No Walkers, No Game: The star and the water carrier

walkersIf, like us, the prospect of seeing David Beckham ham his way through yet another appalling TV ad makes you want to run for the hills, hold fire for a moment because agency VCCP has managed to do for Walkers what no-one else has done before… they’ve actually made Becks look quite good.

Yes, as anticipation builds for this Saturday night’s Champions League Final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, Becks is joined by Thierry Henry as they continue their search for packs of Walkers. (If you’re reading this on Monday, you’re too late – where the hell have you been?)

The latest instalment of Walkers’ No Walkers, No Game brand platform opens with the two former footballers sitting on a sofa looking for some snacks. When the realise they are fresh out of Walkers, Thierry sets off on a quest, with camera crew in tow, to find a household with Walkers in the cupboard. Thankfully Becks stays at home, so doesn’t feature too heavily.

Little do viewers know that genuine football fans were recruited via social media for what they believed was a documentary about Walkers’ parent company, PepsiCo. However, all is revealed when hungry Thierry pops by to ask each unsuspecting household for his favourite Walkers.

Sadly, most of those who signed up had either scoffed all of their Walkers or they don’t like them much as none of them appear to have a full packet, although one lot do have an empty one.

Finally, Thierry finds a family who can hand over a large packet of Walkers and they are invited round to Thierry and Becks. Bizarrely, at the end of the ad they are shown watching the game, before it actually kicks off, but hey, you get the gist.

Luckily, the campaign will run across TV, BVOD, digital, social, print and digital out of home until July 16, so by then the ending might make a bit more sense.

Anyway, Walkers senior marketing director Wayne Newton seems cock-a-hoop with the end result. He said: “This was genuinely great fun and a testament to a fantastic collaboration. At Walkers, we love nothing better than to bring a smile to the nation and we hope this new campaign will do just that. Seeing the reactions of real people meeting Henry and Beckham was absolutely priceless. We hope as people see other elements of the campaign we’ll bring many more memorable experiences, after all: ‘No Walkers, No Game’.”

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

Well, to be fair, as we have pointed out in the intro, we’re not big fans of Becks in advertising. In film, he’s even worse (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, anyone?). In fact, in a nutshell, he’s an embarrassment.

However, VCCP’s strategy of playing to both footballers’ strengths works a treat; the Frenchman’s the global star, the Englishman’s the “water carrier” and ne’er the twain shall meet. Keep this up Walkers, and you could actually have a hit campaign on your hands.

Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘Champions League qualifying’ 9 out of 10

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