Walkers drops Christmas TV campaign for social media ad with LadBaby

There are cameos from Aled Jones, Carol Smillie, East 17's Tony Mortimer and Gary Lineker.

Walkers has snubbed a TV Christmas campaign this year in favour of a social media ad that aims to help fight food poverty.

"A sausage CaRoll", created by Elvis, promotes Walkers' sausage roll-flavoured crisps and stars YouTube star LadBaby with cameos from Aled Jones, Carol Smillie, East 17's Tony Mortimer and Gary Lineker. Walkers will donate 5p from every pack sold to The Trussell Trust.

The two-minute film shows LadBaby visiting different homes to sing carols. Along the way, he is joined by various celebrities, until he reaches the door of Lineker, who wears a "Bah humbug" jumper and, of course, steals some crisps. 

There are also nods to popular East 17 Christmas song Stay Another Day and a scene from Love Actually.

The work will run across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and radio. Walkers has also created a sausage roll emoji for Twitter.

It was created by James Hudson and Rob Griffiths, and directed by Mike Baldwin through Craft Films. Media planning and buying was handled by OMD.

Fernando Kahane, senior marketing director at Walkers, told Campaign: "For the first time in recent years, our Christmas campaign will not air on TV, instead debuting on online-video sharing platform YouTube.

"We felt that the usual 20- to 30-second TV format wasn't going to be the best way for us to communicate all our key messages; the new limited edition flavour, the LadBaby partnership and support for the Trussell Trust.

"Instead we opted for a 'mini-Christmas film' approach, allowing us to communicate those messages in a fun and engaging way, and without compromising the creative vision.

"For us, LadBaby represents the fabric of the nation, and his profile has been built in social media. So it felt like a natural fit to use social as our lead channel this Christmas to celebrate our nation's great spirit in a way that felt more authentic and genuine."

In 2019, Walkers' Christmas ad featured Mariah Carey and was created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. 

The brand is not the first to decide not to run activity on TV this year. Last week, Campaign broke the news about Marks & Spencer not running TV work for its clothing and home division.

In 2018, Walkers ran a spot around its Christmas special-edition crisps, which included a Brussels sprout variety. 

Earlier this year, Walkers moved its above-the-line account from AMV BBDO to VCCP. 

Gurjit Degun

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