Guerillascope is an independent full-service media agency that specialises in delivering cost-effective, flexible strategies for startups and established brands alike.

London, United Kingdom
Founded: 2001
Staff: 17


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Swizzels sweet on TV advertising

by Stuart Bryan

Swizzels, the confectionary giant behind much-loved treats such as Drumsticks, Love Hearts, Parma Violets and Squashies, appointed Guerillascope as its TV buying partner in 2020.

The media agency was tasked with achieving two objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the brand's new Great British Puds range
  • Drive sales.


Before developing a media plan, Guerillascope conducted research on the sweet market that highlighted a particular hunger for nostalgic treats.

Products such as Parma Violets, Refreshers and Sherbert Fountains had made a come-back, feeding into a growing consumer shift in focus from possession to experience. Our studies shone a light on the “kidulting” trend, wherein adults actively seek experiences that enable them to relive their childhood.

Another piece of insight that piqued interest was the “Big Night In”. With more adults opting to stay home and treat themselves instead of going out, categories such as confectionary began benefiting. This intensified with the commencement of a nationwide lockdown, with pubs and restaurants closing but supermarkets and convenience stores remaining open – both of which are sales streams for the brand.

However, consumers were also increasingly health conscious, and although our research showed that there was no appetite for giving up sweets completely, people were seeking health- positioned confectionery that tastes good at the same time. With the Great British Puds being vegan and suitable for vegetarians, we felt the product had every ingredient required for an ambitious awareness campaign that would generate results.

The idea

To inform our approach to the planning process, we used bespoke social profiling tools developed by our partners, Fifty. This allowed us to pinpoint which types of social media users engaged most actively with the Swizzels brand online.

Led in part by these audience profiles and in part by the developing situation with COVID-19, we set about devising a media strategy that would enable Swizzels to build on the trade press and social activity already implemented, and reach a higher proportionate of stuck-at-home adults.

It didn’t take long for TV to enter the equation. With seasonally lower rates, a lockdown-driven surge in TV viewing and the onset of the summer holidays, July and August were pinpointed as a great opportunity to achieve mass reach across the brand’s core customer-base, parents with children.


With seasonally lower rates, a lockdown-driven surge in TV viewing and the onset of the summer holidays, July and August were pinpointed as a great opportunity to achieve mass reach across the brand’s core customer-base, parents with children.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on a slowed TV market, we were able to negotiate the client’s costs down even further.While securing an over-delivery of 20%.

Once signed-off, 30- and 10-second ads were deployed on the likes of Channel 4, ITV Breakfast, Channel 5 and Sky 1, as well as All4, Sky On Demand and STV VOD.

The longer time-length would serve as a introduction to the range, with the 10-second variant delivering added frequency and recency to drive awareness.

Flexibility was key to the campaign’s success. On one occasion, we were able to secure a last-minute, first-in-break spot on ITV1’s peak time hit, Inside Britain’s Food Factories – a programme the brand also featured in. This spot was turned around in just one working day.

To boost engagement and relevancy, we also administered a particular focus on buying spots within shows such as Good Morning Britain, Sunday Brunch and First Dates.


"We were delighted with how the launch strategy for our Great British Puds went - we have enjoyed exploring the media opportunities with Guerillascope and putting together a strong integrated plan to really engage with our consumers and drive sales. The nationwide TV campaign also helped to secure strong national distribution. We’re really looking forward to building on this strategy with the Guerillascope team."

~Sarah-Louise Heslop, Marketing Manager, Swizzels

  • By its conclusion, the campaign had reached 41% of adults in the UK, with an average frequency of 3.2x.
  • VOD activity delivered a further 1.85 million impressions.
  • This translated into an in-store sales uplift of 79% during the campaign’s run, and a 53% increase post-campaign.
  • Meanwhile, online sales rose by 222%.
  • The campaign helped to secure strong nationwide distribution.


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