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The Brief

For years, Marmite has been a favourite on grocery store shelves across South Africa. But as time went by people were forgetting their love for the vegetable-based spread. Our brief? Get the delicious spread back onto shopping lists and into South African homes.

when it comes to spreads, a fierce rivalry stands between Marmite fans and those of beefy Bovril.

The Solution

Our creative team saw a strong insight: when it comes to spreads, a fierce rivalry stands between Marmite fans and those of beefy Bovril. So we decided to set two of our top copywriters to work in a Twitter battle of words and wit, to divide and win over South Africa’s spread eaters.

The Creative

On Twitter

Working in teams of three – copywriter, designer and social media guru – we crafted tactically driven jokes, antagonisms and on the spot responses for both sides, in a smear campaign that would spread across the nation. We studied each brand, developed their unique personalities, and as soon as we were ready, Marmite threw the first passive aggressive jab at Bovril via social media.

Every tweet was tightly tied into both brands intrinsic personalities and promises, and when Bovril (whose creative team also sits in our agency) hit back with a few shots of its own, we knew the stage was set. It wasn’t long before fans jumped in, passionately defending their spread of choice.

Our tweets quickly snowballed and almost as soon as #BattleOfTheSpreads trended, celebrities picked their side, journalists spread the skinny, and radio DJs fought it out on air. The campaign culminated in one final challenge between Marmite and Bovril to settle the score once and for all: the spread with the most Twitter fans by the end of a three-day battle would be crowned South Africa’s ultimate spread.

And the spread that came out on top? Marmite, of course, which left someone so unimpressed that Marmite’s Twitter account was hacked on April Fool’s Day by an ‘unknown’ assailant.

Taking the beef between Marmite and Bovril to all new heights!

The Results

Marmite sales turned around from the decline in the previous quarter to grow by 3% and 4% in value and volume respectively.

Celebrities tweeted without charging a cent, adding invaluable credibility to the campaign and rapidly spreading awareness nationwide.

Marmite followers increased from 309 to 1198

Bovril followers increased from 34 to 1067

2448

average followers per contributor

300%

return on media investment

average engagement rate: 5.25% (higher than the sa average of 1% - 3%)

reach of 2.5 million – 38% of south africans on twitter