It’s not uncommon for brands celebrating milestone anniversaries to dig back into their marketing archives in search of iconic moments. When done right, reviving past work brings a welcome dose of nostalgia to consumers. It’s this very approach that Ribena was keen to leverage for the 85th anniversary of the blackcurrant beverage.
The famous “Berries” ad, developed by M&C Saatchi, features a musical group of blackcurrants playing in a band and catapulting themselves into a farmer’s cart on the Ribena farm. With its bespoke lyrics set against the melody of “In the Summertime”, the advert ran from 2011 to 2014 and was a fruitful campaign for the brand.
After nearly a decade off the air, would the Ribena berries ad still delight audiences? The brand sought to uncover how the public feels about the concept today.
According to research by System1, ads don’t experience wear-out over time. In fact, there is some evidence of wear-in, with ads improving their effectiveness over time. Wear-in is more likely when ads feature fluent devices, which are characters and slogans that are easily recognisable and used consistently.
Ahead of a potential relaunch, the creative was put to the test. In early 2023, Ribena worked with System1 to measure the original ad’s performance via the Test Your Ad platform. Test Your Ad measures how audiences feel about ads and provides three key metrics: the Star Rating predicts an ad’s ability to drive long-term market share growth; the Spike Rating showcases short-term sales potential; and Fluency indicates the strength of brand recognition.
“Berries” performed extremely well among the general public and those who consume soft drinks, achieving a Star Rating of 4.2-Stars on the 5-Star scale, and 5.1 among the soft drinks custom sample. Only 1% of ads in System1’s database achieve 5-Stars.
“Our classic ad brings to life the very core of what consumers know and value about the brand – amazing taste, nostalgia and being the home of the original and much-loved British blackcurrant. Having the right insight that it still performs in the top 20 soft drinks ads in 2023 made us excited about the opportunity to bring it back,” said Sarah Fleetwood, Head of Ribena.
Ribena worked with BBH London to create a new end frame for the ad and a shortened 20-second version. An investment of £5m has been made including Video On Demand and TV.
The new advert has scored even better among the general public than its predecessor, achieving 4.6-Stars. Its 1.43 Spike Rating indicates exceptional short-term sales potential and its Fluency rating of 94 is strong. The ad also lands within the top 20 of all UK ads in System1’s Soft Drinks & Water category.
“As a former marketing director at Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I, it’s been a joy to see the berry ad return and to test the creative through System1’s platform,” said Jon Evans, Chief Customer Officer, System1. “Ribena is yet another example of our wear-in theory that great ads get better with time. And it’s perhaps the best anniversary gift of all to know that your creative is supporting brand building.”
“We have greatly enjoyed reviving our much-loved advert and seeing the positive response the berry creative has received,” said Fleetwood. “This milestone has provided the perfect opportunity to delight fans of the original version and introduce new viewers to the advert.”
"Having the right insight that it still performs in the top 20 soft drinks ads in 2023 made us excited about the opportunity to bring it back."Sarah Fleetwood Head of Ribena