CLIENT OF THE WEEK: Marmite’s marketer gets real - Ian Colvin thinks Marmite does not require the hard sell, Jade Garrett discovers

By JADE GARRETT, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 14 November 1997 12:00AM

Ian Colvin, Marmite’s senior brand manager, abandons the hard sales pitch, preferring to describe his product as ’a black yeast spread in a funny-shaped jar’.

Ian Colvin, Marmite’s senior brand manager, abandons the hard sales

pitch, preferring to describe his product as ’a black yeast spread in a

funny-shaped jar’.



This realistic approach is the key to Marmite’s latest TV spot,

’promotion’, by BMP DDB, which continues the ’love it or hate it’ theme

of the agency’s previous work for the brand (Campaign, last week).



Not happy with the recall rates of last year’s two separate ’my mate

Marmite’ and ’I hate Marmite’ ads, consumers’ pro and anti feelings have

now been combined in one ad. The spot depicts shoppers’ reactions to

being offered free samples of Marmite on toast. Some greedy fans grab

handfuls, while others screw up their faces and run away,

unimpressed.



It’s a brave client who admits in his advertising that consumers might

not like his product, but Colvin insists the ad isn’t controversial just

for the sake of it. He believes it reflects a truth discovered not just

through market research but also by the two creatives working on the

campaign. He believes the result is a very clear positioning of Marmite

’It’s about as British as fish and chips and more so than the Royal

Family,’ he reiterates.



Colvin, 28, has been at CPC, Marmite’s parent company, for a year and

declares himself very happy to be there. Marketing has always been his

preferred career, allowing him to ’combine creativity and figures in an

environment which is never an exact science’.



His marketing apprenticeship was spent at Kraft Jacob Suchard where he

passed three-and-a-half years working on brands such as Angel Delight

and Dream Topping, before moving into the beverage sector with Maxwell

House. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing. After graduating from Aston

university, his first job was as an assistant media planner/buyer with

TMD Carat, an experience he describes as ’a nightmare’.



Colvin unwinds with long-distance swimming and hardcore clubbing;

activities, he assures me, he would never undertake without a breakfast

of toast and Marmite.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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