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Why Peperami is seeking fame away from its iconic mascot Animal

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By Amy Houston | Reporter

August 24, 2022 | 6 min read

Snack brand Peperami is shaking up its marketing strategy. After its recent foray into weddings made headlines, The Drum catches up with the brand and its agency to get a taste of what’s to come.

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Would you have a Peperami themed wedding? / Forever beta

A new tagline (‘Going a bit Peperami’) and a goal of ‘breaking traditions’ are behind a marketing refresh at 43-year-old meat snack brand Peperami, which has tasked Forever Beta with helping it reach a new generation of consumers.

First up, the ad agency has been trying to convince engaged couples to let Peperami coordinate their big day. Explaining this focus on weddings, Forever Beta’s Paulo Areas says the thinking went something like: “What can we disrupt to show that there are moments where it’s nice to break away from traditional convention?”

The chief creative officer continues: “We wanted to highlight those moments where people break away from the status quo by being spontaneous, being natural and being themselves. And what better way of making a brand relevant to people’s lives than being part of their wedding?”

After a call out for couples online, responses came in thick and fast, but it was husband- and wife-to-be Luke Hindmarc and Francesca Brooke-Fenton who were the chosen ones. To pork up the festivities, the bride walked down the aisle in a custom Peperami-green gown, the dinner was Peperami-inspired, and even the cake and ‘flower’ bouquet were on-brand.

“It was all about fame and bringing Peperami to the front of consumers’ minds,” says Pav Chandra, the brand’s head of marketing. “Because of our tonality, we’re allowed to take the mickey out of anything we want because of the way the brand is and the way it’s viewed by consumers. For us, it was very much setting the task for Forever Beta to create a space and reconnect the brand with consumers and bring it to the front of their minds.”

Peperami has long been a brand that doesn’t shy away from in-your-face marketing. At the heart of its campaigns has long been the wild and uncontrollable mascot named Animal, but does this new era mark the first steps in moving away from the cartoon meaty snack?

“Animal is still very important to the brand, symbolizing Peperami in a real way, and people instantly recognize him,” explains Chandra. The challenge, though, is that he is “still known for his anarchic ways and being a bit wild,“ he says. “That’s not as relevant today to young adults. We are going to use Animal selectively as an endorser.”

Those selective channels include social media. “People love talking to him. In places like social we don’t need to change it, but in other forms of media it’s much more important to bring in the human aspect.”

Digital channels are where the brand will prioritize its marketing spend in the coming year, says Chandra, to make sure that “every penny spent goes as far as possible” as the UK enters a recession and as research from Kantar suggests consumers are turning from branded goods, such as Peperami, to supermarket own-labels.

On the future, both Areas and Chandra are tight-lipped on further activations, but make it known that this is the first of many. Areas jokes that the next Peperami campaign might even be a divorce (he’s 100% kidding of course). “We want people to use the ‘Going a bit Peperami’ phrase as an expression,” he concludes. “We want to bring a smile to people’s faces.”

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