CAMPAIGNS: PRODUCT LAUNCH; Nice Guy shows off his sour side

Client: Walkers Agency: Hill & Knowlton Campaign: The launch of Salt & Lineker flavoured crisps variety Timescale: November 1995 to January 1996 Cost: pounds 13,800, plus pounds 5,000 for VNR.

Client: Walkers

Agency: Hill & Knowlton

Campaign: The launch of Salt & Lineker flavoured crisps variety

Timescale: November 1995 to January 1996

Cost: pounds 13,800, plus pounds 5,000 for VNR.



Last summer Hill & Knowlton proposed that its client Walkers create a

limited edition line of ‘Salt & Lineker’ branded crisps, to exploit Gary

Lineker’s endorsement of the brand through BMP DDB Needham’s ‘No More Mr

Nice Guy’ ad campaign.



The concept became the central plank of a fully-integrated marketing

campaign. BMP DDB Needham saw the chance to develop the series by

introducing footballer Paul Gascoigne into its television commercials,

as an additional character who dissolves into tears when caught trying

to steal Lineker’s crisps.



Objectives



To generate widespread publicity for the rebranding exercise, to boost

sales of salt and vinegar and other brands and develop the ‘No More Mr

Nice Guy’ ad platform.



Tactics



H&K were involved in the development of the ad from the earliest stages,

enabling the agency to develop angles for exploitation. The agency

generated press interest in the prospect of Gascoigne joining Lineker as

a ‘ad star’ by organising a photo shoot and VNR of the commercial, shot

in conjunction with BMP DDB Needham.



The media were also ferried to a press launch of the Salt & Lineker

brand in Glasgow, where Gazza was in training with his team Glasgow

Rangers. The story was also sold to a number of newspaper and magazine

outlets on ‘exclusive’ angles relating to the players and the secret of

making Gazza cry.



Results



A comprehensive breakdown of media coverage by H&K shows widespread

coverage of the story as a colour piece leading up to and following the

formal launch. The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Express all went big with

the launch, carrying full-page photo-led stories about how cry-baby

Gazza had joined Lineker in a cheeky pounds 1.5million advertising

campaign for Walkers.



Other newspapers and magazines carried significant column inches, and

there was a reasonable follow-up among newspapers and trade press about

how successful the campaign has been in boosting sales of the product.



The story was also carried as a four-minute slot on BBC’s How Do They Do

That?, as well as GMTV, the Big Breakfast and London Tonight.



Total advertising equivalence for the campaign is estimated to be pounds

603,543, while Walkers claims that overall campaign has raised sales of

its salt & vinegar line by 60 per cent during the promotional period and

produced an overall 18 per cent boost to Walkers crisp sales in the

first few weeks of the year.



Verdict



PR campaigns aimed at hyping advertising executions may be flavour of

the month in the marketing world, but many fall flat on their face. Yet

BMP DDB Needham and H&K seem to be perfecting the game of leveraging PR

value - and valuation added media exposure - out of an advertising-led

marketing campaign.



The starting point was an award winning ad [British Television

Advertising Awards} but as H&K account director Dan Holliday points out,

the campaign was the fifth ad in a long line for Walkers based on the

‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ theme. Yet media interest has grown rather than

declined as the Lineker theme has been pushed forward through astute

evaluation and exploitation of news angles built into the advertising.



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