Brand led activation from Pot Noodle

Post by David Nichols, Managing Partner and Head of Invention

Pot Noodle – a brand that is loved & loathed in equal measure. For those of you not familiar with this British snack pot, it is firmly targeted at students and young singles who can't be bothered to cook. Simply add hot water and a hot flavoured noodle snack is ready – perfect while watching YouTube on your laptop slumped in a bean bag. The brand's latest activation caught my eye as being very well aligned with their brand.

Their core brand proposition is about fuel to keep you going through the day, with the tagline "You Can Make it". But this message is delivered with a large pot of tongue-in-cheek humour, as you can see in the latest ad below, or here.

When the brand team needed a promotion to drive sales they could simply done a ‘Win a car’ or ‘Win £1,000’ competition and be done with it. These types of promotion may drive short-term sales, but do little or nothing for the brand. Instead, they developed a promotion that directly dramatizes their brand promise. The promotion offers a mobile phone charger with the smart angle that it can help you be ‘100% all day’. This is exactly in line with their proposition as well as being a well targeted and appealing offer to their core target.

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What are the benefits of this type of "Brand-led activation"?:

  • Amplifies your core message: when even your simple ‘giveaway’ promotions are directly ‘on promise’ you get a cumulative amplification. Wherever your target see your brand they are connected with your core message, not just from your 60sec TV spots.
  • Simple is good: Remember, it doesn’t have to be complex, expensive or clever to be a really good promotion. If Pot Noodle can do it, so can you!
  • More memorable: If your promotion taps into a larger story, one that is uniquely linked to your brand, then there’s a much stronger chance you will be remembered for it. A great prize promotion may be appealing but not at all unique – anyone can give away money.


With ‘Brand-led Activation’ every single part of your marketing spend, even the price promotions, should be done in a way that communicates all or part of your brand promise. Low budget doesn’t have to mean un-strategic.