VCCP’s senior planner Alex Scott-Malden and ECD Ross Neil speak to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about the brand new Walkers campaign that captures things from a different perspective
Whether you lick ‘em, pick ‘em or crunch ‘em, crisps have been around since 1817 and Britons have embraced them since their commercialisation in the 20th century. Perhaps the most well-known UK brand, Walkers, has now collaborated with advertising agency VCCP to celebrate all the quirky ways we eat crisps.
In this latest ‘Britian’s Most Loved Crisps’ campaign, the brand has showcased its ‘all star’ crisps and wide snack portfolio in an effort to remind consumers that though there was a momentary shortage, they’re back and still the nation’s number one. With Madness' 'It Must Be Love' as the soundtrack of the campaign, the unique ‘bag-cam’ perspective and a whole host of crisp eating methods, the spot is a light-hearted reminder of the British staple.
To talk through the conceptualisation and execution of the campaign, VCCP’s senior planner, Alex Scott-Malden and ECD, Ross Neil speak to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about behind-the-scenes ongoings.
LBB> ‘Britain's Most Loved Crisps’ were missing for a while due to shortages. Can you tell us why this was the starting point for the campaign and how you landed on the concept?
Alex> Walkers’ faced some IT issues which meant people going to their local shops were unable to find some of their favourite crisps. However, Walkers is all about looking on the bright side of whatever life throws your way. So, instead of focusing on the negative, we chose to celebrate the return of Britain’s most loved crips. Because, sometimes, you only really know how much you love something when it’s gone!
LBB> There are a wide variety of crisps on display, how did you decide on the specific flavours and types of crisp to use? And did any of them not make the cut?
Alex> We worked with Walkers to establish our all-star lineup of crisps, focusing in on the nation's favourite flavours as well as making sure we showcase the great range that Walkers has to offer
LBB> The camera angle is unique and offers us a perspective we’d never ordinarily see. Were there any challenges to using this angle and how did you overcome them?
Ross> The camera became known lovingly as ‘bag-cam’. It was a very particular set up, fixing the bag, making sure there wasn’t too much light bleed, making sure we had enough room to angle the bag and enough slack for cables. It was a challenge to keep the lens clear from crumbs and fingerprints and because our set was essentially a micro diorama, the slightest expression from the cast became huge on screen, so it really was a shoot with multiple takes.
LBB> You’ve captured so many ways of enjoying crisps in this ad, talk us through the research that informed you on the ways in which crisps are enjoyed, savoured and devoured?
Alex> Walkers are always researching and collecting the wonderful (and weird!) ways people enjoy their crisps. The ad taps into those idiosyncratic behaviours that have surfaced through social channels such as Reddit and Twitter as well as active consumer research.
LBB> The campaign has a very lighthearted feel, how did you decide on the tone and how did you create it?
Ross> Eating crisps is one of life's little pleasures right? We wanted to remind consumers that opening the bag, finding the biggest crisp and then tipping out the crumbs at the end is still one of the best treats around. So we couldn’t go too heavy with it. It's a fun way of showing something that's fun to do.
LBB> Of course, the soundtrack to the campaign is significant in conveying the message. How did you land on Madness’ ‘It Must Be Love’ and were there any other options?
Ross> We needed something that played into that love of the consumption moment. We found that most love songs are quite slow and just didn’t fit the upbeat tempo of the film. But Madness’s take on a love song was just right; upbeat, celebratory and it feels like it belongs to an important part of British culture. Just like Walkers.
LBB> We’d love to know what your favourite Walkers crisps are?
Alex> Ready Salted, can’t beat the original.
Ross> Beef Monster Munch, please.Thanks.
LBB> What’s the most out-there reaction to the campaign that you’ve seen so far?
Alex> During the production of the campaign, it was definitely people paying £10 a bag on eBay at the height of the shortage!
Ross> Definitely the reaction to the lady licking the crisp.
LBB> Is there anything else you’d like to share about the behind the scenes process?
Ross> Perfecting the optimum amount of Wotsit dust on the fingers is an art form.
The mechanics of tipping! You have to funnel the bag before tipping or risk a face full of crumbs.
It's amazing how many lights you need to light the inside of a crisp packet.