In 2016, Maltesers set out to bring itself back from declining sales and struggling communications with a new brand platform Look on the Light Side.
An unexpected opportunity in the form of the Superhumans Wanted competition run by Channel 4 opened up a strategic avenue – the fairer representation of disabled people – that we had not previously considered in relation to our platform.
But this opportunity led us to re-evaluate our activity and objectives. Could we solve our business problems by meeting a burning consumer need? So we reframed our objectives to include how we portrayed people in our work, how the wider industry did this, and on the rift between the expectations of the industry and the nation in this way.
For a brand that hadn’t seen sales uplift from a communications campaign in years, this was a pretty ambitious task. Not only were we pinning our business hopes on a new strategic approach, we were also trying to create industry-wide societal change! Luckily, with the right partners and insight to guide us, we found an idea big enough for the task.
By “looking on the light side” of disability, we created an 8.1% uplift in value sales, 19.4% uplift in units sold, and the most viewed YouTube video in Maltesers’ history.
The impact of our work spread as far as the House of Commons, generating much-needed discussion and debate about the role of advertising in representing British people of all shapes and sizes.
But more importantly, it really struck a chord with the British consumer, with many feeling that it profoundly changed their preconceptions of disability – with many disabled people feeling a greater sense of validation and acceptance.
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(Please note: parts of this case study may have been redacted for confidentiality purposes.)