Vaughan Gordon

“Made by Cows” – Brand Heritage

By Vaughan Gordon

Look out for the latest Anchor campaign. An article in the Metro recently explained how an ad agency had to meet their brief to ‘position the brand as the original butter brand’. And they’ve come up with some great billboard posters in the old style of sign painting which portray Anchor’s brand heritage. ‘Made by Cows’ depicts a series of posters and adverts with cows literally making butter including churning and even delivering the milk.

It’s quirky, original, and in times of digital advertising everywhere, this campaign nicely reminds the consumer of their brand values and heritage since 1886. To quote Marc Guisti from the ad agency CHI & Partners, the posters are ‘a lovely return to fresh and simple things’. While Marc is passionate about digital advertising, he loves the traditional campaign, ‘and not a web link in sight’! Having said that, they’ve still created a Facebook app called ‘Cakebook’ where you can create your own piped message on top of a cake made by an Anchor cow.

And I do like that twist. The fact that they’ve really focused primarily on connecting with the consumer by promoting the traditional values, but then also included a modern twist: old skool meets current digital marketing. It can be done. Using the correct channels and targeting the right audience with the appropriate message, can pull the whole campaign neatly together.

I think it’s essential to have clearly defined the position of the brand first, before deciding on marketing tactics these days. Once you know what your product or service stands for, and how it pitches against the competition, then you start off in a much stronger position when considering your methods of communication. There are infinite ways to deliver your message through the variety of both off and online channels. As long as there’s consistency in your branding, you can really test and try out some new ways of targeting your specific market.

The position of brand heritage is a strong marketing card to play, and is generated after years of nurturing the brand, and connecting with the customer who in time allows the brand to be part of their life. That’s why it’s so important to get the values right first in case you go to market with the wrong message. Especially in today’s current economic climate, when customers need to make safe purchasing decisions on reliable products and services, which they feel they can trust and depend on.

Another recent advertising campaign which certainly promotes ‘trust’ and encapsulates all things regarding brand heritage, is that of Fairy Liquid. Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the creative is also in the original style and states that ‘generations of mums have trusted Fairy’. It also reintroduces the old style bottle, which will resonate nicely with the now-mums, who as kids watched Blue Peter to see how they could transform the bottle into various toys. I’m not sure if they have launched an app associated with the campaign (a la Anchor), but the message is again simple and traditional. Not only has Fairy got brand heritage, but it also promotes how it has been passed on through the generations over time. Most brands would love to be in this position.

As part of a ‘brand’ new company myself, I’m very jealous of the Anchors and Fairy Liquids of the marketing world, and yet they serve as a great aspirational reminder to us all. If we get it right now, and keep nurturing our brand, then who knows where we could be in a few decades times. Suddenly the ‘Anchor like’ cow on our homepage has taken on a whole new meaning!

Nicola Peaty, Director, VG&A