Event Coverage

Thriving Creative Partnerships: Haribo and Quiet Storm on keeping childlike escapism going during lockdown



Haribo has always been a brand capable of putting smiles on their customers’ faces. Nowhere more so than in their adverts which depict adults enjoying bags of Starmix and Tangfastics with childlike glee … and voices.

Since its launch, the campaign from Quiet Storm has become synonymous with the Haribo brand and after lockdown came into effect, both brand and agency decided to give the public a go at creating their own. As part of ITV’s The People’s Adbreak, viewers were encouraged to create their own version of Haribo’s 2014 ‘Office’ ad. 

The idea was a celebration of the kind of creativity to come out of lockdown from households throughout the UK. And for Haribo and Quiet Storm, it was an opportunity to engage with their consumers in trying times; not to embrace short termism and change their brand focus to the pandemic, but to provide that sense of escapism and fun their brand has been about for the past 100 years. While rival brands went dark on their marketing Haribo forged ahead with its first-ever radio campaign, learning that the medium can become ‘cinema for the mind’ in the process.

Editorial Director Nicola Kemp talks talks to Managing Director for Haribo UK & Ireland, Jon Hughes and Quiet Storm’s Founder and ECD, Trevor Robinson OBE about The People’s Adbreak and also launching their very first radio ad during lockdown.

The below video will be available to watch from 2pm on Thursday 27th August.

Receive updates about this interview and the ongoing series here


Jon Hughes_October 2018.jpg

Jon Hughes


Trevor Robinson OBE

Quiet Storm

Jon Hughes is the Managing Director of Haribo UK & Haribo Ireland, positions he has held since November 2018. Previously Sales Director, Jon has been part of Haribo leadership team since 2017.  He started his career at Scottish Courage and has held leading Sales and Marketing roles for blue-chip companies including Heineken and Red Bull. 

Founder and ECD of Quiet Storm Trevor Robinson OBE is the responsible for some of the most talked about, innovative advertising of our era, including the multi award-winning, game-changing ‘You’ve been Tango-ed’ Orange Slap campaign. In 1995, Trevor set up Quiet Storm, the first agency in London to write, direct and produce its own work. The business is best known for its work with brands including Haribo, Moonpig, Yakult, and Young’s Seafood. Trevor is renowned for his contribution to society and for encouraging future talent. He’s chaired the IPA’s Ethnic Diversity Forum and set up “Create Not Hate” to tackle gun crime by getting disenfranchised youth into advertising and creative projects. He was awarded an OBE in 2009 for his services to charity and advertising. In 2019 he was the President of Industry Craft at Cannes Lions.


5 takeaways from the interview:

1. Be present, be authentic
A piece of advice that’s come up in a few of our episodes, Trevor Robinson also alluded to how some brands have really “come a cropper” by either clumsily finding a way to care, or disappearing altogether. He said how Quiet Storm and Haribo have instead “continued with the same antidote to the world as we always have.” Consumers are not easily fooled, and during this time they’re holding brands to greater account than ever before. In a similar sense, not speaking at all can have a detrimental effect. As Trevor continued, “Especially at times like this, you can’t disappear. If you then try and work your way back in, [consumers will] ask where were you?”  

2. How can your brand help?
A few episodes ago, James Whatley from Digitas UK said how his work with Oreo during lockdown didn’t mean wading into the weightier subject matter of coronavirus. As he said, no one was at home wondering what Oreo thought about the pandemic. Instead it was about escapism. In a similar vein, Trevor Robinson said how people wanted to escape the confines of the depressing news cycle and become children again. Something that Haribo’s values embody. As Jon Hughes remarked, “We’re one of those brands who puts a smile on people’s faces … Creating a few moments of childlike happiness for people.” Haribo found a position that felt authentic and so avoided clumsy brand purpose and instead was there for their consumers when they need them to be. 

3. Don’t see yourselves as an isolated part of your brand history 
Haribo was founded 100 years ago this year. Yet Jon stressed that his work on the brand is a part of a long-running patchwork. He put simply, “Our role is to look after that brand while we’re here and hand it on slightly better, slightly more improved than the one we inherited.” This is a crucial outlook, particularly during this time when the pandemic can have brands easily reaching for short-termism. To think of the team’s actions as part of a long history, connected to the past and future, Jon ensures his decisions are ones that constantly affect the brand for the long-term good.

4. Look for the opportunity
“Whilst it's been very difficult, you’ve got to look at the opportunity it’s given everyone for a bit of learning.” Jon said this was his primary learning from working during lockdown. It’s been a horrendous year, but if there’s going to be even a glimmer of a silver lining, we must look to learn from it and bring positive change. Jon said how “I’ve learned more about my team during this period than I would have done … we’ll operate in a different way as a result of this.” 

5. Creativity takes many forms
When asked how they’ve kept creativity going during lockdown, Trevor Robinson said how he liked interaction as a creative. How collaboration was an integral part of how he works and he for one was looking forward to an office return. But he was quick to add a colleague of his worked very differently, almost working better remotely. These brief examples show us that whilst we might be confronted with articles demonising remote working and articles saying it’s the one and only future, it’s important to build our own future. Our teams will vary and there’s not a silver bullet solution to how we return to work. But if we listen to our teams and ourselves, we can’t go far wrong. 

Above is the 2014 Haribo 'Office' advert viewers were invited to remake

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