Marmite plays with Freshers week conventions in sock puppet spot

Adam&EveDDB seeks to leverage humour and electro in new advert targeting young adults who have never tried Marmite.

5 October 2023


What is it with sock puppets? From PG Tips to BBC Two’s Smile, creative properties have been using them for decades in the UK to get a laugh or gain a fandom. Now Marmite is joining in with First Timers, a new campaign from Adam&EveDDB with production by Smuggler.

The idea behind the film stems from YouGov research which reveals that 43 per cent of 18-24 year olds in the UK have never tried the spread. Marmite has managed to find a link between this and Freshers week, “famously a time of experimentation,” says a press release.

The film has major traces of Mr. Oizo’s Flat Eric. Two puppets are making Marmite toast in a kitchenette in the middle of a dancefloor. Eventually the music kicks in (a remix of Workout by Giraffage) and the puppets give us a step-by-step guide on how to make and eat Marmite on toast, which includes some suggestive movements with a butter knife.

“The campaign is a rather extreme take on an instructional film and puppets are often used as a guide in that context,” Colin Booth, creative director at Adam&EveDDB, tells It’s Nice That. “Puppets are also fun and disarming, and so they fit perfectly with the comical, irreverent tone of the campaign. We wanted the puppets to look more human, grown-up and cooler than, say, Muppets. To help with that, we added some subtle details, like a silver chain and, if you look closely, a tattoo.”

Alongside the film, which launched 3 October on TV, Marmite is rolling out Spotify and banner ads. There is also an ASMR-inspired campaign which will invite people who have never tried Marmite to discover the product.

GalleryAdam&EveDDB: First Timers, produced by Smuggler (Copyright © Marmite, 2023)

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Adam&EveDDB: First Timers, produced by Smuggler (Copyright © Marmite, 2023)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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