Campaign Trail is our analysis of some of the best and worst new creative efforts from the marketing world. View past columns in the archives here.
This holiday season, Pringles looks to show people how a can of its chips can transform even the smallest occasions into a playful celebration. A new "Let's Celebrate" campaign leads with four 10-second videos that put the brand's crisps and iconic tubular packaging front and center.
In one spot, a man mimics eating a Pringle during a game of charades via a video call. He then attempts to spell out each letter of the brand's name, before lying on his belly to form a Pringle shape, at which point his friends catch on. Another video shows a guy proudly displaying a wreath made from Pringles, which his guests soon eat as they step inside.
The creative effort, developed with agency Grey London, is designed to convey a playful and upbeat message of holiday celebration at the tail end of a tough year, while highlighting Pringles' distinct design as it refreshes its packaging for the first time in 20 years.
"We've heroed the brand's unique nature and ownability by making Pringles truly central to all our creative," according to a statement by Grey London. "Our main play point was the physicality of the brand and essentially enabling Pringles to be the driver of the action in all four spots."
A social-first approach
The festive creative was designed to be flexible enough to work across multiple formats, like traditional TV, online video and social media. It also will include stickers for social channels and additional Instagram assets.
Agency Grey London approached the campaign as social-first in terms of both devising the creative concept and production, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. Considering key differences between social channels — and how those distinctions can impact storytelling and branding — Grey London and Pringles could, from the start of the process, construct a campaign that works for various screen orientations and viewer mindsets.
On the thematic front, it's unsurprising that Pringles is taking a lighthearted, playful tone for its latest campaign as it continues in a similar vein seen from the brand over the past couple of years. Recent efforts by the Kellogg brand include a 2020 Super Bowl commercial linked to Adult Swim's animated series "Rick and Morty," along with a special release of pickle-flavored chips. Just before that in November 2019, Pringles introduced a novelty gaming headset that featured a swivel arm to feed crisps into a wearer's mouth. The goofy device was part of a broader effort, developed with Grey New York, that included influencer partnerships and Twitch ads.
The brand's latest campaign centered around celebration comes as many marketers both within and beyond the snacking category are embracing cheerful messages to spark some spirit during an unusual holiday season. Ferrero candy brand Kinder Joy last week released a holiday spot that highlights memorable family moments, while bedding brand Brooklinen created cozy dollhouses to cast some holiday magic at home.
"Now, more than ever, we want to bring our sense of playfulness to consumers and demonstrate that festive celebrations are not just limited to big events. Even small or virtual gatherings can transform into unexpected fun with the Pringles attitude," said Olga Pere, marketing director for Pringles EMEA.
Mr. Pringle gets a 'glow up'
The holiday campaign arrives as the snack brand refreshes its packaging for the first time in 20 years, introducing a streamlined look that emphasizes the "stackability" of its crisps and a simpler design for mascot Mr. Pringle. A partnership with former NFL player and TV personality Victor Cruz includes a social media contest promoting the mascot's "glow up" — a social media term for when someone improves their appearance. The brand refresh is Kellogg's latest move to ramp up its marketing to sustain a pandemic-driven sales boost that has strengthened the entire snacking category.
Pringles joins other brands in the food and beverage space that have recently undergone a packaging refresh to focus on simplicity and streamlined visuals. The Kellogg brand now looks to emphasize a cleaner aesthetic and bold hues that make its tubes stand out on store shelves. Switching up packaging is one way to spark renewed interest in consumers who are already familiar with a brand. Tecate, Heinz and J.M. Smucker are among the other CPGs that have tweaked their packaging this year.