The new Marmite TV ad launched at the start of this week and who could have predicted the uproar and controversy it would cause. Based around the idea of a spoof animal welfare team going around the country rescuing and re-homing neglected jars of Marmite, the ad appears to have Marmite fans divided – you either Love it or you Hate it.
After 2 years of not advertising Marmite on TV, the new ad was aired on Monday (5th August) during the Coronation Street ad break and prompted an almighty backlash from fans and members of the general public who complained that it was in poor taste and trivialises the work done by child and animal welfare charities. At the time of writing over 270 complaints are reported to have been logged with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who is currently considering whether to investigate the ad.
After watching the ad, I was a little bit bemused by the strength of the reaction to it. Yes, the ad does parody the work done by animal welfare organisations – but far from trivialising it, I think it shines a spotlight on their good work and brings it to the attention of a much wider audience in a humorous and engaging way.
I appreciate the ad is not to everybody’s taste, but then no ad ever is…and neither is the product. Looking at the campaign as a whole, I think Marmite have hit upon a very strong product truth – the fact that there’s probably at least one jar of Marmite in a cupboard in most UK households. Some of these jars will be well-loved and well-used while others are pretty much abandoned. So sending out a rallying call to encourage people to ‘rescue’ their abandoned jars makes for a good advertising campaign.
The activity extends further with an ‘endmarmiteneglect’ Facebook app that allows fans to donate a Tweet, Facebook post or Profile pic in support of the campaign in exchange for the chance to receive an exclusive supporters pack containing various ‘end marmite neglect’ goodies.
Whether you love it or hate it, the new Marmite ad is out there. If it raises the profile of the work done by animal and child welfare organisations in the public eye, either through controversy or through running a humorous ad then well done Marmite.
Working for an advertising agency means that you can’t help but be intrigued by the events that have unfolded over the last few days. In today’s world, consumers feel empowered to make themselves heard through social media and other channels. So it’s worth noting that whilst a large number of complaints have been raised through social media and with the ASA, a large number of support messages have also been posted too.
So where do you stand on this particular debate? Do you ‘Love it’ or do you ‘Hate it’? Tell us what you think by using the commenting function below.