We had a look at the launch of the Wispa a while ago, exploring all the comedy duos the campaign utilised. That post left a few gaps, so here’s a further look at some of the adverts. We missed, for example, this one, with Windsor Davis and Michael Knowles.
Initially, the Wispa bar was launched in regional trials in the North East in 1981. That’s when this Duo campaign, by Young And Rubicam was unleashed.
Another one we missed was this, featuring Victoria Wood and Julie Walters.
In the mid 1990s, when the brand expanded to include the Gold and the Mint version, Griff Rhys Jones returned on his own.
Except now, this campaign was being run by CGT, and was even using footage from that original campaign.
The Gold bar was initially trialled in the South West of England, and the concept for this TV launch was to callback the original adverts. Thus, Windsor Davis also returned.
The director was Daniel Kleinman, who also directed Griff in the Holsten adverts, so editing him into old footage was exploited again.
The media spend for the original launch of the Wispa was £83million, but it was money well spent because, of the other 15 chocolate products launched around that time, the Wispa was by far the most succesful. It was also the first time that famous people has been used to flog us chocolate bars. The product was rolled out region by ITV region, starting with Tyne Tees, and ending with Southern. Metrics suggested that only the Mars bar had more product recognition during this period. That’s pretty remarkable, considering the Mars bar, Twix and Flake were by far the biggest bars at the time. While most other adverts were getting a 16% recall, the Wispa ones were regualrly getting 50-60% (source).