Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Nestlé Milky Bar: Raisin & Biscuit variant’s launch ad successfully evoke grown-ups’ fond memories

By Nick Hurrell - Partner, HMDG

This is a very likable ad, which shows various, unlikely, members of the public auditioning (I guess) to appear in the next Milky Bar Kid ad.
There is something universal about the appeal of this approach to adults of a certain age, who, as children, will have dreamed about being cast in the role. I feel I have some authority to comment on the subject, because I have always had Milky Bar Kid specs and, as a child, also possessed the requisite amount of long blond hair. However, there were height restrictions, apparently, so I was not picked.

That said, a lot has changed since then – not least the fact that, in the marketing world, we are now plagued by endless TLA’s (Three-Letter Acronyms). Nowadays, they sell chocolate bars with BFY (Better For You) ingredients, as here; the ad breaks are dominated by POS (Punters On Screen), and the Milky Bar Kid (MBK) no longer seems to carry a gun.
Oh, and Nestles has changed its name to Nestlay.

If I were picky, I would say that we were getting lots of MBK in this ad, and insufficient Raisin & Biscuit SKU – but, be fair, the spot will prompt me to look out for the Milky Bars next time I’m in a CTN, and I might even pick up the BFY version, even though there’s no chance that it will taste as good as the original that I remember.

The ad relies on the ubiquitous crowdsourcing, or at least crowdcasting. (I’m starting to wonder just how actors are making ends meet now that they no longer get to appear in commercials.)

The thrust of the ad is that viewers should go to the website to audition, which I did – and a very nice site it is too. The prize is to get selected – which, again, I didn’t; but good luck to all those who do.

For me, the best new element in the campaign is the endline: ‘Ungrow up’. Reading back over what I’ve written, the ad has had exactly the effect on me that it was meant to: to make me reminisce about Milky Bars and get me back on the white stuff at the CTN.

Not just that, but the auditions are restricted to the over-16s, so the strategy is clearly to recruit MBGs (Milky Bar Grownups). This shouldn’t be too much of a struggle.

This ad may not guarantee that the Raisin & Biscuit variant’s launch breaks all records, but next time I’m being pestered for chocolate by my four MBK lookalikes, the Milky Bars will be on me.

View this article in Marketing magazine’s Adwatch, 8th September 2010.

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