Creative impulse

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The Independent Online
Britvic has knocked the old "Wimbledon" campaign for its Robinsons soft drinks brand off court with a new, pounds 3.5m batch of films - Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury's first advertising for the brand since winning the account last summer. The ads feature a smart couple talking intimately on the terrace of a boathouse, and while they hold exactly the same conversation in all of the five 40-second executions, their words are open to a different interpretation each time.

The client: Britvic

Andrew Buckley, brand group manager, Robinsons

When Britvic acquired the brand last year, there didn't seem to be much wrong with it: it was well known and at an all-time market share high. But on looking more closely we saw that although it is a big, powerful brand, there was a disparity between its actual size and its perceived size. It's there in the back of the cupboard at home, but it's not a particularly "sexy" brand, and so we wanted to make the product more fun.

We found there was a split between the primary purchasers, mainly housewives, and secondary consumers, generally children. It's seen as a kids' drink, so we sought to unlock that latent adult interest: they're buying it, but not actually drinking it. The brief was to get adult purchasers to re-evaluate the product, so we needed the ads to work hard for us. The previous ads had been rather unchallenging, and only really served to reconfirm consumers' perceptions of the brand.

The agency: Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury

Nick Howarth, account director

We decided to concentrate on that property unique to dilutables - that how you drink it is up to you. You can have it strong or weak, hot or cold, mixed with other things - different every time, in fact. We wanted to communicate that idea of versatility, that you can tailor it to your taste, to an adult audience. We needed an idea they'd find intriguing and involving, and wanted to inject new life into the soft drink category as a whole.

These ads give a new twist to depicting relationships in advertising, because the visual nuances in each of the films change the context in which the conversation is taking place. It's not a straightforward on- going soap, like the Gold Blend campaign. We will, though, be following up this first burst with another five executions in the summer, in which we will build up the relationship between the two characters further.

This is a new approach for an old, very English and very traditional brand like Robinsons, and also a new idea in the advertising industry. We think it's a very involving ad, in that you can think you're seeing the same advert over and over again, until you spot the subtle visual changes. There is no right or wrong answer to any of the executions: it's all down to the viewer's interpretation.

SCOTT HUGHES

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