Bagged snack brand Hula Hoops is to welcome back its ordinary bloke' brand ambassador Steve Threlfall as part of a £10m spend this year.
The character formed the backbone of 2002 activity for the core range, starring in spoof ads which parodied the craze for reality TV. The idea behind them was that the brand sponsored Steve without his knowledge, but ended the arrangement when he was filmed eating a rival snack.
From the beginning of next month, new ads kick off with an apology to Steve on the premise that this snack' turned out to be hamster food. Two 10-second executions promoting Steve's compilation Hip Hoop Volume 1 CD and book ­ entitled A Hoopy Old Life ­ will follow.
Ads are scheduled during TV programmes which appeal to the brand's core market of 12 to 24-year-olds.
Other activity includes press advertising and posters as well as instore and web site promotions.
Steve's face will feature on multi and single packs of standard Hula Hoops and Minis, along with point-of-sale material.
It will also be seen on 64g Big Bags as part of the format's relaunch into impulse outlets.
New Barbecue Beef and Salt and Vinegar flavours join the range in a bid to encourage consumers to trade up.
After the relaunch period, packs will revert to the standard design but will feature a big bag' flag.
Owner KP added Shoks and Minis to Hula Hoops portfolio in 2002 and claims that these have helped grow the brand to £80m.
Last year's marketing was not without problems, though. KP had its knuckles rapped by advertising watchdogs for a scary Shoks campaign which showed electric eels emerging from water pipes.