Butterkist aims to tie brand to TV viewing

A cartoon family of TV addicts has been devised to promote Butterkist popcorn in what is claimed to be a unique arrangement between a national newspaper and an advertiser.

The Daily Mirror is creating a series of ad sites within its TV listings columns to carry the cartoons, which aim to make eating Butterkist synonymous with watching TV.

The £2 million relaunch of the Trebor Bassett brand, which is being orchestrated by Michaelides & Bednash and Carat, is spearheaded by the Butterkists.

The family will appear in a series of ten drawings showing them watching their favourite TV programme while eating Butterkist popcorn.

The aim of the initiative is to extend popcorn's popularity beyond cinemas.

At present, just 3 per cent of TV viewers eat popcorn compared with 30 per cent of cinemagoers.

M&B commissioned Idle Industries, a collective of creatives from the entertainment sector, to create the Butterkists. The family's life revolves around TV, they shout the gameshow answers and know all the catchphrases.

The cartoons will appear on the same day as the screenings of a number of major series, including Pop Rivals, The Osbournes, Graham Norton and Blind Date, and will feature the characters interacting with the programmes. All the ads will carry the line: "Watch TV. Eat Butterkist."

Adrian Precious, Butterkist's marketing controller, said: "Grabbing people's attention in the competitive snack market demands creative thinking in everything we do. We may not be able to outspend the competition but this campaign shows we can certainly outsmart them."