It is a well known theory – and one that is straight out of the marketers’ handbook – that consumers look to nostalgia in hard times. In fact, research from no-lesser authority than the Journal of Consumer Marketing once revealed that invoking “the good ol’ days” triggers feelings of security, comfort, and trust, leading consumers to have more confidence and, crucially, be far more willing to spend, spend, spend.
It is a theory that obviously strikes a chord at Raleigh, which this week announced it will be re-releasing the Chopper, and at the Branston pickle factory in deepest Suffolk, where the brand – named after the village near Burton upon Trent where was created – now resides, despite being owned by the Japanese Mizkan Group.
Yep, you guessed it, they are dusting off the 1970s slogan “Bring Out The Branston” in a new TV and social media campaign, following research which revealed it was one of the most memorable jingles in Britain.
Funnily enough, despite the official blurb claiming this hasn’t been used for decades, they were actually still “Bringing Out The Branston” as recently as 2020. Just saying.
Still, apparently “this beloved household staple, triggers nostalgic memories of childhood sandwiches and lunch boxes, from the schoolyard to the office – its tangy hit and crunchy texture are known to liven up any mealtime. The pop of the lid and dollop of that tangy sweet pickle transports us to moments of complete comfort”.
Now, with an array of new sandwich condiments launching monthly and a new generation who have not grown up with Branston, the brand reckons it is time for it to take its rightful place as the “king of condiments” once again.
The 30” and 10” launch TV spots, created by Wonderhood Studios, are designed to show how only Branston’s “unique and punchy hit of flavour” can save a bland snack or dry lunch from disaster.
Directed by BAFTA-nominated Andrew Gaynord, they feature different foods “talking” to people to lure them in and “slather” them with a generous dollop of Branston pickle or piccalilli.
The campaign launches with two spots – one featuring a man trying to resist the urge to be lured in by a bland sandwich in the office, and the other showing a dry leftover bun crying out to a woman to “piccalilli me”. Both ads and talking snacks are voiced by comedian Jamie Demetriou, in true “oo-er missus” style.
It is Branston’s biggest media investment in three years and, as well as TV, the campaign is running on ITVX’s new Matchmaker data offering, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Media planning and buying was handled by independent media agency Bicycle.
Branston senior brand manager Angharad Wilson Dyer Gough seems pretty chuffed with the work. She said: “Branston has a special place on Britain’s kitchen tables. Passed from generation to generation in lunch box sandwiches and Christmas cheese boards, always bringing the iconic tang and texture it’s known for to liven up mealtimes.
“After celebrating its 100th-anniversary milestone in 2022, the brand is continuing to bring out the Branston with this TV ad. Showcasing our sweet pickle and piccalilli products, no matter how bland that sandwich or dry those leftovers are, Branston will be there to liven it up.”
Wonderhood Studios joint executive creative director Guy Hobbs added: “Historically, the desires of sandwiches have remained largely unstated. We’re proud to finally give the nation’s sandwiches a voice and remind everyone that all food really wants from us is a hit of Branston.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Now, of course, no doubt some will argue that this is pure laziness, claiming that it is a sure sign the agency has run out of new ideas to go back to the future.
But, with a combined age of 250, it is perhaps not too surprising that we love nothing more than a bit of nostalgia – what else is there at our age? – so naturally, this campaign chimes nicely with our team.
The history rewrite might be slightly annoying, but at least they have even added a touch of Carry On scripting with the talking sandwiches. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of slathering?
Mind you, for those of you who didn’t experience it, we do have to inform you that the 1970s wasn’t all that great. In fact, not only was racism, sexism and every other “ism” rife, the country was in such a state that most people couldn’t even get bread, let alone cheese and pickle… Oh happy days!
Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘slap it on’ 8 out of 10