Maltesers Brings Humour to Isolation

Isolation Life - Home Baking



We’ve been talking for a few weeks now about how adland is moving on to creative work which uses the Covid-19 pandemic as context not content. In other words ads that are set in the era of quarantine, lockdown, and endless zoom calls but aren’t explicitly about the virus.

This week’s ad is an excellent example. It’s a 30-second UK spot for Maltesers and for the first 25 of those seconds it looks like – frankly – just another Covid ad. Women chatting away on a video call, slightly awkwardly, as one of them shows off her daughter’s space-themed baking. But then the last five seconds produce a surprising – and amusing – twist…

(No spoilers! Watch it yourself.)

This ad is part of a series the brand have made in their existing “Look On The Light Side” campaign – which as the name suggests focuses on finding amusing moments in everyday life. And lockdown gives them a rich new vein of gentle humour.

It’s notable though that of the new ads Maltesers have released it’s the one with the slightly naughty joke that’s resonated best with the public, landing a strong 5.4 Star score and healthy Fluency and short-term Spike scores too. Brands have shunned jokes and humour during the pandemic, for obvious reasons – who can make jokes when thousands of people are dying?

But there’s a big difference between dark or edgy humour and a bit of risque comedy which takes a light-hearted look at the “new normal” we’ve been living in for the last few months. And it seems like in this case the public are ahead of brands – Maltesers is one of the first humorous ads we’ve seen in weeks and people are loving it. It helps that their ads are full of humanity and between-ness – the set of friends feel very convincing and recognisable.

This ad might have been completely unacceptable even a month ago. Now, it hits exactly the right spot. That’s how quickly things are changing. But the message for other brands is clear – it’s safe to lighten up again, at least a little.