Publicis takes a witty line in Penguin drive

United Biscuits is giving new advertising support to its Penguin brand to carve out a bigger slice of the fast-growing children's biscuit market.

The human-sized talking penguin, who first featured in ads two years ago, returns to extend its humorous appeal to mothers and to children aged between six and 11.

Publicis has produced the new campaign, which breaks nationally on Monday, as a result of a boosted £3.5 million spend being put behind the brand this year.

In the trio of new ads, written by Rob Janowski and art directed by Keith Courtney, the penguin continues his futile quest for fish. In one film he tries to steal a plastic fish from a fish and chip shop roof. The spots were directed by Mark Denton for Blink.

Starcom Motive is handling media planning and buying for the campaign, which has relied extensively on TV to build its appeal.

United Biscuits sees penguin as having significant potential. Children's brands represent only about 6 per cent of the total biscuit sector, while children eat 26 per cent of all biscuits. The brand is also regarded as important in helping to persuade children to stay with UB products as they grow older.

UB claims to have halted a sales decline in the 70-year-old brand - famous for its "Pick up a Penguin

strapline - since its relaunch in 2000, and to have boosted sales by 15 per cent in a sector showing a 1.4 per cent decrease.

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