merchandise. There are huge amount of loyal Tetley customers out there that grew up with the Tea Folk and, I suspect, would love to see something that pays homage to the brand over the decades.
In the news, 21st October 2011
Tetley Extra Strong ad coming to our screens
(Above: Screenshot of Oct 2011 Tetley Extra Strong ad as uploaded on Tea Folk Facebook page)
It seems they're not stopping for breath over at Tetley with yet another ad coming to our screens. This time for Tetley's 'Extra Strong' product, the ad features Sydney working on his biceps only to have the Gaffer explain to him what the product's name actually refers to. It's short and sweet with a little bit of humour and, as ever, a good dose of Tea Folk charm. You'll hear no complaints from me.
See here for a sneak preview of the ad.
In the news, 18th October 2011
Wham bar and Highland Toffee resurrected!
Colourful, oh-so chewy and - like all good sweets - the menace of dentists across the land, McCowans Wham bar has been a feature of many childhoods over the decades along with their Highland Toffee bar, one of Scotland's oldest confectioneries. However, recently it was reported that McCowans was closing down factories and that these confectionery icons might disappear forever. Whilst other classics have indeed fallen over the decades, I did reserve a bit of hope for these two bars and, thankfully, one of the companies I tipped for getting involved did. Indeed, Tangerine Confectionery announced that they have bought up the two brands and will shortly be adding them to their already wonderful portfolio of classic British sweets.
In many ways, it is still a very sad time because it is never nice to see a company like McCowans fall on hard times and TGBD's thoughts go out to all the employees that have lost jobs as a result. However, at least McCowans most beloved brands will live on and, in turn, a couple of pieces of British confectionery history.
In the news, 1st October 2011
Preview of new Tetley Tea Folk ad
(Above: Screenshot of Tetley October 2011 ad as uploaded on the Tea Folk Facebook page)
The kind people at Tetley have uploaded a new ad on their Tea Folk Facebook page before it even hits our screens tomorrow night in the X Factor break.
Starring Sydney from the Tea Folk, this fabulous little production is all about the pleasure of a good cuppa. Everything from the set design to the artwork exudes warmth and, like the very best Tea Folk ads of old, the narrative is simple, charming and easy to relate to. For me, this is a true return to form for the tea manufacturer and with everything else Tetley look to have in store for us I don't think the words "That's Better. That's Tetley" have ever been more apt.
See here for the ad and enjoy.
In the news, 23rd September 2011
Tetley merchandise looks to be on its way
Reading recent Tea Folk posts on their Facebook page, it seems we might soon be treated to some new merchandise/collectables - happy days! There was a picture (see here) uploaded a while back of various branded items, however, whether or not this is what's being talked about I don't know.
Personally, I hope Tetley have a few fun ideas up their sleeves like the little figures they used to do. Something that I would absolutely love to see - and that's an understatement - is Tetley reviving the old trick of putting cards in packets of tea. They could use vintage imagery of the Tea Folk and products from old ads as well as more modern pictures. Not only would this be a great way of celebrating the heritage of the brand with the recent revival of the Tea Folk but it would also create some highly entertaining yet inexpensive collectables that kids and adults alike could get a kick out of.
Anyways, I guess we will have to wait and see.
In the news, 22nd September 2011
Burton's launches new Cadbury Fingers product
Burton's is launching 'Cadbury Fabulous Fingers' as the first ever sub-brand of the popular finger-shaped snack. Described as having a biscuit centre covered with a smooth layer of white chocolate and then a thick coating of Dairy Milk, these Cadbury Fingers are being pitched as an indulgent version of the original.
David Costello (Burton’s Foods’ Category and Activation Controller) is quoted as saying, "As Cadbury Fabulous Fingers are geared towards more treaty evening and weekend sharing than Cadbury Fingers, we’re confident that they will attract new consumers to the brand and significantly broaden the usage occasion." (Source: talkingretail.com).
Reportedly, the product will be supported by in-store POS material, featuring the strapline "If you've got it, flaunt it", and a £1m TV marketing campaign in November.
Tea Folk Scones
Those of you with an Asda store nearby might have already seen this product, however, if you're like me and don't then I direct you to the following webpage for a sneak peak.
Personally, my first impressions are positive. From what I can see the design has been kept simple, relatively uncluttered and, consequently, quite smart and the Gaffer graphic is a lovely touch as well as the short quote under the product name.
Hopefully it won't be too long before they are launched in a few more supermarkets and I can do a proper review.
In the news, 12th September 2011
Stock up quick...Heinz messes around with our classic brown sauce
I have to say I was shocked this morning to discover that Heinz has caved into the health brigade and decided to change HP's flavour in order to lower its salt content from 2.1g to 1.3g even though it already produces a reduced salt version. Worse yet, the recipe change looks like it will also affect that other Heinz-owned and much loved brown sauce, Daddies.
Reports from taste tests have been very bad with people describing the new sauce as 'bland' and 'disgusting'. Personally, if this turns out to be the case then I will be boycotting all Heinz products with immediate effect until they - hopefully - come to their senses. We have to send a clear message to these manufacturers that they cannot get away with this sort of thing lightly.
Cadbury announce ad for Twirl Bites
After 15 years of absence, Cadbury's Twirl brand is set to return to our screens with an advert for their bitesize spin-off product. Full analysis of the ad can be found here but in the meantime enjoy the show!
In the news, 10th September 2011
The Tea Folk get baking
Reading the Grocer today, it seems that Tetley are entering the world of bakery with a range of Tea Folk licensed products. Reportedly, the brand plans to kick things off with fruit scones baked under licence by Haywood & Padgett. Hitting Asda store shelves this coming week, Tetley have priced each four pack at £1.29 which positions the scones towards the premium end of the market and, therefore, indicates a good quality product - would you expect anything else from the Gaffer!
Representing the brands first ever foray outside the world of tea, this is a landmark move from the manufacturer that shows a real commitment to the Tea Folk revival and a readiness to think a bit outside the box in order to drive brand awareness and claw back market share. Needless to say, here at TGBD we wish Tetley the very best of luck and look forward to sampling more than a few items from the range in the coming months.
See here for the full Grocer article.
In the news, 2nd September 2011
Tetley redesign website
For a long time now I've wanted Tetley to redesign its website and it seems they have done just that. Much needed colour and fun has been injected into the site and, quite rightly, the Tea Folk feature throughout. The artwork has a modern 2D look to it and conveys a very worldly message with particular reference to tea's foreign origins.
Special mention has to go to the websites rather elegant animation that segues in to the various pages as you navigate them. My favourite happens to be the one featuring the Tea Folk (see here).
As for the actual site content, it is broken down in to four neat and compact categories on the left-hand side of the screen: 'Our Teas' - product range; 'Over a Cuppa' - games and trivia; 'Tea Expert' - various information on tea; and 'About Us'. Indeed, everything you expect to be there is in an informative and succinct way.
That said, unfortunately I do have a big criticism of this site: as elegant and pretty as the design is it doesn't fit the brand for me. Tetley has always made for a reasonably economical cuppa and, at its very best, conveyed a sense of Britishness, tradition and charm - courtesy of the Tea Folk. Indeed, 'trendy' and 'worldly' are words I would never associate with the manufacturer and yet this very stylised presentation communicates just that. With the reintroduction of the Tea Folk, it simply looks confused and, in my opinion, Tetley would have been far better off with a more British and traditional focus to the site.
In the news, 10th June 2011
Kellogg's launches new bowl promotion
Popping over to the Kellogg's site this morning, it seems the manufacturer is now expanding its bowl promotion with the introduction of a 'kid's bowl' range.
There will be four bowls to collect and each will feature artwork from one of the following cereals: Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Coco Pops and Frosties. Unlike the previous in-store promotion which was limited to only those retailers participating in the offer, this one will involve consumers collecting codes from clearly marked promotional packs, entering them into the Kellogg's site via a registration process, and getting the bowls delivered in the post - 1 bowl per 3 codes.
Personally, I think the bowls look fun and colourful and I have no doubt that kids will love them. Moreover, I am pleased to see Kellogg's making an effort on the promotional front as, for me, the cereal market has become utterly dull in recent years with the demise of the cereal box freebie and many of the colourful promotions that accompanied it.
Click the 'kid's bowl' link on this Kellogg's web page for details on the offer, including 360 degree views of the designs.
In the news, 18th May 2011
When times are hard look no further than the Digestive
Just after finishing my article on McVitie's Rich Tea earlier today, I came across a delightful story on Dailymail.co.uk about the way in which Britons are increasingly turning to biscuits for comfort. Indeed, the story reports that the sales of traditional favourites like the Chocolate Digestive and Custard Cream have risen as the state of our economy has worsened.
Amy Lloyd, Mintels senior food and drink analyst, is reported as saying, "The UK biscuit industry has benefited from consumers reaching for the biscuit barrel throughout the recession. The ritualistic nature of eating biscuits with a hot drink appeals to consumers, demonstrating how ingrained this occasion is within British culture."
Anyways, I'm off to do some dunking so please see here for the full article.
Cadbury unveils the limited edition Flake Allure
According to an article over at fdin.org.uk, Cadbury will be launching the limited edition Flake Allure later this month. The article describes the bar as consisting of Cadbury Flake, "...enrobed in smooth truffle and coated in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, offering consumers what the brand is calling a ‘decadent and indulgent’ version of the Flake." Personally, it strikes me as being very much in line with Cadbury's Bliss product which was launched to primarily target young females so one has to presume that they're attempting to further strengthen their grip on this particular demographic. I for one will be interested to see whether the added textures complement or overwhelm the Flake part of the bar. See here for the original article, including product imagery.
In the news, 17th May 2011
New ad from PG Tips: 'The Fresh One'
Even though the Chimps will always be the best, I quite like this current run of 'Al and Monkey' ads from PG Tips. They've been fun and have played on some typically British scenarios that a lot of people can relate to. Indeed, having walked up a few Cumbrian fells in my time and enjoyed tea breaks courtesy of my trusty thermos, I can certainly relate to this most recent of ads. Admittedly, I can't remember any eagles taking off with fellow walkers, but that bit at the end of the ad did make me laugh.
In the news, 10th May 2011
"Cracking toast, Gromit!"...Kingsmill teams up with Wallace & Gromit on new promotion
(Above screenshot taken from Kingsmill website)
As I have said before, one of my other loves in life is animation and Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit played a big part in that. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that I was a tad excited this morning when I headed over to the Kingsmill site and found that they had teamed up with W&G on a new on-pack promotion. According to what I have read, selected Kingsmill products will have tokens which customers can collect and then use to claim exclusive W&G merchandise. Whether you are a fan of W&G or would just like to get something for the children, this looks like a great bit of fun that I will certainly be participating in. Oh, and don't be surprised if one or two reviews of Kingsmill products appear on TGBD in the coming weeks:)
See the promotion's website for further details and, of course, get collecting!
In the news, 8th May 2011
If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit...look forward to the new Club
I just popped over to the UB site and saw that they are reformulating and redesigning Jacob's Club (see article here). The new 'best ever' range will contain more chocolate as well as packaging featuring graphics of the key ingredients.
Matt Brown, Brand Director at UBUK, is reported as saying: “Chocolate Biscuits Bars still make up a healthy proportion of total biscuits sales, with Jacob’s Club growing particularly well at the moment. We expect consumers to enjoy the increased chocolate content in the new recipe, which will increase sales opportunities for retailers, along with the redesign packaging that will increase the stand out on shelf.”
Personally, I cannot wait to get my hands on these. Even though the Club is still a nice biscuit bar, it isn't anywhere near as tasty as it used to be so, hopefully, this reformulation will be a big improvement. Also, although we can't see what they've done to the individual wrappers, the photo on the UB site looks like a significant improvement to the multipack packaging.
In the news, 6th May 2011
New Dairy Milk ad
Hitting TV screens tonight, this Dairy Milk ad from A Glass and a Half Full Productions involves clothes dancing around a charity shop to the strapline "a glass and a half full of joy". Personally, I really got into this ad as the clothes danced away to the music. However, what are with those tiny feet? It's less dancing clothes and more tiny people hiding in clothing whilst dancing. Then again, we might have just caught the first glimpse of some sort of half-human-half-fabric hybrid...hmm.
In the news, 2nd May 2011
Jammie Dodgers brand returns to our screens.
To support the launch of Toffee Dodgers and Choccie Dodgers, the brand is returing to our screens after a four year break. In the two new ads, the three biscuit flavours are teamed up with corresponding yellow, brown and red monkeys. Admittedly, the monkeys slightly creeped me out but, at the same time, the ad's quirkiness had me transfixed so I guess it worked on some level.
I just wanted to clear up this Kellogg’s cereal bowl promotion as I have had a few emails on the topic.
You’ll find no information on the actual cereal boxes because this is an in-store promotion only available at certain stores. Those retailers participating in the offer will erect promotional displays – often found at the end of isles – where you can pick up a bowl and the required amount of cereal. So far, I have spotted such displays in my local Morrisons and Tesco stores but that’s not to say other retailers aren’t involved.
In the news, 24th April 2011
Happy Easter everybody!
I got out early this morning to take in the beautiful Cumbrian countryside and am now looking forward to lunch which will consist of roast leg of local lamb followed by lemon layer pudding. I'm sure our homemade Simnel Cake will also make a welcome appearance and maybe even a chocolate egg or two. Needless to say, I am armed with a camera so plenty of pics, recipes and reviews will be coming this way.
Kind regards and happy eating,
In the news, 16th April 2011
Update on Kellogg's Ceramic Bowls.
Just to let you know, I can confirm the bowls come free with every purchase of two selected Kellogg's cereals - namely Corn Flakes, Crunchy Nut, Coco Pops and Krave. Therefore, I can only assume that the £1.99 per bowl deal I got via Tesco online the other day must have been an error on the part of the retailer.
In the news, 25th March 2011
Robinsons plans to take on the confectionery giants.
Britvic has announced that they are going to take their Robinsons drink brand into the world of confectionery with the launch of a boiled and jelly sweets range. According to an article in the grocer, the sweets "...will be made under license by upmarket confectioner Monty Bojangles, will come in Robinsons squash flavours such as apple & blackcurrant, summer fruits and orange & lemon barley. Like the drinks, they will contain fruit juice concentrates and only natural colours and flavours." The article goes on to inform us that, "Part of the range, which will initially be launched in a large hanging bag format (rsp: £1.49), will be available from Tesco in time for Wimbledon in June to capitalise on Robinsons' 75-year link with the tennis tournament. Other variants, including Fruit Shoot Juicy Jellies, will roll out in August."
I for one welcome this move which seems both logical and, potentially, very good business. Robinsons 'Fruit Shoot' drinks have already proven very popular with kids and a confectionery range based on such ranges wold seem a natural move to capitalise on the brand strength. That said, this particular market is a congested one so it will interesting to see how Robinsons fares.
Rowntree's go sour.
As of next month, Rowntree's Sour Pastilles will be hitting store shelves to target 25 to 35 year old and build on the brand's strong portfolio. According to the grocer, Sour Pastilles will be "Sold in 48g bags (rsp: 45p), Sour Pastilles have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, contain 25% real fruit juice and come in lime, blackcurrant, pineapple, cherry and melon flavours."
On a personal note, I have always been a big Rowntree's fan even after their takeover by Nestlé. With a history that includes such confectionery icons as the Kit Kat and Fruit Pastille, I am always excited by anything new from them. Their Randoms product was a fantastic concept driven innovation that injected a good dose of fun and excitement into the fruit chew sweet market. Of course, Sour Pastilles won't be so much innovation as extension of a pre-existing range; however, I have no doubt that the execution will be up to Rowntree's usual high standards.
In the news, 23rd March 2011
A great collection of sweet wrappers from yesteryear
As some of you may already know, the forums at DoYouRemember.co.uk are a treasure trove for any nostalgia fan. As you might imagine, my personal favourite is the 'Food and drink' forum where day-after-day fantastic imagery of products from yesteryear is uploaded. However, I wanted to give a particular shout out to the thread entitled "Sweet wrappers over the years" where the member sixtyten has kindly uploaded an array of sweet wrappers from yesteryear. I hope everyone checks it out along with some of the other threads and enjoys the forum as much as I do.
In the news, 16th February 2011
New bar from Cadbury unveiled
Later this month Cadbury will be treating us to a new limited chocolate bar called Big Race. Of course, this launch ties in with their 'Spots v Stripes' campaign which saw a product by the same name hit store shelves last year. According to reports, this latest offering will comprise of crispy wafer, cocoa creme and biscuit pieces covered in Dairy Milk chocolate. Moreover, consumers will have a chance to break a world record as they try to type in promotional codes - one inside each bar - online in the fastest time possible.
Personally, I think Cadbury are doing a grand job with the 'Spots v Stripes' campaign (see website here). It is imaginative and tries hard to introduce an element of fun and engagement in to their product range - something I will always support. This latest offering sounds like it will have some nice textures and tastes to offer and I am certainly a lot more excited by it than other confectionery launches this year.
See here for further details, including artwork.
Pringles adds to its range
As a person partial to the odd one or two or three or four - well you get the idea - Pringles, I welcome any new addition to the range. The latest one, Smokey Bacon, is a safe bet that I can see myself getting along with very nicely; however, as usual, extensive taste testing will have to be done in order to form a proper opinion:) As Paul Lettice, Head of Trade Communications for Procter & Gamble, is quoted as saying in a fdin.org.uk article on the matter: "Smokey Bacon proved to be a phenomenally successful flavour as part of our ‘Great British Flavour’ campaign last year, so we’re confident it will be a real hit with consumers and help to drive sales for retailers across the UK."
Sainsbury's sandwich shops coming to the high street
As so many Brits do, I love a good sandwich and a packet of crisps. The likes of Pret have of course done very well out of this lunchtime habit and it seems Sainsbury's now wants a piece of the action. It was announced that the supermarket has plans to open 1,000 sandwich stores nationwide if a trial store in London, called Fresh Kitchen, is successful. It'll be interesting to see how this venture develops in what seems to be an already crowded and highly competitive market. Though I did spot something that makes me optimistic. What? Four words: hot, pork, belly and baps. Truly empire building stuff!
In the news, 6th February 2011
First glimpse of TGBD 'own-brand' marmalade!
Over the past week we have been clearing out our local Morrisons of Seville oranges in preparation for a lot of marmalade making. Today we jarred our first load of the stuff and, I have to say, I am overjoyed by the results. Once it is set and some serious taste testing is done, I will write up a full article including the recipe we used and some tips. In the meantime, I want to once again give a shout out for The World's Original Marmalde Awards held here in Cumbria and encourage everyone to pick up some oranges and have a go.
In the news, 5th February 2011
Kinder Surprise brand to get a significant push in the UK
Soon we are going to be hearing and seeing a lot more from the Kinder Surprise brand courtesy of Ferrero who are planning a £14 million UK-specific campaign. According to reports, on 7th February a £4 million advert will hit our televisions screens and advertise the introduction of a 100 new toys with the strapline "Have you played today?". An article at the grocer.co.uk quotes Helen Olley, Ferrero customer development manager, as saying: "The quality of the toys has been stepped up which, along with the UK-specific ad, is testament to Ferrero's increased focus on the UK." Apparently, Ms. Olly went on to say that Ferrero would follow up with similar UK support for its other big brands.
Personally, I have always loved the 'surprise' concept behind this confectionery and think it is one of the most fun food products on the market today so, to that end, I wish the campaign the very best of luck. It wasn't mentioned but I think it would make sense to launch a UK Kinder website to support all of this brand activity. Guess we will have to wait and see.
In the meantime, I will leave you with this slightly disturbing Kinder Surprise ad from my childhood. As they say, it can only get better!
Limited Edition Red Nose Day Rice Krispies Squares unveiled
Kellogg's have announced that the Rice Krispies Squares brand will be an official sponsor of Red Nose Day and that a limited edition product with edible red noses will be released. Whether or not the aesthetic contribution of 'edible red noses' will add anything taste wise is unknown but it does look fun and it's supporting charity so why not I guess. The product will retail for 50p and be available later this month.
See here for artwork.
In the news, 30th January 2011
A week of the Great British breakfast.
As a person who loves variety, I will generally have a different breakfast most days of the week. However, over the past seven days I have been cooking and preparing my breakfast with an extra sense of pride as the nation celebrates Farmhouse Breakfast Week.
On Sunday (23rd), I had a bowl of my beloved Weetabix - one of the older British cereal brands still going strong.
On Monday (24th), I served some of our fabulous local eggs on toast.
On Tuesday (25th), I liberally spread some Frank Cooper's coarse cut marmalade on a slice of well-buttered toast - Paddington would be proud.
On Wednesday (26th), I had a mini Full English (i.e. beautiful Cranstons smoked back bacon with an egg on toast and brown sauce) - bacon is usually just a Saturday treat when it comes to breakfast but I felt it was only right that I break with routine.
On Thursday (27th), I had a warming bowl of porridge courtesy of Sott's Porage Oats.
On Friday (28th), I woke up to the 'sunshine breakfast' aka Kellogg's Cornflakes.
Finally on Saturday (29th) - as is the norm - I sat down to a Full English.
Naturally, each breakfast was accompanied by a lovely cup of tea - don't ever mention to me the words 'orange juice' in the morning.
All in all, with the exception of the Full English on Saturday where there were a number of components to cook, the food I prepared during the working week was quick and certainly didn't inconvenience me. Moreover, it was extremely tasty and so much more fun than waking up to the same old box of cereal every day.
Mr. Kipling bakes up four new products.
I haven't seen these before and Tesco Online informs me their 'new' so I thought these four offerings from Mr. Kipling were worth a shout out:
Spotted Dick Slices: "Delicious moist syrupy sponge packed full with juicy raisins and sultanas and smothered in a rich custard flavour topping. Now you can enjoy a pudding at any time of the day."
Rhubarb and Custard Pies: "Delicious crisp pastry filled with tangy rhubarb and apple with a dollop of creamy custard. Now you can enjoy a pudding at anytime of the day."
Trifle Bakewells: "Delicious layers of raspberry jam and vanilla sponge hidden beneath a rich custard flavour topping. Now you can enjoy a pudding at anytime of the day."
Fondest Fancies: "Strawberry flavour sponge fancies, with a delicious vanilla topping, all hidden beneath temptingly soft icing."
In the news, 25th January 2011
National Breakfast Week Underway
Having just talked about marmalade and breakfast culture, what could be timelier than a national breakfast week. Indeed, for this entire week the Great British breakfast is going to be celebrated with a number of events across the country. Naturally, as a Brit I feel it is my duty to cook up a Full English over the coming days and draw my reader's attention to the matter so they can take full advantage of the situation in a similar fashion. See here for the official website.
First for Kellogg's as social media used to launch new product
As more and more people use the Internet to do almost everything, including it seems socialising, social media platforms are becoming increasingly powerful tools for marketing departments. Kellogg's obviously knows this and has decided to use Facebook to launch its new Krave variant. A marketingweek.co.uk article reports that, "Kellogg’s says it will unveil Krave Milk Chocolate to the 80,000 fans of its official Facebook page before anyone else, offering them free trial packs via an online sampling mechanic developed by digital creative agency CMW."
This is a first so it will be interesting to see how it well it is executed, and received by consumers. Beyond that, we have a new product to try so happy days I guess.
Kit Kat 'Crane' ad hits TV screens
Another advertising gem has recently appeared on our TV screens and this time it comes courtesy of the Kit Kat team. I have to say, this is one of the better Kit Kat ads in recent years with a good dose of visual humour in an everyday setting. However, a word of caution, if you do work in construction you better stay clear of this ad as it may give you a very tempting idea - well at least it did for me and that's probably why it's better I never involve myself in such a profession.
New and improved 4-finger dark Kit Kat soon to be released
The Kit Kat Dark is now a much-loved member of the Nestlé family and, for me, one of the better 'dark chocolate' variants from the likes of Nestlé and Cadbury. However, when it came to the 4-finger version, Kit Kat felt some improvement was needed and, come 31st January, this new and improved product - including new packaging - will be released to the public. Such 'improvements' often worry me but I have faith in Kit Kat and look forward to trying this one out.
In the news, 21st January 2011
The World's Original Marmalade Festival 12th & 13th February 2011
I want to direct all my reader's attention to a fabulous event that celebrates one of our most iconic foodstuffs: marmalade. Luckily for me, The World's Original Marmalade Awards is hosted every year at Dalemain Mansion and Gardens here in Cumbria so I don't have to travel far. However, if you can make it over for one of the days or both of them you won't be disappointed with lots of talks, fun and food to sink your teeth in to both figuratively and literally. Also, I nearly forgot to say, Paddington Bear will be there - need I give a bigger incentive to go. See here for the festival's website.
Marmalade and other preserves continue to be hit hard by modern breakfast culture.
Mealtimes have always been tremendously important to our family and we'll get up extra early just so everyone can sit around the table together and enjoy, at least, a semi-leisurely breakfast. Needless to say, preserves were a regular feature at our breakfast table and marmalade in particular has grown to be one of favourite foods of all. I still regularly sit down in the mornings to some marmalade on toast; however, it seems that I am in an ever decreasing minority as more people opt for cereal or an on-the-go alternative. This, along with similar trends, saddens me as modern life increasingly disconnects itself from the wonderful traditions of the past that identified us as a nation. So this is an official TGBD call to arms: support our marmalades and jams!
In the news, 15th January 2011
"Fruit! Ah-ahh! Saviour of the Universe!"
I have been meaning to feature this fantastic ad on TGBD as it has been making me laugh ever since I first saw it last week. The budget animation technique involving various strings and rods coupled with the overacting fits in perfectly with the tongue-in-cheek Flash Gordon lyrics. Maybe others will learn that quality doesn't just equate with just a load of fancy CGI.
Walkers get Fry-ed.
'Fry-ed'...the ingenious puns I sometimes come up with - or not. My headline refers to a new line of Wakers crisps inspired by Stephen Fry and, fellow comedians, Jimmy Carr, Frank Skinner and Al Murray. The four products have been confirmed as: Stephen Fry Up; Steak And Al Pie; Frank Roast Dinner; and Walkers Jimmy Con-Carne. Moreover, it has been announced that 5p from every pack sold will be going towards Comic Relief. Personally, I think this sounds great fun and, come their launch next Wednesday, I'll be sure to pick up some packets.
In the news, 14th January 2011
Haribo and Müller Easter products hit store shelves.
We've just started the New Year and, as far as manufacturers are concerned, we're in to Easter with a number of themed products already on our store shelves.
This week Haribo have joined in the 4 month build up with a sizeable product release, specifically four confectionery items: Jelly Bunnies, Tangfast-chicks, Eggstras and Bunny Mix. The Jelly Bunnies, Tangfast-chicks and Eggstras products are available in small 50g packets (RRP: 39p) and are free from artificial colours. A fdin.org.uk article stated that the products "aim to showcase the brand’s best credentials with Jelly Bunnies combining the combination of fruit flavour and jelly; Tangfast-chicks appealing to consumers who prefer sour coated treats and Eggstras offering a what Haribo consider a “family favourite”, usually found as Fried Eggs in the brand’s best selling Starmix. As for the Bunny Mix (RRP: £1.00), the sweets are described as "a variety of bunny shaped foam and jelly sweets that are available in two pack formats – a 250g hanging bag and a 225g multi-bag (containing 10 mini bags)."
Not wanting to miss a trick Müller has also launched - or should I say re-launched - a limited edition Easter product, namely their Cadbury Mini-Eggs Twin Pots (RRP: 79p). Lee Rolston, Müller Dairy’s Marketing Director, said: “The Limited Edition lines are proving to be highly effective in bringing in new consumers to the brand and keeping the range fresh and vibrant for regular purchasers, and the Cadbury Mini Egg Twin Pots in particular seem to be striking a chord with consumers, hence their return to the portfolio for Easter 2011.”
Personally, these releases all seem fine and dandy but it does make you think what the store shelves will look like come April if we're already getting this much activity in January.
First Caramel then Orange, another Aero bar released.
I think this is what I would call 'playing it safe' as Nestlé resorts to another tried-and-tested flavour combination to produce a bar that will no doubt be pleasant enough. However, with so many orange and caramel variants on store shelves these days such releases don't exactly pique my interest like they once would have.
In the news, 7th January 2011
A Great British diet recommended for the New Year.
We're in 2011 now and have gorged our way through Christmas so in the spirit of the New Year I thought I would recommend a diet, specifically the Great British diet. Now I may be a tad bias, but fad diets have never and will never work in the long run. The fact that we are constantly finding new benefits to a plethora of different foods underlines the importance of a varied diet that doesn't exclude but embraces all foodstuffs. So don't make the mistake of trying to deny yourself this New Year, instead focus on enjoying all that wonderful food out there - in balance - and getting some regular exercise.
The New Year and two new chocolate bars.
New products are always an exciting thing for me and this week has delivered two: Nestlé Aero Caramel and Mars Snickers Maximus.
Aero Caramel will be available from the 17th January and as the name suggests will comprise of Aero chocolate with a shot of caramel through it. With this launch it has also been announced that Nestlé will be making its biggest ever investment in Aero so be prepared for quite a lot from this brand in the coming months.
Mars Snickers Maximus will be a limited edition product to tie in with the Mr. T '"Get some nuts" advertising campaign. Available from this month for 49p, the product will come without nougat to allow for a higher nut percentage. Personally I like nougat so I don't know about this one but it will be fun to give it a try.
In the news, 24th December 2010
Phew! The TGBD Christmas Cake marathon comes to an end...just in time.
As I said in an earlier news article, here at TGBD we churn out a lot of cakes for family and friends over the Christmas period. One thing this has taught me from a very early age is restraint as for months one has to be in the presence of cakes they cannot eat. Hence the reason we left the grandest and most tempting of all cakes to last.
With our preparations now done and everyone home for the festivities, we're looking forward to a merry Christmas and wish all our readers the very best over the coming days and New Year.
Take care, stay warm and, of course, eat well.
The TGBD Household
TGBD Best in (Christmas) Show.
I always love to see all the Christmas-themed products released over this time of year and I have spent some time browsing store shelves to see which one deserves top spot. However, the winner turned out to be an item I received as a present....
I give you the Lindt Santa Sleigh:
I adored the miniature Santa and 4 gold reindeers with their festive colours and shiny foil wrappings. Combined with the cosy night-time illustration in the background and the smartness of the execution, the resulting product came across as both elegant and magical. Top marks.
In the news, 3rd December 2010
Cadbury redesign Starbar and Picnic.
Two classic offerings, Cadbury Starbar and Cadbury Picnic, have undergone a redesign in preparation for increased confectionery sales over the Christmas period. They have kept to the original designs but modernized - I shudder at this word - the logo type to improve 'standout' on the store shelves. See the artwork here.
In the news, 28th November 2010
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
With all the snow that is around the UK at the moment and the recent airing of classic Christmas ads from the likes of Coca Cola and Kellogg's, I am admittedly feeling a tad festive - never a hard thing for me. Therefore, I have decided to feature a handful of my favourite food- and drink-related Christmas ads for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
The Christmas ad as far as I am concerned. Many will agree that it is not Christmas until this hits our television screens and I am thankful to Cola for bringing this back year after year. However, the current version is over far too quickly in my opinion - you are just getting in to the music and ambience of it all when the ad finishes. Oh well, at least there is YouTube.
The 'Holidays are coming' ads will probably never be beaten; however, somehow Cola gave them a good run for their money with this wonderful heart-warming offering. In the short amount of time it is on, a beautiful narrative develops that is sure to get you in to the Christmas spirit.
From the lighting to the set design, this ad radiates the warmth one would associate with Christmas. Furthermore, it is another ad supported by a beautiful narrative that looks to develop an emotional link with the viewer in the short time it is on. However, seeing a shortened-version of this the other day, the narrative was lost on me and, with that, the magic of the ad. A longer version may be put out at some point but, if it isn't, then this is a BIG mistake on Kellogg's part. As with the Cola ad, if it ain't broken don't fix it.
Another fondly remembered advert from my childhood. It may be short and without the heart-warming narrative of others but that reindeer never fails to put a smile on my face.
'The Snowman' entranced me from the very first moment I saw it as a child and, for me, it still hasn't lost any of its magic. Therefore, watching television one Christmas, I was overjoyed to see the Snowman appear in the ad break; however, seeing the child sip at a can of Irn-Bru, I instantly knew I was in for something a bit different.
In the news, 22nd November 2010
Chance to p..p...p..pick up a Penguin with your joke on it.
I have only just seen this but McVitie's are encouraging the public to send in their Penguin-related jokes for a chance to see them featured on the iconic snack bar. The deadline for submissions is just over a week away (30th) so get your thinking caps on and head over to the Penguin site here. Good luck.
In the news, 11th November 2010
Jammie Dodger packaging gets a revamp for early 2011 release
Personally, I think this is an improvement on the current packaging. The retro-looking sunburst featured in the background together with the product shot on the left and the flavour-related graphic on the right gives the design a bit more colour, energy and intrigue. That said, when it comes to jam-based biscuits I will probably always be a Jam Sandwich Cream guy.
In the news, 6th November 2010
TGBD Christmas Baking (the first of many!)
I am a self-confessed sucker for Christmas and here at the TGBD household we've been getting in to the spirit of things by making Delia's fabulous Glacé Fruit Cake (the decoration is different but the basic recipe can be found here) for transport down to my sister in Cambridgeshire. This is the first of the many different Christmas goodies we make for family and friends and it has proven itself very popular over the years, particularly with those who don't like the icing found on the traditional offering. Indeed, with its mixture of fruit, marzipan and colourful decoration this looks as equally good as it tastes. Highly recommended.
In the news, 3rd November 2010
Hovis ad campaign receives prestigious industry award.
I am sure many Brits remember the 2008 Hovis ad where a boy runs home with his loaf and, as he does so, passes through history. For me, it is easily one of the best ads of the last decade - the Blitz scene where the music changes in tone, Churchill's voice comes over the radio and the Spitfire flies overhead is spine-tingling. Moreover, it seems to have been an extremely effective piece of advertising as, on the back of the campaign it was a part, Hovis' sales grew by 14% year on year while profits were up £90m on the previous year.
However, it was on Monday that MCBD - the ad agency who created the 'As good today as it has ever been' campaign - received the industry recognition it deserved. At IPA's Effectiveness Awards, described as "the worlds most rigorous and prestigious awards scheme, sponsored by Thinkbox, which showcase and reward campaigns that demonstrate their marketing payback", MCBD received the Grand Prix prize and thus scooped top spot at the awards.
Here at TGBD we think the best way to mark this event is to sit back and enjoy the following:
In the news, 1st November 2010
75 years of the Kit Kat
Before I forget, I want to congratulate Kit Kat on its 75th birthday. Like so many, it has made frequent appearances in my lunchbox over the years and continues to deliver one of life's simple pleasures during a hectic days work.
In tribute to the Kit Kat, I thought it appropriate to look back at some of its ads over the years. Enjoy.
1980's 'Kit Kat Band' Ad
1986 'World Leaders' Ad
1989 'Pandas' Ad
Mid 90's 'Thunderbirds ARE GO' Ad
2003 'The Salmon' Ad
Around 2006 'Punishment' Ad
2007 'Santa' Ad
2009 'Work like a Machine' Ad
2010 'Cross your Fingers' Ad
Nestlé Crunch, Chocapic and Golden Grahams debut at Tesco
Doing some Tesco online grocery shopping, I saw three new arrivals in the cereal section courtesy of Nestlé: Crunch, Chocapic and Golden Grahams - why on earth these vanished from our store shelves I don't know. Crunch is described as "chocolate crispy rice and wheat cereal clusters", Chocapic as Crunchy "chocolate flavour cereal wheat curls" and Golden Grahams...well, we know about this one already. The first two cereals seem to have been doing the rounds in various European countries for a while now so it will be interesting to try them out. As for the Golden Grahams, I will be hoarding them just in case Nestlé decide to pull the plug again.
In the news, 11th October 2010
Potato peelings for Walker packets.
According to an article in The Independent online news, Walkers have stated that they may be making their crisp packets from potato peeling within 18 months.
The article quotes Richard Evans, president of PepsiCo UK and Ireland, as telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "More interestingly, imagine making it (a crisp packet) out of potato peelings.
"In reality, if you think about starch - and you know how sticky starch is - if you could mass it together you could create a layer of starch and stabilise that.
"We could use the peelings we have, that today go to animal feed and other recycling uses, to be turned into a crisp packets."
Personally, I've got to give it to them as this sounds like a great way of utilising what to Walkers is currently scrap material. Besides being eco-friendly, one would have to assume that in the long-term these will also make economic sense for the company and could encourage others to follow suit.
Chocolate Week 2010.
Across the country this week a series of events will be held to celebrate that most tasty of treats, chocolate. The highlight of the week, "Chocolate Unwrapped", will be held on 16th & 17th at Vinopolis, London and is described on the event's website as: "a two-day chocolate event featuring exhibits and experiences from the UK's finest chocolate companies".
Of course, you can find out loads more information about Chocolate Week and the events near where you live by visiting the website here.
It's purple, it's healthy, it's...a chip?!
A serving of purple chips...not the most appetising thought at first; however, we are told they taste exactly the same as normal ones and, importantly, boast a plethora of health benefits. As per the Daily Mail article on the matter, these potatoes "are packed with healthy anthocyanin, which gives blueberries, blackberries and aubergines their distinctive tints".
So if you fancy a break from the norm, keep an eye out for so-called Purple Majesty potatoes at your local Sainsbury's.
In the news, 2nd October 2010
Will you be 'filling up' to the second ad in Tea Folk revival?
After the release of a teaser ad in which we saw the Tea Folk take their first few steps, today we will be treated to full-on Tea Folk action as they make their way out of the closet and explore the modern Tetley world.
Watching the above ad, it is brilliant to see the gang feature in its entirety. Moreover, I don't know who is doing the voiceovers but I am a fan - the bit at the end where Gaffer says "That's better...that's Tetley" is fantastic.
With the introductions made, it will be interesting to see what Tetley do with these characters now or, more accurately, feel they need to do. The temptation to always modernise - a horrible word - is a strong and fatal one that could take the heart and soul out of these characters.
It's all about consumer engagement for Kraft
It seems that Kraft want to focus more on consumer engagement with Daryl Fielding, Kraft's Europe chief marketing officer, only a few days ago at Marketing Week's The Annual conference saying: “Kraft is moving brand strategy away from a focus on the product, to engagement. If you want to have engagement in the world it has to connect with something consumers are interested in already.” The Cadbury 'Spots and Stripes' Olympics' campaign was cited as being a model for the future.
I have noticed recently that manufacturers are making more efforts to engage consumers. Having gone on about the importance of engagement for years when a lot of the time we were being offered little else than the food inside some packaging, it is heartening to finally see manufacturers thinking along the same lines.
However, what I would warn manufacturers against is neglecting the physical for the virtual i.e. the internet. I think brands have got it in their heads that 'engagement' means 'putting a reference on the packaging to some fancy Flash-based website with games, Twitter feeds etc'. Whilst these sites are fun, they should be but one part of overall marketing strategy that realises what you can hold in your hand and engage with is just as important, if not more, than what you can only view when you have access to a computer.
In the news, 28th September 2010
Cadbury 'glass and a half' slogan NOT being dropped.
With it being reported this morning that Cadbury were going to drop the famous slogan all together after removing it from packaging to comply with EU regulations, I am extremely relieved to say that Cadbury have come out and said no such action will be taken.
In a marketingweek.co.uk article on the matter, a Cadbury spokesperson is quoted as saying, “A glass and a half underpins all our marketing, and is a successful marketing tool for the business.” Furthermore, it reports "Cadbury says the three key elements of pack fronts are the signature Cadbury’s purple, the Cadbury script and the glass and a half icon, which ill all remain."
Thank goodness for that.
In the news, 26th September 2010
Two new additions to TGBD articles!
In a quest to deliver as comprehensive reviews as possible, I have decided to make a couple new additions to my articles that I hope you will enjoy:
Websites. Increasingly on-product promotions refer you to a brand's website where you can enter competitions, play games, find out about products, sign up to newsletters etc. Moreover, brands advertise online and leverage social networks to redirect us to their sites. Indeed, websites that are functional, informative and engaging are crucial and I feel a discussion of them is necessary these days to get a full and proper overview of a brand and its products.
Have you considered...? With things like obesity on the rise,I find the more calorific dishes and products that make up the Great British diet are targeted as a cause when, in reality, it is exercise and OVERALL dietary habits that should be addressed. I feel the very unhealthiest of foods are fine as long as they are eaten in moderation and as part of a varied diet that includes plenty of fruit and veg. Moreover, I believe the Great British diet with its famed meat-and-two-veg approach is wonderfully balanced, highly nutritional and the tastiest I've come across. Therefore, in 'Have you considered...?' I will be casting aside the negativity and focusing on the all too often overlooked benefits of our food whether shop bought or homemade.
In the news, 24th September 2010
Supplies of Tunnock Teacakes threatened!
This is a TGBD alert guys and a serious one...Unite members who work at Tunnock's Glasgow factory decided to take strike action yesterday and there are plans to follow this up with further strikes if what they deem to be a fair pay offer is not put forward. In an online article from Scotland's Evening Times, one worker is reported as saying of Tunnock's, “The working conditions are great. They’re very fair with holidays and looking after their staff. It’s just the wages we have an issue with.”
The factory is responsible for churning out 350 teacakes per minute so an ongoing strike could indeed threaten supply levels. If, unlike me, you don't regularly maintain teacake stocks at gorging levels then I recommend you use these strikes as the perfect excuse to do some shopping.
In the news, 21st September 2010
The Tea Folk are back on telly!
Yesterday was a moment of enormous TGBD excitement as the nation got its first glimpse of the Tetley Tea Folk after nearly 10 years. Having grown up with these characters and adored everything about them, I was overjoyed at their reappearance and suddenly felt endeared to a brand that I had largely become indifferent to.
I have had my worries about various artwork that has been released, but in this opening ad the Tea Folk appear as we know and love them. However, those guys at Tetley are teasers with the spilt tea's journey taking up most of the ad's duration before the characters appear and everything abruptly ends to the famous strapline "That's Better. That's Tetley" - brilliant to see this again.
So with my appetite officially whetted for more Tea Folk action, I turned my attention to the Tetley site on the assumption that I would see a few changes and, well, I certainly did. Firstly, a large image of a smiling Tea Folk greeted me on the homepage making me immediately feel welcome - oh, what a difference this makes to a site I always thought lacked colour and a sense of fun - and then, secondly, I noticed a link to their new website. Immediately checking this out, a Flash-based site popped up with the new ad centre stage, the Tea Folk characters - all still looking as they should - dotted around the page and the tabs - 'home', 'games', 'win!', 'Facebook', 'vote!', 'Gaffer's news' and 'meet the Tea Folk' - displayed on a tower of cardboard boxes. As you can see, Tetley intend, quite rightly, to use every trick in the book from on-line games and competitions to the leveraging of social networks to engage consumers.
It will be interesting to see if the Tetley packaging is redesigned to feature the characters but, in any case, I like what I have seen so far and am sincere when I say that here at TGBD we wish the Tetley brand every bit of luck.
For now, let's all grab a cuppa, sit down and celebrate the Tea Folk's revival with this classic from yesteryear:
In the news, 20th September 2010
McCain gets personal.
Having just written a few days ago about how the Kipling brand is trying to build up a relationship with its consumers to drive brand loyalty, it seems McCain are following suit with a new website (see here) and an advert called 'Pride' (featured above).
With regards to the advert, I immediately warmed to it as I heard Supertramp's "Give a little bit" song and started humming - I don't sing for fear of bursting other's eardrumbs! The feel-good factor continued as I saw a sequence of scenes involving families in a variety of happy situations before the strapline "If it matters to family, it matters to us" appeared. Overall, I would call it a pleasant ad that is direct in its message.
As for the website, it has a colourful, summery design that, courtesy of Flash, takes you in to a wooded area and enables you to drag yourself down a country path arched with trees and with a glow at the end...yes, you have to go towards the light! In addition, the usual site tabs have been called such things as 'fair' (games area), 'farm' (about us page) and 'farm shop' (product's page). All of this tells us that McCain are trying hard to associate themselves with a natural, wholesome lifestyle and, in my opinion, they do well with this fun, interactive design.
As far as 'getting personal' goes, this is where the new website proves itself particularly handy as it encourages you to register whereupon you can access the 'MyPlace' section of the site and, as the blurb goes, "keep your details updated, tell us what you'd like to hear about and redeem your Spud Shillings for fantastic rewards!"
So pretty decent stuff on-line and on TV...just throw in a brand character along with some good old on-product promotions and I will be a very happy bunny.
In the news, 18th September 2010
Fancy a box of Corn Flakes...stop by the M4!
Upon hearing this morning that a 23 metre giant-sized Corn Flakes box had appeared alongside the M4, some thoughts jumped to mind. Is this a highly innovative move by Kellogg's in to the property market? If so, when can I move in and, if not, does the box contain cereal? Again, if so, should I be shooting down the M4 with my bowl and spoon or trying to convince Kellogg's that this could double-up as the world's best take on the ball pit! Well I am sad to report that the answer in all cases is 'no'. It probably is for the best though...I'm sure that telling people you live in a cereal box would have the men in white coats after you!
But I digress, this entertaining piece of construction from Kellogg's is being displayed at JCDecaux’s Torch site - next to the M4 - for three weeks. Naturally, all of this has been done to chime in with Kellogg's current "make time for breakfast" TV ad campaign. A spokesperson from the company is reported as saying, "The M4 torch provides a unique opportunity for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes to remind people about the best way to start each day.” And you've got to give it to them; this certainly is different and will undoubtedly continue to turn a lot of heads.
In the news, 17th September 2010
Behind every great man is a great woman...so says Kipling brand.
Earlier this year, we were introduced to Mr. Kipling's other half, Mrs. Kipling (as per the above TV ad). But now Premier Foods, owner of the Kipling brand, is going viral with the character as they leverage social media platforms, namely Twitter and Facebook, and launch a YouTube channel for Mrs. Kipling's video diary. Of course, it is through these mediums that they hope to raise awareness of the brand and develop a much more personal relationship between the Mrs. Kipling character and the consumer to drive brand loyalty.
It is reported in marketingweek.co.uk, that Premier Foods plan to follow this up with "...a mums-focused magazine hub providing Mrs Kipling-curated content designed to be read during afternoon tea."
With reference to this digital campaign, Premier Foods’ head of marketing for cakes is reported as saying, “It allows people to find out what’s going on and get an insight into Mr Kipling, allowing for a steady stream of news around the brand...but you can’t do social media by halves: once you’re in, you’re in.”
TGBD Response: As I have written before, I like the Kipling brand a lot and have fond memories of its products as a child. However, it was in particular the character of Mr. Kipling that captured my young imagination as he was almost Santa-like in his elusiveness and generosity. Naturally, my imagination ran rampant on this character and I always thought he had strong marketing potential. Well, with social media giving brands the opportunity like never before to quickly engage consumers en masse, Premier Foods seem to be exploring this potential with Mr. Kipling's other half. Of course, whether or not this works remains to be seen but, in any event, it is great to see a manufacturer who believes in the value of a strong brand character and the long term benefits of investing in building up as strong as possible relationship with the consumer.
In the news, 16th September 2010
Honeeey!...the Honey Monster has returned.
That loveable big yellow monster that I, along with many others, grew up with is back and, from the looks of the above ad, he is as crazy about his honey as he has ever been. With a brand spanking new website (www.honeymonster.co.uk) up and running for a while now, new ads and a couple tasty additions to his range, I thought the Honey Monster's return was well overdue a write up.
Checking out the site, my first impressions were very good. Everything is clearly labelled making for easy navigation and, as with the packaging, a colour scheme of blues, reds and yellows with gentle gradients makes for a visually arresting design. Content-wise, there is a lot of it! From the moment the homepage loads, you are confronted with 'snapping' sounds drawing your attention to a fun photo-based activity (see Monster on the Move) with the chance to win an iPod Nano. In addition there is a blog; a games area called 'Feed the Fun'; Honey Monster radio recordings; media featuring the Honey Monster with popular music artists; the 'Waffle Factory' where you can see people who have had their photo taken with the Honey Monster as he tours the country; product/nutritional information for inquisitive adults; details on and links to the Variety Club Children's Charity; Honey Monster-WEE content; and so much more.
Product-wise, there is now 'Honey Waffles' and 'Banana Puffs' in addition to the classic Sugar Puffs and, being a honey lover, I have no doubt I will enjoy these a lot. However, it has been in the packaging that the Honey Monster has really impressed me of late. I along with many others who grew up when on-pack promotions and freebies were the norm, feel that child-targeted products have drastically lost their way in recent years as they offer the consumer little else than the food inside them and some packaging decorated to varying degrees of quality. However, the Honey Monster has been a happy exception to this with colourful, engaging artwork and on-pack games, freebie comics and promotions galore.
As for the ads, once again I feel the Honey Monster brand is head and shoulders above others. It used to be the case that the likes of the Hunger Monster; Tony the Tiger; Snap, Crackle and Pop, Loopie etc regularly graced our television screens but, like the packaging of old, these too have largely fallen by the wayside. However, the Honey Monster character has gone nowhere and he still looks like how I remember him - kudos to whoever decided not to give in to that horrible temptation of re-inventing things. As has always been the case, the Honey Monster's presence gives the brand an identity, colour and dynamic that would be otherwise hard to replicate.
To sum things up, as is rare these days, this brand excels my memories of it as it embraces the digital world we now live in to deliver new levels of interactivity, information and fun whilst not forgetting about the simpler things that made it so great in the first place...in particular, a guy in a certain big yellow outfit!
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