Walkers' new campaign by VCCP to support 3,000 restaurants with £5 eat out vouchers

The Support Local campaign hopes to pump over £2m back into the hospitality industry.

Support Local: The ad contains a cameo from restauranteur Mr Khan from The Radhuni, Edinburgh
Support Local: The ad contains a cameo from restauranteur Mr Khan from The Radhuni, Edinburgh

Walkers is celebrating the launch of its Support Local campaign with a TV ad that will air tonight.

Created by Tori Fannon and Jade Sturman at VCCP, it blows the trumpet for the crisp brand’s £5 vouchers, which can be used to eat out at local restaurants.

The TV spot, running at 8.30pm on Friday, features one of the selected restaurant owners as a key cast member - a certain Mr Khan from the Radhuni in Edinburgh. It was directed by Stephen Pipe at Tantrum and produced by Toby Clifton. 

The campaign, which was inspired by the government’s own Eat Out To Help Out scheme, hopes to pump over £2m back into the hospitality industry.

Customers can take advantage of the scheme via packets of the Walkers Local Taste Icons, which direct them online to where they can search for their local restaurant and claim £5 off using a QR code. More than 3,000 local restaurants have been recruited by TLC UK Marketing to take part in the scheme.

The new limited-edition range of crisps, which have been in circulation since the middle of August, include Madras Curry – inspired by The Radhuni, Edinburgh; Thai Green Curry – inspired by Mantra Thai Dining, Newcastle; Fish & Chips – inspired by The Wetherby Whaler; and Chicken Burrito – inspired by Yucca, London.

Fernando Kahane, Walkers senior marketing director at PepsiCo, told Campaign that the brand has been aware of a groundswell in consumers wanting to give back and support their local communities.

He said: “Walkers is a British brand and a brand that is in tune with culture and with what the nation truly desires. Eat Out to Help Out was a great initiative to support local hospitality and benefited thousands of restaurants. We asked ourselves if we could do something similar with the same momentum for local restaurants. Now I hope we are coming out of Covid, but the reality is that we cannot forget that that some of these restaurants are in really challenging situations.”

Kahane revealed that restauranteur Mr Khan, who appears in the advert, actually wept with joy when he learned The Radhuni would feature.

He added: “Local restauranteurs are literally crying out for help and support and we cannot forget them just because we are out of lockdown. Now more than ever we need to support them.”

Mark Orbine, executive creative director at VCCP London, said: “We all have that special local restaurant that seems like our very own secret little place. Only we know that it does the best authentic meal with a special recipe handed down over 20 generations. A lot of these restaurants have worked hard to be there for us over the past year-and-a-half, so now is the time to support and champion these places we love so much. What better way than to encourage the nation with £5 off thousands of local restaurants and showcasing some of their dishes with limited-edition flavours.”

The brand collaborated with Google to develop geo-targeted YouTube bumpers, with regional dialects to engage consumers on a local level, and a guide to support local restaurants in improving their digital presence.

Ant Hill, head of creative works UKI at Google, said: “We are proud to work with Walkers to encourage all 3,000 participating restaurants to add key details such as opening times, photos and menu items to their Google My Business profile. We hope that by giving them the chance to showcase the best of what they have to offer, they can future-proof their businesses. We are excited to see this initiative come to life over the coming weeks.”

The £5 vouchers will continue to be issued until mid-October and will remain useable well into the first quarter of 2022.

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