JWT updates strategy for Nestle's After Eight

J. Walter Thompson has dusted off Nestle's After Eight brand with a new advertising campaign designed to show younger consumers the chocolates' diversity and how they can be eaten anywhere.

The TV and press campaign, which ditches its upper class dinner party connotations, marks the brand's first change in strategy for 40 years.

It moves After Eight away from associations with the past using the strapline "Anything goes", and heralds the launch of new concertina-shaped packaging, a new logo and a new marketing strategy.

The push also cements Nestle's strategy to continue focusing on ten core brands, of which After Eight is one, as it looks to increase its 19 per cent share of the UK confectionery market. After Eight has also moved into cakes, biscuits, ice-cream and Easter eggs in a bid to extend beyond its traditional Christmas season.

Media planning and buying for the campaign is being handled through MindShare, and two 20-second ads will break on 14 October, running for two weeks in the build-up to the key Christmas selling period, which accounts for 70 per cent of annual sales. The press ad will run in women's lifestyle titles.

MindShare's managing partner, Nick Ashley, said: "After Eight's traditional consumers are getting older and older, and the brand needed to be revamped to appeal to younger consumers. The task of re-educating them in time for Christmas is one for which TV is best suited."

He added that the "blockbuster" format of previous ads was ditched in favour of a more contemporary approach, using more, and shorter, executions during a campaign to maximise exposure and create interest.

Both the ads aim to show how After Eights fit seamlessly into an evening at home and how anything can happen once a packet has been opened. The first spot, "bout", shows two men arm-wrestling, only to be told off by their girlfriends.

The shot cuts to a pack of the chocolates - which now reads After Ten - and in the background, the chaps are wrestling in loincloths with the ladies cheering them on.

"Boing" shows a family bemoaning the weather the night before a party, complaining that the bouncy castle outside will be unusable. The pack then reads After Eleven-Fifty, and shows the inflatable has been dragged inside with hilarious consequences.

Two further 30-second spots, "balloons" and "striptease", will be aired later in October and November. The ads were written by Bruce Menzie, art directed by Simon Brotherson and directed by Hank Perlman at Hungry Man.

Nestle's category marketing director, Gillian Ross, said: "This campaign is the culmination of Nestle and JWT working together on the brand repositioning."

The last TV campaign from JWT, launched in 1999, was "ultimate dinner party", which showed past and present celebrities sharing an opulent meal and some After Eights.