Arla is to launch a major campaign for Cravendale centred on new Disney movie The Muppets in a bid to “take the fight away from price” in the retail milk war and increase volume sales by 20%.

A 20-second TV ad will debut on 6 February, featuring Kermit the Frog and Pepe the King Prawn, and there will be an on-pack giveaway of 250,000 Kermit the Frog rucksacks. The campaign will also include digital and social media activity, kicking off in mid-January, and tailored in-store activity.

Price promotions alone could not convince shoppers to buy into Cravendale because Cravendale’s promotional mechanic did not offer as deep a discount as standard fresh milk, said Sam Dolan, Cravendale senior brand manager at Arla Foods, adding that Cravendale had to be more creative in driving penetration.

“This activity is a fantastic value-adding opportunity as it will appeal to Muppets fans who may not have considered Cravendale before, as well as our loyalists.”

The Muppets were the perfect brand ambassadors for Cravendale because they appealed to all generations, Dolan claimed. The Muppets had a “chaotic energy”, which echoed Cravendale’s brand values, she said.

“There’s this madness that people translate into affection.”

The TV ad is set to be filmed in the same kitchen as Cravendale’s Cats With Thumbs TV ad in a bid to make it a “Cravendale ad, not a Muppets ad.”

Arla said it anticipated a 20% redemption rate on the Kermit rucksacks, which will be sent to shoppers free of charge when they collect 20 Cravendale on-pack codes.

It would be “delighted” if it could achieve a 20% uplift in sales volumes over the five-week campaign period - which would equate to approximately three million additional litres or 1.5m extra two-litre bottles - added Dolan.

Cats with Thumbs - the overarching Cravendale brand campaign - will return next summer.