As part of my MRes coursework, I recently visited the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, located in a cobbled mews in the heart of Notting Hill.
The museum was established by Robert Opie, a compulsive collector whose fascination with everyday things began on a railway station platform. He was eating a packet of Munchies and rather than throw the packet away, he decided to keep it and preserve the history of the chocolate snack. This is the secret of the museum’s success. Packaging constantly changes but products rarely do, so each brand carries an emotional continuity that tugs on your personal experiences.
The days of mass media advertising are over. Any single ad, commercial or promotion is not a summary of our strategy. We don’t need one bid execution of an idea. We need one big idea that can be used in a multidimensional, multi-layered and multifaceted way.’ (Larry Light, 2004).
Marmite is a perfect example of such concept.
Since it launched in 1902 , Marmite has been adept at adapting itself, tapping into prevailing cultural trends with impressive alacrity. Until the 1970s the brand positioned itself as a nutritious food for children, even utilising a Marmite sales force to target health professionals in a similar manner to today’s pharmaceutical reps.
The brand focus then shifted to Marmite as a family favourite, before embracing the memorable ’My Mate’ tagline of the 80s. But Marmite’s most genius marketing move yet may well be its most recent “Love It or Hate It” campaign, devised in the 1990s when a creative team had a difference of opinion over whether the spread was gross or great. And with Digital Technologies, the ‘Love it, Hate it’ concept is a fantastic online ice-breaker.
The question is, do you love Marmite’s comms initiatives, or hate them?