Creative spotlight: July’s standout campaign

Welcome to the first feature in our new creative spotlight series. Each month we’ll be selecting an advertising campaign that’s been making waves in the industry and putting it to the (At)test. By surveying 250 UK consumers* we’ll find out just how the creative has landed.

Brand: Peperami

Campaign: ‘We are animal’

Agency: Atomic London

What the agency says about the ad

“Animal is back and this time he’s brought some mates, ‘Chicken’ and ‘Beef’. Designed to re-position Peperami as a protein snack for a new generation, this epic, tongue-in-cheek 40’ animated TV spot is every bit as irreverent as you would hope from a Peperami ad. The film parodies the painfully earnest ads we see for sports brands everywhere these days. Iconic 80’s film references and locker room nudity are all present and correct. As is the first visual fart in a UK TV commercial.”

Why it’s making waves

Peperami’s Animal character, voiced by Adrian Edmondson, appeared on its advertising for 16 unbroken years until 2009, when Unilever split with its then creative agency Lowe.

Last year Atomic London was appointed to revive the mascot in a seven-figure fully integrated marketing campaign. In this latest advert, Animal is joined by two new friends in a series of action-packed spots, as Peperami seeks to reposition itself as a protein snack for gym buffs on the go.

Pavan Chandra, Brand Head at Peperami, told The Drum: “Our partners at Atomic have done an amazing job in modernising the cult icon that is Animal and bringing his brothers to life. It’s exactly what the brand is about – fun and humour that appeals to our core audiences of blokes and mums.”

With this new campaign, Peparami has deployed a deliberate strategy to move the Animal character away from his roots as a disruptive, anarchic proponent of 90s lad culture, towards a more grown-up persona. It’s hoped this will attract original fans of the brand who’ve matured, as well as the new generation of consumers, Gen Z, who tend to be more health-conscious. 

“We pitched him as the friend in the group who encourages you to get stuck into life, rather than the one that’s making the innuendo gags,” says Atomic London Creative Partner, Guy Bradbury.

But will the general public like Animal’s sporty makeover and his motivational messaging? Let’s find out… 

Who liked this advert the most?

Animal was a staple of Perpami adverts during the 90s, meaning it’s the Millennials (now aged 25-39) who grew up with him. However, the demographic showing the most love for this advert is Gen X (aged 40-54), who would have been in their 20s in Animal’s heyday. A massive 78% rated the ad four or five stars out of five, and one assumes nostalgia must play a part.

One respondent said: “It contains the daft humour that I remember from the original ads with their mascot, so was oddly nostalgic.”

Millennials also liked the new advert, with 60% giving it four or five stars, versus 55% of Boomers (55-64). Despite the campaign being designed for a new generation of Peperami eaters, it scored least well with the youngest demographic – 53% of Gen Z (18-24) gave it four or five stars. 

Overall, though, the advert scored well, with just under 65% of consumers rating it four or five stars out of five.

How many stars would you give this advert out of 5? (with 5 meaning you like it a lot and 1 meaning you really dislike it)

What did consumers think?

The overwhelming sentiment for Peperami’s new advert is that it’s funny, with 68.5% picking this word to describe it. People also thought it was clever (38.7%) and unique (37.9%), with very few people selecting negative words. 

Most likely to be giggling while watching is Gen X (73.5%). Despite giving the ad a lower star rating than the other demographics, Gen Z is also amused (73%). The eldest demographic was the least tickled by the rather silly humour (53.2%).

Which of the following words would you use to describe this advert?

What did you like most about this advert?

What did you least like about this advert?

Does the ad get people talking?

More than half of people who watch Peperami’s new ad (55.6%) think they will talk about it with their friends. Women show a little more intent to start a conversation than men, with 57.8% likely or very likely to discuss the ad versus 53.3% of men.

Most likely to talk turkey (well pork, beef or chicken actually) are the Millennials (61%), followed by Gen X (59%).

How likely are you to share or discuss this advert with your friends?

Are people more likely to buy after watching the advert?

The advert seems to have done a good job with 59% of consumers either slightly or much more likely to buy Peperami after watching it, and very few people put off by the new campaign. But which demographic did it have the most influence on? The answer is Gen X – nearly 64% say they’re now more likely to buy.

Millennials, also having been reminded of the snack of their youth, are 58.5% more likely to buy, while Peperami newcomers Gen Z are 63% more likely to buy. Boomers are not so motivated by the ad; however, 44.7% still show purchase intent. 

Looking at the impact of the advert on men versus women, it’s the ladies who are more incentivised to try the product – 60% versus 56.6%.

After seeing this advert are you more or less likely to buy Peperami products?

The takeaway

Atomic London appears to have pulled off exactly what it intended with this funny, action-packed ad. Peperami wanted to appeal to “blokes and mums” and, as the stats show, that’s just what this creative has done. 

While the advert’s themes might seem masculine, it hits home with both genders (women actually showed a slightly better response). Atomic London has also succeeded in tapping into nostalgia to bring former customers back to the brand without alienating younger consumers. 

Gen Z might not feel quite as excited about the ad as their older counterparts, but their high purchase intent tells us Animal is still a great mascot for turning consumers into Peperami snackers.  

*Survey to a nationally representative sample of 250 working age UK consumers

Want to see what consumers think of your ad campaign? Check out our complete guide to creative testing or call us to get started.

Bel Booker

Senior Content Writer 

Bel has a background in newspaper and magazine journalism but loves to geek-out with Attest consumer data to write in-depth reports. Inherently nosy, she's endlessly excited to pose questions to Attest's audience of 125 million global consumers. She also likes cake.

See all articles by Bel