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Yeah… but how will Marmite Cereal Bars work on radio?

So, you’re here for the iTunes vouchers right?

Well read this informative case-study.

Listen to the great audio.

And answer the question below.

Earlier this year Unilever commissioned DDB UK to produce a print, poster and online campaign to promote the launch of the new Marmite Cereal bar.

The basic premise of the creative was to give the impression that Marmite were expanding their brand to incorporate products that you wouldn’t normally associate with Marmite, or that would be wholly inappropriate for the Marmite brand. The campaign was split into two phases: ‘tease’ and ‘reveal’. The tease used posters featuring strong imagery usually associated with advertising for every day products like perfume, fabric softener and shower gel. They showed the “Marmite” versions of the product e.g. Marmite Fabric Softener with no indication that the campaign was not for the new product shown, but was for a new Marmite cereal bar instead. Later in the campaign, new posters revealed a picture of the new cereal bar with the caption “That may be too far, but how about this”.

As a whole, the campaign is a pastiche of the method and imagery used to advertise familiar products, coupled with a wry comment on how brands are constantly expanding into other areas, and it’s the strength in the imagery of the campaign that makes it work so well. The possibility of brand extension is another factor. It’s pretty common for a brand to move into other areas of consumerism which makes it easier to believe that Marmite could, in fact, make a fabric softener. These are the two key elements in this campaign that we can use to translate the creative concept and product to radio.

We all recognise styles and structures of visual ads from outdoor to TV. For example, if you see a poster with well dressed models in exotic locations, you’re probably looking at a retail ad for a clothes store’s summer collection. As viewers and consumers we’ve learned that certain structures and styles of advertising represent certain products or services. However, this idea of familial structures and styles can initially appear difficult to translate into sound.

We do have a preconceived idea of what a radio ad sounds like, or so we think, but it’s very rare that a product can be specifically identified from the structure and style of its radio commercial. This could mean it’s difficult to replicate the exact creative execution used in the visual creative for Marmite. However, radio’s obvious strength is in using sound to create strong imagery in the imagination. This imagery can be used to replace a generic advertising form, placing the consumer directly into the activity the product is aimed at instead.

With this in mind for our radio treatment, we needed a new ‘fake’ Marmite product coupled with an experience that could be clearly evoked using sound.

Marmite Energy Shots – Tease

We’ve translated the concept of a recognisable advertising structure and style (energy drink ad) and have utilised the idea of pushing Marmite where it shouldn’t really go (into the energy drink market) to create the spoof product “Marmite Energy Shots”. The idea is feasible enough in terms of how it sounds, the techniques used and the sincerity of the approach to be believable.

As with the visual campaign, there’s a “reveal” where the real product is brought into the ad.

Marmite Energy Shots – Reveal

So, we’ve brought the key creative elements of the Marmite Cereal Bar campaign together, and successfully translated them into audio, without losing the wit or effectiveness of the original concept.

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…

To win the £50 iTunes voucher listen to the audio again, and tell us…

What kind of power do you unleash when drinking Marmite Energy Shots?

Answers by the 30th of July on an email please, to

The perceptive winner will be chosen in a prize draw before the next navy&grey quarterly.

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