Weetabix refresh what made them famous
Thanks to Carol F. from Jordans for suggesting a post on the Weetabix campaign, "Someone's had their Weetabix". In the ad a jockey is thrown from his horse in a race, but finishes on foot, and wins.
As Carol says, this is a great example of "remembering and refreshing what made you famous". This involves looking back into the past at the brand mix, highlighting when the brand was hot and learning about both the message and the mix execution.
In the case of Weetabix, in the 1990's they had a famous campaign using the idea "Have you had your Weetabix?" In the entertaining and funny campaign they showed people scaring off their opponents simply by showing they'd had their Weetabix, and so were set up for the day. In one ad we have Robin Hood with his merry men going to take on the Sheriff of Nottingham, but running away when he sees him tucking into his Weetabix. Thanks to Binge Thinking for tracking down the old ads.
Here are some tips and tricks to take out when trying to "do a Weetabix" on your brand.
1. What was the big idea? This involves getting beyond just the execution, to highlight the bigger brand idea. In the case of Weetabix, it was something like "Have your Weetabix and take on anything". Weetabix took this idea and updated it with the Jockey ad.
2. What was the executional magic? There may also be magic in the execution of the campaign to learn from. In the case of Weetabix, this was the use of humour and "hyperbole" (exaggeration). The over-the-top nature of the stories is what made them memorable.
3. End-lines are especially potent: in the case of Weetabix, the phrase "They've had a Weetabix" had become a phrase that crept into everyday life to describe ordinary people doing amazing things. I saw how this is working today, 15 or so years later, when my 12 year old daughter Jessica played back the ad with amusement to me this morning when we were eating our Weetabix, including the endline.]
4. Is it campaignable?: the best gold of all to uncover when digging in the past is a true campaign, which can have several chapters to it. In the case of Weetabix this seems to be the case, as you can imagine a series of ads with the idea of "Someone's had their Weetabix".
5. Invest in execution: the Weetabix ad is another example of one of my hot topics, about excellence in execution. Watch the ad again, and see how the creative execution has turned a simple idea into a brilliant bit of communication. The casting, direction, music and acting are all top-notch. And, as in all the best brand ads, the drama is all on the brand, and the way it helps the jockey run the race.
In conclusion, it could be time for you to work on getting your own 20 year reel of advertising, and to go hunting for the gold of a brand campaign that you can refresh to help you stand out today.