McVitie's could expand Cuddle Café concept

Sarah Heynen, marketing director at McVitie's, has revealed to Event the brand may look to expand its Cuddle Café experience should it resonate with London consumers.

McVitie's new cuddly toys up for grabs as part of latest campaign
McVitie's new cuddly toys up for grabs as part of latest campaign

At the press launch last night (10 February) in London, at 52 Tottenham Street, Heynen told Event: "It's the first time we've done anything like this. We have such a clear strategy now, and we're executing it for the long term. Now it's about working out what the most powerful touchpoints are for us, and if the Cuddle Café is something that resonates with consumers it's something we may well repeat it through different locations at various times of the year.

"It's a great way of bringing the brand experience alive in a way that's modern and keeps you in touch with the brand's feelings. What we're trying to do with McVitie's is evoke the feeling that you get when you eat a McVitie's biscuit, so we're trying to tap into that with all consumer touchpoints."

The two-day Cuddle Café, which McVitie's has worked with agency 3 Monkeys on, will give consumers the chance to drink tea and eat the brand's biscuits for free in exchange for a hug with a giant interactive BN brand owl installation. The agency told Event it is looking to get 500 hugs as part of the experience.

Heynen explained while the brand is unsure of whether it will pursue any other live experience formats at present, McVitie's will look to learn from this activation in order to potentially extend it in the future, possibly in a roadshow format.

McVitie's decided to create the pop-up following research with 1,000 consumers, which revealed that nearly three-quarters of Brits would like more cuddles in their life. The brand has been working with Dr Stuart Farrimond, who has researched the emotional and health benefits of hugging.

Furnishings, tea, cake, biscuits and cute images inside the McVitie’s Cuddle Café have been designed to maximise visitors’ happiness levels as a result.

The activity ties in with McVitie's' £3m promotional campaign, in which consumers will have a one in ten chance of winning a 'sweeet friends' cuddly toy, including the Chocolate Digestives kitten, the Digestives puppy, the BN owl and the Jaffa Cakes tarsier. The on-pack promotion will be present on 35 million packs across nine biscuit and cake products including Jaffa Cakes, Chocolate Digestives and Hobnobs.

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