Tbwa\ London and Blinkink use “adult animation” à la Bob’s Burgers and Adventure Time for Mini Cheddars ad
The agency uses the well-established animation style to reposition the brand from “kids lunchbox snack” to something that feels “more relevant”.
- 22 February 2022
- Liz Gorny
It’s an interesting premise to use animation to help a brand feel less kid-orientated, which is the approach Tbwa\ London has taken recently for Mini Cheddars. To launch a new product, Crunchlets, the creative agency worked with Blinkink and director Robert Strange on an ad that emulates the “adult-animation” style seen in Rick and Morty and Bob’s Burgers, says Robert Strange. Interestingly, Robert adds that there doesn’t seem to be any British adult-animation work like this, “so doing a British take on the style was bold new territory”.
“We were specifically trying to hit a sweet spot on the spectrum between Bob’s Burgers and Adventure Time,” Robert tells It’s Nice That. “The style feels to me like everyone involved grew up on The Simpsons and went on to mix that influence with something unique.” A release explains the ad features a “dark and humorous twist” on the product origin story in which townsfolk try to turn cheese characters into Mini Cheddar’s Crunchlets. The cheese characters are more “Rick and Morty in design”, states Robert, with “big never-quite-looking-in-the-same-direction eyes”, while the Townsfolk “veer closer to Finn and Jake”, with an “inherent warmness” “which plays nicely against their homicidal maniac tendencies”.
Elsewhere, Robert has created a “colourful” but “realistic” British setting for the ad. “The UK is already very cartoonish and to my eyes the architecture of Cheddar Town is just a slightly warped reflection of that,” says Robert. The strangeness of hearing British accents in the adult animation ad certainly makes the rarity of the combination evident.
GalleryTbwa\ London and Blinkink: Mini Cheddar Crunchlets ad (Copyright © Mini Cheddars, 2021)
Emma French, business director at Tbwa\ London says: “Mini Cheddars are generally seen as a kids lunchbox snack, and we're hoping the new direction and style will speak to adults.” Beyond helping appeal to a young adult audience, Robert explains that the Bob’s Burgers influence is “great” to use for branding because “it’s already familiar, and the audience knows to expect an involved concept”. It also helps the campaign appear bigger, suggesting that there is a whole episode behind the ad, or as Robert puts it, “you feel like they have daily lives just beyond the edge of the screen”.
The recent spot follows 2021’s Welcome to Cheddar Town launch campaign, which introduced audiences to the new animated direction and tone for Mini Cheddars. The recent campaign was created by Paddy Paddison and Cyndall McInerey, and media was planned and bought by Manning Gottlieb OMD.
Tbwa\ London and Blinkink: Mini Cheddar Crunchlets ad (Copyright © Mini Cheddars, 2021)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.