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