Love it or hate it: The new Marmite ad and another pointless controversy

Years ago, the makers of yeast based spread Marmite realized that opinion on their product was split and so they adopted “You either love it or hate it” as their marketing style. It’s worked and now the brand has become synonymous with splitting opinion here in the UK.


Personally, I can’t stand the stuff. It just tastes vile to me.

However, I’ve always rather liked their ad campaigns where they acknowledge that around half the country loathes their product. Whoever does their ads clearly has a sense of humour and they’re generally amusing.

For their new campaign, Marmite have shot an advert about their product being ignored. Apparently Marmite keeps a good long while and so apparently jars of it get left on the shelf for ages. The idea of the advert is of a rescue service arriving to save neglected Marmite.

The advert is shot in the style of those animal charity programmes and adverts, with the crew rocking up to save the jars and pixelated faces. here’s the advert:

Now, personally I found the advert to be quite amusing. It’s a pretty decent spoof of the genre and a lovably daft idea. I especially like the Marmite adoption centre at the end and the way the

The ad got it’s first showing on Monday night during Coronation Street, and while I suspect most people either ignored it or were amused it’s coming under fire.

The Advertising Standards Authority reports that they received 250 complaints following the broadcast, with people complaining that the advert “trivialized” the work of proper charities like the RSPCA or the NSPCC.


Sweet Christmas! When did people lose their sense of humour?

I realize that 250 is pretty low considering the millions of viewers who tune into Corrie but still, it’s disappointing to realize how many people are that overly sensitive.

Yes, the advert copies the type of work that the charities mentioned above do, but that’s not trivializing their work. It’s a light hearted spoof of those adverts which uses the familiar mixed with absurdity to good effect. In no way is it saying that the work in protecting neglected children or animals is funny, it’s merely showing that doing the same for Marmite would be ridiculous.

It boggles my mind that people would take the time out of their lives to complain about a clearly light hearted advert which isn’t mean spirited to anyone. I can’t imagine finding something so inconsequential offensive.

I’ll get worked up about stuff, but most adverts, if I don’t like them I’ll just forget about or blog about. Going to the bother of contacting someone to complain just seems like a waste of time.

Come on people, take a breath, calm down and save your complaints for adverts which are actively offensive (sexist, racist etc.). Before picking up the phone maybe just ask yourself “Am I overreacting and being a whiny little idiot?”

Of course, the controversy about it works in Marmite’s favour and the video has already received over 200,000 views on YouTube, so they’re laughing.

Personally, I think Marmite have handled it rather well, they’ve released a statement which contained the obligatory apology and statement of not having intended to cause offence (just once I’d love to see a company release a statement after complaints that just said “Seriously? Get a grip!”) but they turned it into another opportunity to plug their company and it’s tried and tested slogan, with their spokeswoman saying:

We believe we have created an unmistakably Marmite ad – people will either love it or hate it and they certainly won’t forget it

Now, that is well done.

For more, read this.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


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