Creative impulse

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The Independent Online
Thermos, the brand leader in vacuum flasks, recently discovered with horror that consumers were ashamed to be seen with its products. To overcome this, the company has launched its first ad campaign in 20 years. With little cash available, Thermos chose an agency with a strong record in the relatively cheap medium of poster sites: TBWA. But can the agency that launched Eva Herzegova in a Wonderbra really do anything with a Thermos - even if the flask is a Japanese design in unbreakable stainless steel?

Slogan: `Thermos. The flask just got hot'

The client: Thermos UK

David Berry, marketing manager

People tend to come across Thermos in their lunchbox at school, and don't use them again till they have children. There's a gap in the middle we want to fill.

We did some research which showed people were ashamed to be seen with a Thermos. It has negative associations, like nerdiness and penny-pinching. We want to overcome that, but we don't want to alienate traditional consumers. (Having said that, I must send a flask to Chris Evans, the archetypal "hip nerd".)

We chose TBWA because we were looking for a creative agency that could make an impact, like they did with Wonderbra. But repositioning takes a long time. Take Skoda: people are slowly coming round to thinking about Skoda as a quality brand.

Remember, it's fine if you fill the flask with wine, but for God's sake don't put carbonated drinks in a Thermos. The glass might crack.

The agency: TBWA London

Trevor Beattie, creative director

The brief was to drag the image of Thermos kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Thermos has introduced a stainless steel design which is almost unbreakable (Beattie drops the flask on the floor by way of demonstration). All the heritage of Thermos but looks a million dollars.

The flask is not for rainy days but for August, when you're sipping ice-cold white wine in the park.

We're fond of posters at TBWA. The initial reason for choosing them was the budget; we didn't have a lot of money (just pounds 500,000) and 48-sheet posters are one of the best ways of making an impact.

We're putting the execution "Trainspotters of the world unite" in train stations, and "Leave it, Grandad" at motorway service stations. You'll drive away with your pounds 5 cup of coffee and realise that you would have been cooler staying in your car with your Thermos.

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