The Milkybars could be on you as Nestle taps choc-scoffing nostalgia vote

For its new ad campaign, Nestle wants grown-ups who should know better to upload their impersonations of the Milkybar kid.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Saddle up your horses, folks: there’s a new Milkybar kid coming to town, and it might well be you. Confectionery giant Nestle has launched a marketing campaign for its new variation on the Milkybar, offering fans the chance to appear in its ads. Apparently, it wants to target ‘the adult market’ (no, not like that) as it tries to flog a raisin and biscuit version of the famous white chocolate bar. And it hopes to appeal to our nostalgic sides with a marketing campaign that asks for our best rootin, tootin, gosh-darned impressions of the sweet world’s favourite under-aged saloon monkey. Cue lots of slightly toe-curling tribute videos, from people who almost certainly have more important things they should be doing…
The new campaign centres around a website that allows wannabe Milkybar ‘kidults’ to don their red kerchiefs and upload their impersonations of the bespectacled one, in return for a chance to appear on the TV ads. There’s also an ‘augmented reality’ mobile phone app (not very Wild West, we’ll admit) which allows you to superimpose the Milkybar kid’s white Stetson and comedy circular glasses onto your very own mugshot. Now, the cynical among you might wonder whether this is more about saving money on adverts, as opposed to drumming up hype (not that we imagine the speccy kids in the original ads drove a particularly hard bargain – they probably agreed to it on condition that they could keep their lunch money for a change). But Nestle claims to have spent more on this than any other digital campaign – equivalent to almost a quarter of the new bar’s marketing budget. Although to be fair, it’s also come up with a special, grown-up version of the wrapper (which, as far as we can tell, is just the ordinary wrapper with a purple bit on it, and the words ‘raisin and biscuit’ - very innovative).
Now, persuading strangers to behave like buffoons on telly might seem a strange way to ‘tap into the adult market’. But we suppose if anyone can do it, it’s Milkybar – it’s the dominant brand in white chocolate (with a 60% share of the UK’s surprisingly lucrative £70m market), and the Milkybar Kid remains instantly recognisable to potential buyers of a certain age. And as evidenced by the fact that the execrable A-Team and Karate Kid remakes actually got made, nostalgia is big business these days. Even for outdated 1980s concepts that weren’t that great first time round…

In today's bulletin:
Even Northern Rock is seeing loan book improve
'It's the deficit, stupid', Cameron and Clegg tell ministers
A bushel and a peck: wheat prices rise by half
The Milkybars could be on you as Nestle taps nostalgia vote
Editor's blog: The not-so-green green grass of home

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