Blog: Katy AskewMarmite uses Oxford Street's Christmas lights for online campaign

Katy Askew | 15 October 2012

Marmite, Unilever's "love it or hate it" spread, will be sponsoring the Oxford Street Christmas lights, due to be switched on in a couple of weeks (1 November). 

In a light-hearted interactive media campaign, shoppers will be able to upload photos of themselves pulling "love it" or "hate it" expressions via the Marmite website or a camera to be installed at a Bond Street bus stop. The pictures will then be projected on a screen above Selfridges, while a live stream of the screen will be available online. 

Again demonstrating the importance of social networking to Marmite, the salty spread maker has also developed the "Marmife", a spatula-like implement designed to get Marmite out of those hard to reach places. 

The Marmife was is Unilever's response to feedback on social media sites highlighting the difficulty of getting to the bottom of the jar, the company said. Available from this autumn at Debenhams, the Marmife comes in a gift pack including a 250g jar of Marmite and The Little Book of Marmite Tips. Undoubtedly, Unilever will be hoping that the set will be filling Marmite-lover stockings throughout the UK. 

Over the years, Unilever has invested significantly in building up Marmite's brand equity and the company now claims that the distinctive product is the UK's "favourite spread". However, across the pond the company recently announced that it is "considering options" for another household name - Skippy. 

The news raised some industry eyebrows and again prompted long-running speculation that the firm could, some day, sell-off its food interests to focus entirely on its faster-growing personal care and home business. Skippy is America's second-largest peanut butter brand and the peanut butter category itself is growing ahead of the rest of the US food market. 

For more on the possible Skippy sale, visit our Deal or no deal M&A column here.


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