In January The Grocer kicked off a campaign to Bring Back a Brand, as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations.
Our aim was to inspire a viral revival and persuade a manufacturer to bring a once popular but now defunct brand back to life. To launch the campaign we put forward a list of 10 brands that were once household names, with a die-hard following, but for one reason or another had been cast into oblivion. We put these names to a public vote at thegrocer.co.uk, asking readers to select their personal favourite, and also to put forward suggestions of brands we’d overlooked.
An unprecedented number of votes were cast. But we were also blown away by the sheer volume of nominations for products we hadn’t considered. So, we selected the six frontrunners from our original competition, plus the four most commonly selected extra nominations we received (Gino Ginelli, Toffo, Trio and Tab Clear), and have now put together a specially created Facebook page to really get consumer traction behind our campaign.
Working alongside the London office of brand design agency partner Elmwood, we appointed a specialist search and social marketing agency called Brand Engage, part of the Windsor-based Brandwidth Group, to help us devise the social media element of the campaign. The page is now live at facebook.com/bringbackabrand.
As many votes as possible
Now we want your help in spreading the word. In addition to casting your vote for the brand you’d like to bring back (we’re all consumers, after all), we also want you to tweet and ‘like’ our campaign so we can get as many votes as possible.
As an additional incentive to drive consumer participation, there’s a competition element: we’ll be offering daily prizes - Tangerine confectionery has supplied boxes of its newly relaunched Highland Toffee and Wham Bars, while retro sweet manufacturer Hope & Greenwood has donated some of its sweet shop jars - to give away to winner whose name will be drawn at random each day.
The voting function on the Facebook page will be live until mid November, after which we will single out the three brands that attracted the most consumer support to give them further special attention.
Duncan Walters, MD of Brand Engage says “The Bring Back a Brand campaign taps into a current trend for British nostalgia, that has seen social media used by people to lobby multinational companies to resurrect their favourite brands and products. The Grocer’s campaign has been designed by us to spark debate, build engagement and unite the public with a rallying cry that will hopefully Bring Back a Brand we’ve all missed for many years.”
Gino Ginelli (Wall’s)
Gino Ginelli was a range of ice creams popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The best flavour was toffee fudge (pronounced ‘toffee-fooogee’ in the cheesy TV adverts), which had toffee pieces in it. There was also a tutti fruitti flavour and mint choc chip, or ‘minty choccy chip’.
It seems Nestlé just stopped making Toffos. There was no warning. One minute they were there, the next they were gone. These classic wrapped toffees in an eyecatching red pack were always a sweet shop favourite. You knew you’d had a toffee when you’d had a Toffo - so did your teeth.
TRRRIIIIIIIII-O! TRRRIIIIIIII-O! I want a Trio and I want one now! So went the legendary TV advertising jingle for Jacob’s Trio, sang by a loud-mouthed child called Suzie. This chocolate biscuit bar was popular in the 1980s. Then it suddenly disappeared from supermarket shelves.
Tab Clear (Coca-Cola)
Tab Clear, a variation of Tab, was Coca-Cola’s contribution to the short-lived ‘clear cola’ movement in the early 1990s. Unlike most other ‘clear’ sodas, Tab contained caffeine and had a cola flavour. Tab Clear was a strange idea, so few were surprised when it was eventually withdrawn from sale.
In every online forum devoted to the lost brands of yesteryear, you’ll find someone drooling over the memory of Rowntree’s delicious, cherry-centred alternative to Bounty. Is it time to learn from the 1980s and bring back some fake Caribbean cheer - and that catchy TV ad?
There was more to the success of this fizzy soft drink than a great catchphrase (“It’s frothy man”) and an Elvis-impersonating polar bear. Cresta was surprisingly tasty, but was mysteriously withdrawn from sale- too many additives said some. It returned to no great avail in 2002.
Fish’n’Chips biscuits (Burton’s Foods)
Schoolkids in the 1980s just couldn’t get enough of this finger-lickingly tasty snack from Burton’s, even though it didn’t taste like anything you might buy at the local chippie. Now, 30 years on, fans are banding together, drafting petitions to revive Burton’s Fish & Chips biscuits.
So popular in 1950s Britain that consumers used ration cards to buy them, these tubes of translucent, fruit-flavoured sweets fell from favour, then briefly returned to the shelves of Woolworths in the 1990s. In a 2008 poll, Spangles was the brand Britons most wanted to see revived.
Launched in the 1970s, this chocolate-covered toffee/nougat bar was promoted by a cartoon cowboy who barely managed to utter the immortal line: “A man’s gotta chew what a man’s gotta chew.” So chewy they were the ultimate test of British fillings, Texan bars vanished in the mid-1980s.
Wall’s Funny Feet (Unilever)
This trailblazing brand helped revolutionise frozen sweets in the early 1980s. The dollop of foot-shaped strawberry ice cream on a stick tasted great. In grim economic times, could the ersatz cannibalism of chomping on a big toe made of ice cream cheer up British children?