Marmite ‘First timers’: Will you pop your cherry to this?

marmiteThis week dear readers we are taking a trip back to 1902: the year of the Coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra, when the Royal Navy launched its first submarine and when the London School of Economics and the UK’s first Borstal opened their doors, although the latter soon locked them tight.

Meanwhile, in Burton upon Trent, the Marmite Food Extract Company was formed, with the by-product yeast needed supplied by Bass Brewery. And, according to its advertising, it has been dividing opinion ever since.

But apparently a large proportion of young people have been missing out, with recent YouGov research revealing that 43% of 18- to 24-year-olds Brits have never even tried the spread. This not only raises the question, where have they been but also surely casts doubt on the effectiveness of Marmite’s recent advertising doesn’t it?

Cue a new “playfully suggestive” ad campaign, created by Adam & Eve DDB, inviting this pesky cohort to experience their first time with Marmite.

Coinciding with Freshers’ week, the push is spearheaded by 60″ film featuring two puppets who try out putting Marmite on a slice of toast for the first time, they are invited to “stroke that”, “push that” and “lick that” in a series of apparently “suggestive scenarios”. The film is set to a specially recorded music track by US music producer Giraffage, who remixed his electro track Workout. The end line is “Love it. Hate it. Get it on”.

To extend the “first timers” theme, Marmite is set to dish out thousands of Marmite sampling kits at universities across the country, as well as launch a TikTok challenge (naturally) called Are you a Marmite First-Timer? and a quiz on Tinder called Sticky Situations, asking participants to love or hate certain behaviour in a potential partner, in “humorous and saucy language”.

The campaign also includes Spotify and banner ads, with one Spotify ad featuring a remixed version of the Giraffage track used in the film, and another using ASMR to get potential Marmite customers in the mood.

This will be supported by a PR campaign, led by W Communications, which will invite university students to “pop their Marmite cherry”. The experience will see first-timers taken through a series of specially curated sensory experiments, all designed to help them discover whether they are a lover or a hater. Each experiment will playfully bring to life the suggestive scenarios seen in the hero film (well, that is what it says here).

The 60” film will launch on TV this week, with shorter films running across video-on-demand, the campaign is also supported by social media and digital OOH. Media has been planned and bought by Mindshare UK.

Marmite brand manager Laura Iliffe said: “Marmite is a brand which is embedded in UK culture, and so many of us have grown up with it. We pride ourselves on sparking debate and strong opinions and most consumers are either lovers or haters.

“However, when we saw the number of young adults who had never even tried it – we knew we had to do something to dare them to take the plunge and try our special spread.

“This campaign represents a step-change in the way we advertise Marmite – with a clear focus on driving trial and penetration. We want to recruit our next generation of lovers, and show young adults how to approach their first-time with Marmite.”

Adam & Eve DDB group executive creative director Ben Tollett added: “The UK has a great tradition of comedy double acts: French and Saunders, Reeves and Mortimer, Mel and Sue, Mitchell and Webb. Unfortunately they all declined the auditions, so we were stuck with a pair of filthy-minded puppets.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, let’s be fair, we are hardly in the target market as most of us here haven’t set foot inside a university our whole lives and the ones who have were just visiting their own kids. In other words, how the hell would we know what is going on with the youth of today?

However, from what we observe, sexual innuendo is about as popular among this age group as oil companies. And, where is the “purpose” we hear you cry?

Don’t get us wrong, we quite like the ad; in fact it is rather reminiscent of the 1990s rave scene; a drug-induced period before this target market were even thought of, let alone born. Ho hum.

Decision Marketing Adometer: An ‘oo-er missus’ 7 out of 10

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