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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.