The power of a tone of voice
Jex praises the creative team of Russell-Vick and Lauren Buggins who, he feels, had a great understanding of what the brand should be and, he adds, “how it should speak.” Nailing the tone of the campaign was, explains Jackson, the biggest challenge that the team faced. Because, adds Woollard, “The brand was in place, but we’d never seen it speak.”
The most important element, says Jex, was ensuring that the tone felt relevant to the character and culture that the brand already came with, embodied in its name. This meant capturing the cheek and self-referential behaviour of the brand, something that Woollard reveals, previous agencies they’d spoken to struggled to get right.
But for the creative team at TBWA, the tone of voice “felt immediately right,” says Jex, something that Woollard agrees with. He explains: “It's a very clearly defined tone of voice. We had the idea and a strong belief, but no one had actually verbalised it probably yet.”
The tone of voice has been a powerful tool for Woollard in progressing the brand as it now carries across everything, social media, PR releases. “While the campaign was outdoor and then social, it’s now expanded across everything we do,” he explains. “It’s not just a creative PR stunt,” he adds. “It’s actually something that has had genuine impact.”
Already in Tesco stores nationwide, he’s in talks with Amazon after the business saw a LinkedIn post, he wrote that demonstrated the power of the tone. As he explains, “people immediately know this is what that brand is and what that brand’s going to do.” “We’re talking to people and to consumers almost like a consumer,” Woollard adds.
Worst time, worst place
Once the team had settled on a tone of voice, the next thought was, says Jex, “well where is it going to go?” The underlying agreement within the team was that, while they never wanted to not launch the brand, it felt important, says Woollard, to acknowledge that this was the worst time to possibly launch it.
So, says Jex, the team thought, “if this is the worst time to launch a brand, what if [we use] the worst place to put a brand?” Under lockdown, they felt “that would be OOH, in the street, where no one is,” he adds. The budget reserved for festivals was reallocated to key OOH sites that were then plugged on social media.
With the outdoor activity, says Woollard, “we didn’t want it to be a woe is us scenario because there’s much bigger things happening than just our business.” This meant that, along with getting the tone right, the team had to get the timing right too, something many other brands have fallen foul of over the last few months.
With a situation that has placed the nation in an almost continuous state of flux, the time that the team decided to launch the campaign actually gave the brand its cut through. As the mood of the nation changed with every passing week, HUN’s marketing activity, says Jex, felt refreshing: “The beauty of HUN is it knows its place and it knows its role.”