Poor Paddington Bear. He’s not even out in the cinema yet and we’ve already given up on him:
We all laughed at the first stills of Paddington to be released (aka Creepy Paddington) because he looked like he’d walked onto the wrong set. Imagine a bear playing the fisherman with a hook in I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Then Colin Firth ‘consciously uncoupled’ from the project after claiming Paddington “simply doesn’t have my voice”. Probably to do with the fact that Paddington’s a bear and the last time I checked Firth doesn’t growl.
So, needless to say, the film – which is released in November – needs a PR boost. And, what better partnership to drive it forward than Warburtons?
Warburtons, or rather ‘Warbeartons’, Half & Half packaging is set to be refreshed with images of the famous bear, as part of a road show campaign that will bring the ‘best of both’ loaf to families across the country. Stopping in cities, giving kids the chance to make their own marmalade sandwiches, the campaign will also encourage people to upload a picture onto Facebook for the chance to win a holiday. Nice touch.
There’s no doubt this is a well-thought out campaign. But, I think The Copyrights Group – the business which owns the rights to Paddington – could have made some improvements.
Painting Paddington by numbers: Warburton’s hasn’t used the Paddington image from the film poster and, while most people might not notice, it does dampen the brand association. It just doesn’t make sense why the filmmakers would want to hold this image back. Perhaps Warburtons feels the CGI version doesn’t fit in with its family-friendly, nostalgic campaign approach.
In which case, how can it be sure it’s getting everything out of the partnership that it possibly can?
Either way, it’s an issue that’ll need to be ironed out in the run up to launch day. Too many versions of the same character will confuse people and destroy the film’s credibility.
Don’t forget the marmalade: You can’t have a marmalade sandwich without bread – I get that. But, at the same time, it doesn’t exist without marmalade either.
Heck, let’s live a little and get a leading duffle coat company and the Peru Tourism Bureau on board!
Be sociable: To celebrate the partnership, Warburtons has changed its HQ sign and packaging, but has so far avoided updating the logo across its social media profiles. Its #Warbeartons hashtag will soon grow tired, especially if there’s not a strong strategy in place to take the campaign up to the end of the year. A quick logo update is the simplest way for consumers to recognise, understand and appreciate the partnership.
So, there are my thoughts. That’s not to say this is an ‘under par’ campaign. These are just key areas that should be addressed to maximise opportunities for the upcoming film.
What else would you do to ensure Paddington doesn’t go hungry?