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An extract from our latest Word On The Street newsletter…..

Marmite – the spread that the nation has grown to either love or loathe.  In recent years, we have seen Marmite truly embrace its unique identity and create mind-blowing products that continue to divide public opinion.  However, Marmite have decided to muscle their way into the pubs with their latest collaboration by teaming up with Camden Town Brewery to produce a limited-edition ale.  The limited- edition ale blends together smoked Rauch malt, pilsner, Munich and Perle hops from Camden Town Brewery’s famous Hells Lager with the addition of Marmite as the final, but arguably the most vital ingredient.  Will you be rushing to try it?

The immediate reaction on social media was divided.  Within quick precession, the public either loved it or hated it, just as the marketing team at Unilever would have predicted.  With the original video post on Camden Town Brewery’s Facebook page experiencing an increase of 238% in overall views, it’s clear that the collaboration has got people talking – a key reason why collaborations are often made.

However, brand collaborations have not always guaranteed a desirable outcome and often leave a sour taste in the mouths of consumers.  An example of this has to be the collaboration between KFC and Crocs back in 2020; in an attempt to capitalise on the unique reputations of both brands, the shoe manufacturer decided to join forces with good old Colonel Sanders and disrupt the fashion scene.

Though the collaboration sold out in quick succession, the purists of the fashion world questioned whether this was right for the industry, believing that it would create a trend of other major corporations trying to do similar projects.  Needless to say, Crocs were not deterred by this and have continued to collaborate with a variety of celebrities and brands following the success of the KFC collab, with US dressing giant Hidden Valley producing a special ‘Ranch Dressing’ product.

The question we will leave on your lips, just like the bitter taste of Marmite, is this – has this collaboration achieved what it has originally intended?  Ultimately, both brands have increased exposure across different markets and created a storm that hopefully will translate to a profit for Camden Town Brewery.  Not only does collaborating with the right brand increase another brand’s credibility, but it also places a brand into that brand’s audience and brings new customers to the plate.  Who knows if this is the start of a long-term collaboration between Unilever and Camden Town, but it’s highlighted why we should all at least consider brand extension.

Mitch Thorngate, Media Planner/Buyer