Advertiser of Excellence Awarded to Marmite

Written by
James Murphy
Group CEO, adam&eveDDB

Bill Bernbach wrote: ‘An idea can turn to dust or magic depending on the talent that rubs against it’. Marmite has earned its iconic status through the talented guardianship of all those who have worked on this brand whether client, agency or as part of the production team. Often brands have a golden moment. But it’s rare for any brand to deliver such consistent creative excellence over decades.

All great campaigns need a bit of luck. Ours came back in the mid 1990s, when the creative team working on the new Marmite brief at Bishop’s Bridge Road discovered that one of them loved this strange, black gloopy stuff. But the other one hated it. A brutally simple and honest product truth. But it’s easy for us now with the comfort of hindsight, to dismiss quite how brave it was for that client back then to run with an idea like that - to acknowledge and yes, even celebrate this product truth with such confidence and bravado. Showing people sticking pins in your product? Screaming at the sight of it? Wretching when they tasted it? But the Great British Public loved it. And the result? An idea that has truly created culture. One of the most famous brand lines in advertising. And one of the longest running campaign ideas in the UK, as the idea has been subsequently nurtured by new generations of talent, both client and agency.

Few brands have embedded themselves into culture in the way Marmite has. Becoming a cultural reference point for anything that provokes strong and polarising feelings has created an almost ‘money can’t buy’ profile in the British public’s imagination. Despite this there have been moments when a new brand manager arrives from a foreign country, or the agency planner changes, and suddenly the ‘hate’ part of the equation is questioned. It’s testament to the clients discipline and rigour that this is quickly quashed before that Bernbach gold dust is put at risk. The recent work the team have done to uncover a genetic link as to whether we are born lovers, or haters has been testament to the power and longevity of this idea. 22 years on from the launch of the Love/Hate campaign, it’s wonderful to see an idea continue to be reinvented in a fresh and exciting way.

Marmite has been in ‘our house’ at 12 Bishop’s Bridge Road for 25 years, and when adam&eve first moved in, it was one of those brands we couldn’t wait to work on. Not to change it. But to build on wonderful foundations – continuing to do great work for a truly great brand.


Special Award
Advertiser of Excellence
Awarded to Marmite
Awarded to Marmite

(L-R) Keith Weed, Andre Burger, Philippa Atkinson, Seb Minder, James Murphy

Advertiser of Excellence

Keith Weed, Andre Burger, Philippa Atkinson, Seb Minder, James Murphy