Campaigns Showcase: Voting - The SPA Way/Link communications - Real Crisps gets political

Campaign: The Real Election Campaign
Client: Real Crisps
PR team: The SPA Way and Link Communications
Timescale: March-May 2010
Budget: £60,000

To coincide with the general election, the SPA Way and Link Communications developed a politics-themed awareness-raising campaign for Real Crisps.


- To raise awareness about Real Crisps

- To provide a national platform

- To promote the new packaging.

Strategy and plan

In the six-week run-up to the general election, special packets of Real Crisps were designed with either David Cameron, Gordon Brown or Nick Clegg's face on them, as well as their respective party colours.

At 'Real Polling Stations' across the UK, packets were placed in branded bins and members of the public were encouraged to pick one according to their political allegiance.

Staff also distributed leaflets about Real Crisps and urged people to cast their votes on the Real Crisps website. In total, 600,000 packets were given out.

Measurement and evaluation

The Real Election Campaign generated 116 pieces of coverage including in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and Yorkshire Post, as well as on ITV, Sky News and BBC TV and radio. All coverage contained three key messages and 75 per cent included a pack shot of Real Crisps.


More than 80 per cent of those approached got involved by casting votes, offering opinions on the election or saying which party they were supporting.


Richard Medley, Managing director, The SPA Way

We have to admit that the news sideshow that was the general election played beautifully into the hands of Real Crisps this year when The SPA Way recommended a marketing approach that saw red, yellow and blue packs of snacks take on new flavours of a Cameron, Clegg and Brown variety - for a strictly limited hustings season.

Aside from the party political pleasure at rustling bags with leaders' faces on them, we hit a vein of rich media appeal. But most importantly from a commercial perspective, it was the consumer appeal that was most satisfying, seeing a year-on-year sales increase of 12 per cent for the Real brand.

It is not often that you get politicians holding up anything branded when on camera (thanks to Michael Gove and Sarah Teather!), and even less often that the BBC's chief political correspondent Jon Sopel does so on the One O'Clock News.

A combination of cheek, charm, brass balls, sampling, media tenacity and building of chatter factor meant that the vote count delivered 21 national media articles, nine broadcast features and 46 consumer stories, as well as 450 fresh Twitter followers and more than 1,000 tweets, @mentions and retweets kicking in. Related web traffic rose by 185 per cent during the election push and overall campaign ROI was five to one.

Opportunistic and fresh in execution, pre-planned and ready to roll in strategic terms, the Real Election has helped win business for The SPA Way too. We love it best when everyone wins.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Explore further