J. Walter Thompson has turned to Aardman Animation for its latest
execution in the long-running, award-winning ‘only Smarties have the
JWT has introduced a hero, Donald, to the plot for the first time in the
The pounds 5 million campaign relaunches Nestle Rowntree’s Smarties
brand with new packaging and a host of activities including sponsorship
of two programmes on the children’s satellite channel, Nickelodeon
(Campaign, 4 August).
In the new, 30-second claymation film, ‘Smartiepants’, Donald has an
adventure where he wakes up in Smartieland hotly pursued through fantasy
landscapes by a flying squadron of Smarties.
A nonsensical voiceover narrates: ‘If Donald’s smart, where’s his
troosers? Is it smart to take an underneath tumble as an apple crumble?
Are you smart enough to know whether a balloon withers or goes pop?’. It
ends with the established line, ‘Only Smarties have the answer.’
The JWT creative director, Jaspar Shelbourne, was uncertain whether
Donald will have a permanent job as the spokesman for Smarties.
‘We don’t know if Donald will feature from now on. We are currently
making one Smarties commercial a year and research will tell us about
his future potential,’ he said.
The campaign was created by the veteran Smarties team, of Mike Moran,
the writer, and Dawn Heuston, the art director. Aardman was commissioned
to make the film following its earlier work for JWT on Polo mints.
‘The perennial task in this campaign is to keep it refreshing and the
sophistication of children is very high,’ Shelbourne said. ‘Aardman’s
work is incredibly detailed. There are little touches that we might not
see until a third or fourth viewing, but children will spot straight
The original Smarties animation campaign was created by Robinson Lambie-
Nairn, the computer graphics group.