Bagged snacks brands have rustled up a whopping 47% growth in ad spend over the past year, taking the total spent on traditional ad space to £29.8m [Ebiquity 52 w/e 30 November 2015].

Walkers tops the table, having splashed out £6.7m on advertising. “Throughout 2015 Walkers has kept awareness high amongst shoppers with two engaging consumer campaigns: ‘Lunch’ and ‘Bring it Back’,” says Thomas Barkholt, marketing director at PepsiCo.

The latter saw long-standing brand ambassador Gary Lineker return to screens as he called on the nation to vote to bring back an old favourite. The campaign resulted in the reinstatement of Beef & Onion to the Walkers fold.

Walkers was one of a few brands to cut spending in 2015 alongside Hula Hoops and McCoy’s. But Walkers owner PepsiCo has splashed out in other areas. Doritos, for example, saw its ad spend doubled to £5.6m as the brand launched a series of new adverts based on bravery and nerve. This coincided with the release of NPD Doritos Roulette. Sunbites and Market Deli saw ad spend increase, 66.3% and 23.5% respectively, to support the arrival of new products.

Notably, Ritz and Jacobs appear on the list of bagged snacks top advertisers, having launched Crisp & Thin and Cracker Crisps. Jacobs also supported Jacobs Crinklys, a “previous hidden gem”, according to Ted Linehan, director of savoury brands at United Biscuits.

“This year we supported the brand with a £3m media and in-store campaign, including television advertising, which launched in March and this has translated into great in-store performance,” he adds.

Media  CinemaOutdoorPressRadioTV
Brands Spend (£) Y-O-Y % % % % %
Walkers £6.7 -12.6 - - 0.8 0.5 98.7
Pringles £5.9 52.1 - 6.1 0.6 - 93.3
Doritos £5.6 102.8 15.7 - 0.3 - 84.0
Market Deli £2.8 66.3 - - - - 100.0
Ritz £2.0 - 11.3 - 0.4 - 88.3
Sunbites £2.0 23.5 - - 0.5 - 99.5
Jacobs £1.5 - - - 0.3 - 99.7
McCoy’s £1.3 -15.3 - 84.8 - - 15.2
Butterkist £1.2 32,982.0 - - 0.6 - 99.4
Hula Hoops £0.8 -25.6 - - 1.5 - 98.5
TOTAL (Top 10) £29.8 47.0 3.7 5.0 0.5 0.1 90.7

Here’s our pick of the most significant bagged snacks TV ads over the past year:

Walkers – Bring Back A Flavour

Walkers has gone retro for its ‘Bring Back A Flavour’ campaign, enlisting 80s popsters Black Lace to perform Agadoo in an English seafront town. Whether it was the amusing visuals of a giant pineapple being knocked over by a water cannon or the irritating yet catchy hit that did it, the campaign evidently captured people’s imaginations. More than 1.3 million votes were cast, 480,000 of which were for the triumphant Beef & Onion. And, importantly, it helped shift more crisps. Value may have fallen 4.3% but volumes were up 2.7% [IRI 52 w/e 5 December 2015].

Doritos Roulette

A fluffy white rabbit, a wide-eyed koala and an, er, otter (?) stare intently at two millennials. No, this isn’t the latest TV spot by McVitie’s – a closer look reveals the slightly more sinister nature of this ad as the humans are goaded into trying the Doritos Roulette. Can they stand the heat? The ad marked a distinct change in tone for Doritos, which has previously relied on the upbeat mariachi band to shift its tortillas. The move certainly helped spice up sales – a cool £7.2m was added to brand value [IRI] as Roulette became one of the bestselling pieces of NPD in bagged snacks in 2015.

Ritz – Crisp & Thin

Walkers has Agadoo by Black Lace. Mondelez has something rather more glitzy: 30s show tune Putting On The Ritz. The company set the ads to for the launch of Ritz Crisp & Thin to this Fred Astaire classic, splashing out £2m on advertising, with the majority spent on TV. The product is off to a great start thanks in part to the campaign as well as consumers’ increased appetite for baked snacks. It has racked up £4.8m since its launch in April 2015 [IRI].

In association with: