Golden Wonder backs top brands with £25m

Golden Wonder is throwing £25m into promoting its three main brands this year, including a £750,000 deal for Nik Naks to sponsor the second series of MTV hit The Osbournes.

The investment means Nik Naks, Wheat Crunchies and Golden Wonder Crisps will receive their biggest ever marketing support.

It follows the £300m purchase of the portfolio by The Snack Factory, which concluded last summer.

The Snack Factory has developed a marketing strategy under Kirsty Taylor, who was promoted to marketing director in the autumn (Marketing, August 15). She replaced Paul Boothman who left the company after it was taken over.

Sponsorship is to play a key part in positioning the brands against high spending rival Walkers, which snapped up the Wotsits brand for £150m from the former incarnation of Golden Wonder last year.

Walkers has used TV sponsorship heavily to promote its leading snack brand Doritos.

Nik Nak's deal to sponsor The Osbournes begins in February and will run for six months. It follows the success of the first series, which Nik Naks is believed to have paid £500,000 to support.

The tie-up this time includes on-air advertising, interactive TV, promotional and PR support. It also involves heavy online activity with 360,000 consumers expected to log on to MTV's The Osbournes microsite when the next series is aired.

"Awareness of Nik Naks is rising rapidly among its consumer base. The Osbournes sponsorship is prompting more people to buy the brand more frequently," said Taylor.

The deal was brokered by Viacom (which owns MTV) and Golden Wonder media agency Starcom Motive.

Golden Wonder is focusing on its best-performing brands after deciding to scrap its fledgling Duets snack and dip combo last year. However, it continues to support Goalden Balls and the Quite Strong crisps range which were launched at the same time.

The first series of The Osbournes - featuring the offbeat family of former Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy Osbourne - was the docusoap hit of 2002. It was also the highest rated show ever screened on MTV in the UK.

- Analysis, page 14.

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