If you were asked to name any popcorn brand, the first that comes
to mind is Butterkist. Not because of any particular quality recognition
but simply because it’s the only one people know.
It was this market monopolisation that Louise Cooke, Trebor Bassett’s
marketing controller, concentrated on when she briefed WCRS to create
Butterkist’s new pounds 3.5 million TV campaign (Campaign, last week).
The quirky advertising shows two madcap pranksters playing tricks on the
unsuspecting public, such as replacing a golfer’s ball with an egg so he
smashes it and splashes yolk over himself. ’Butterkist is actually a
very well-known brand,’ Cooke says. ’We wanted to concentrate on brand
awareness rather than convey the quality and taste because people
already know that they like it.’
Butterkist’s only rivals are own-label popcorn and loose popcorn, but
Cooke is adamant most of her buyers consume their purchase at home.
’People see popcorn as something they would buy as well as, rather than
instead of, peanuts and crisps,’ she says.
Cooke started working on the Butterkist brand when it was acquired by
Trebor Bassett’s parent, Cadbury Schweppes, from Craven Keiller in
She joined Cadbury’s in 1986 as a graduate trainee from Loughborough
University where she read business studies. But she hasn’t limited
herself to marketing.
When she joined the Trebor Bassett division six years ago, she worked in
’I always wanted to work in marketing but I wanted to get a feel for
every aspect of the business so I moved from marketing to finance to
logistics,’ Cooke says. Before working in the Trebor Bassett arm, she
worked for the main confectionery division.
Cooke doubts whether anyone would be inspired to recreate the pranks
shown in the ads. ’People have told me that they’ve seen people do the
taxi stunt, where one of the guys gets in one side, walks straight
through and gets out the other side,’ she says. ’We just wanted to
create something really distinctive and get the right mix, which I think