New McVitie’s campaign aims for the heart

McVitie’s, the Pladis-owned biscuit Masterbrand, is back on UK TV from Friday, March 9th, with “Sweeter Together,” a new £9.7 million integrated campaign including cinema, instore activation, social media and mobile, that plays on our heartstrings.

‘Crane’ and ‘Brows,’ the two commercials in the campaign, send a clear message to mobile-obsessed millennials and the rest of us as well – put down your phone and get communicating, reach out to someone today by sharing McVitie’s biscuits with them.

The first advert, ‘Crane’ goes on air at 7.50am on ITV, during Good Morning Britain and will continue throughout the year. See it here:

‘Crane’ is an animated advert, featuring a tower crane driver who feels lonely and isolated in his cabin in the sky, with only birds for company, until his workmates down on the ground send up a tray of McVitie’s biscuits and a mug of tea to make him feel part of the team again. In the ‘Making of’ video, the animators reveal they were thinking specifically of Manchester, but it could jas easily be London or any other big city where cranes and building work dominate the landscape.

The second advert, ‘Brows,’ which will air later in the year, is for Jaffa Cakes. A new girl arrives for her first day’s work in a huge, grey, unwelcoming office and meets her older male boss, who is unsmiling and has monster bushy eyebrows. The new girl hates being there until her female colleague appears, holding Jaffa Cakes to her head, imitating their horrid boss’s brows. They bond immediately and the new girl cheers up.

In the words of Sarah Heynen, Vice President of Marketing for the UK and Ireland at McVitie’s parent company Pladis, Britain eats more biscuits than any other country in the world, with 6.5 billion biscuit eating occasions per year, twice the figure for our consumption of chocolate confectionery. So what better focus for a sharing message than McVitie’s biscuits?

McVitie’s is a brand with a long heritage, which generations of consumers have a deep affection for, but the ongoing challenge is keeping it modern and relevant for today’s generation. Four years ago Pladis launched a new Masterbrand strategy for McVitie’s, ‘Awake the sleeping giant.’ Sarah Heynen explains: “We wanted McVitie’s to be loved. Biscuits are utterly trivial but at the same time they are immensely powerful in our lives. Imagine a world without biscuits.”

Hence in 2014 the McVitie’s “Sweeet” campaign communicated how McVitie’s biscuits make us feel, with cute animals appearing alongside packs of McVitie’s popular brands. But after three years it was time to think again.

Sarah Heynen says: “The new “Sweeter Together” campaign is an exciting new chapter, taking all we have done so far and elevating it. We’re talking now about the role McVitie’s biscuits can play in today’s society. It’s about sharing, rather than ‘Me.’ Sharing biscuits has the power to bring people together. We are digitally more connected than ever, with more virtual friends than ever before, but our real human company is dwindling and there are growing concerns about how lonely and isolated we feel. The McVitie’s brand can play a powerful and credible role in today’s society, bringing us closer together through the everyday gesture of sharing a biscuit. Sometimes the really little things turn out to be really big things, and McVitie’s biscuits can mean a lot.”

The two commercials send the strong message “Life is better when shared.“ They are set to get McVitie’s talked about again and make them more relevant than ever to today’s consumers. And who knows, they could even make consumers start longing for a McVitie’s biscuit whenever they see a tower crane or an office block.

As part of the launch, a major in-store promotion will be running across all McVitie’s Biscuits. Consumers will have the opportunity to win prizes including dream family holidays, weekend breaks and family days out. To enter, shoppers must buy any packet of McVitie’s biscuits and text ‘SWEETERTOGETHER’ to 66644 to find out if they have won.

The campaign has also been extended to convenience retailers for a chance to win £1000.  First retailers can request a Win Big Together POS kit from They must then build a high-impact display that makes buying easy for shoppers and send images of the display back with a chance to win. In wholesale depots, the campaign will be executed through high impact displays and point of sale driven by the Field Sales team at pladis.