This post was reposted from Ebuzzing Blog.
Marmite is a controversial subject. As soon as the jar emerges from the cupboard it produces an instinctive reaction, delight or disgust. There is no other product on the market (especially among sandwich fillers) that polarizes people to such an extent. It’s almost like warfare with ‘lovers’ on one side and ‘haters’ on the other.
Marmite’s latest viral video ad takes the love/hate relationship to a whole new level as viewers find it either highly entertaining or highly offensive.
For those of you who haven’t seen it the advert shows RSPCA style workers rescuing jars of Marmite from neglect at the back of cupboards (which we all know can happen to Marmite from time to time). They rescue baby Marmites and adult Marmites, taking them to shelters where they wait for a loving family to take them to their new home.
The ad had a huge impact, prompting over 250 complaints to the ASA within 24 hours, with claims that it trivializes the work of animal welfare officers. Marmite took steps to appease the offended parties by donating £18,000 to the RSPCA and released a statement to assure consumers no offense was meant and hoping people would take the ad in the light hearted way it was intended. The controversy around the video meant that it has been viewed, liked and shared thousands of times. It currently has a huge Facebook interaction rate of 12.6%, something the marketing team must be extremely pleased with.
So yes the ad is controversial, but it is also incredibly effective. Marmite has tapped into something they have learnt from their product - although the ad wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea it provoked discussion. Imagine going into the kitchen at work and seeing someone putting jam on their toast, ten to one you don’t bat an eyelid. Now imagine they’re using Marmite. Suddenly people are sharing their opinions, pulling faces and the uninitiated are asking to try (this happened twice in the Ebuzzing kitchen this week). By alienating a few people with the ad, Marmite cleverly ensured it was mentioned on every single marketing blog and most national media sites, leading people to dig their forgotten jars out of the back of the cupboard.
Love it or hate it, with this ad Marmite have ensured no one will forget it.