Beloved of students everywhere, Pot Noodle has been dividing the nation since 1977. For many it is the ultimate junk food (each pot containing 25% of an average adult’s daily intake of salt, 23% of fat, and 40% of saturated fat); to others it is the ultimate tasty meal.
For Unilever’s agency Adam & Eve DDB it is bread on the table and this week has seen the launch of a new campaign, designed to reinforce the brand’s positioning as the perfect way to “fill a hole”.
And, to be fair, this tongue-in-cheek film shows the noodles filling every conceivable hole in the land, from a crazy golf hole, a bird house and a pool table pocket to a letterbox, a washing machine drum and, ultimately, the bane of every motorist, the pothole.
The film, which runs without commentary, ends with a man slamming down a Pot Noodle on to a kitchen table as the strapline appears on screen: “Nothing Fills a Hole Like a Pot Noodle” followed by another shot of a car squelching over a noodle-filled crater.
And, as if by magic, the media has been awash with reports of a retired operations manager who has been filling potholes in his area with Pot Noodle after becoming increasingly frustrated by the state of local roads.
Apparently, Mark Morell, of Brackley, Northamptonshire, has been unloading instant snacks into holes in the road to force the Government to act on the issue.
Also known as “Mr Pothole”, Morell has been campaigning about the issue for over a decade and has now collaborated with Pot Noodle to raise awareness of the sheer number of potholes across Britain, using the hashtag #NothingFillsAHoleLikePotNoodle.
The reports state that his previous attempts, which included feeding potholes cake on their birthday and floating rubber ducks inside them, were unsuccessful, “meaning he had to go back to the drawing board”.
Morell told Metro: “Potholes drive road users potty and me more than most. The pothole crisis across the UK is an increasingly serious issue and something I have been campaigning on for more than ten years.
“During this period I have had to use my noodle with stunts to highlight just how bad potholes are, from floating plastic ducks in water filled potholes, birthday cakes, fishing rods and model submarines.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Well, to be fair, we would rather fill potholes with Pot Noodle than eat them and linking up with Mr Pothole has also given the brand extra coverage so everyone’s a winner.
But you have to wonder whether this will all backfire when those pesky TikTokers suddenly jump aboard #NothingFillsAHoleLikePotNoodle? After all, while £1 Pot Noodle pots might be a bit pricey to waste, plain noodles are cheap as chips so how long before they are stuffed into every nook and cranny to be found.
Do Unilever – and Adam & Eve DDB for that matter – really want to be responsible for all that food waste?
Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘nice idea, but how far will it go?’ 7½ out of 10