Humorous Opportunity for Nutty Comedy – HONC – A £1.2m integrated campaign covering digital, experiential, TV, outdoor and industry press.

Our mission was to elevate the brand with the consumers and get it noticed by the buyers in charge of stocking Mr. Tom in the big 4 supermarkets.

The approach? Simple enough, dress a man as a giant 6ft squirrel, brief him to seek out humourous opportunities, introduce him to the consumers and take him on tour! Nutty days.Working closely with Hosta Meltis, the UK arm of the Hosta empire, we developed a campaign to cover industry press, digital, outdoor, experiential and TV.

The whole campaign started with many months conceptualisation, exploring areas of humour that we dared not go before (or since). Finally settling and refining the creative, Humourous Opportunities for Nutty Comedy (HONC) was born.

The campaign aimed to rejoice in the retro style packaging and show the British sense of humour with a simple and effective competition, which has consumers submitting jokes via video, which is a step up from last years ‘#TOMFACE selfie’ campaign. The campaign focuses on the main character, Greyham a man dressed as a squirrel whose only goal in life is to seek out and approve humour with a honk of his horn. He takes his job very seriously and his suit is his uniform. The character gives the perfect juxtaposition between the serious timing and setup of jokes and the nuttiness and energy.

Rich W, says: “Our Humorous Opportunity for Nutty Comedy (HONC) campaign gives consumers a reason to engage with the brand in a unique and fun way, building loyalty and value. This concept introduces this perfectly nutty ambassador for the brand.”

The digital campaign extended the previous years efforts on social media, the web and through PPC. All the facets of the campaign where possible directed traffic directly to the campaign website where consumers could deliver a short, funny video to the team here at Pure Emerald regardless of their chosen device. The aim was to get engagement to show the industry how well loved the brand is in the UK. It was also used to promote the experiential activity to consumers in the target cities leading up to the activity.

The main campaign activity was on Facebook where we have been cultivating fans of the product and growing a genuine audience that love Mr. Tom and are willing to engage in a fun, socially nutty way. The brands unique tone of voice endears it to fans and ensures the competitions are kept fun and social material is light hearted and seriously nutty. Social PPC was used to extend the organic reach of the campaign and we used targeted messages to key interests and demographics to drive awareness.

Working with Motion Experiential the campaign started with an experiential tour at the end of August. Mr. Tom invited shoppers in seven of the UK’s largest shopping centres to get involved and video their best joke, each day one lucky winner received a prize of £250. The tour started in the Bull Ring, Birmingham and finished in the Westfield Centre, Shepherd’s Bush, the locations were carefully chosen by Pure Emerald to draw the shape of the ‘horn’ across the country.

This year (2014) is the brands first TV activity in the UK and the advert premiered on the 14th September 2014 at 20:30 during the prime time x-factor advert break. The TV spot available to watch above show Greyham racing towards the punchline of the joke. We chose to work with Gill Advertising, Cardiff and GoodEgg, London we were able to commission Bugsy as director and deliver a seriously nutty advert.

The media strategy and buying for TV, experiential locations and outdoor was expertly delivered by Morvah, Cardiff. The strategy promoted the brand to the consumer whilst focusing on key locations pertinent to buyers and existing Hosta customers, bolstering the main objective.

To firmly put the campaign into the minds of the buyers and existing customers the industry was introduced to the campaign and Greyham via carefully placed adverts in The Grocer, Better Retailing, Better Wholesaling and Retail News. This covered all of the sectors with key messages about growth and the product that we gleaned through the Kantar Worldpanel research and the Mintel report on the confectionery sector. This after sponsoring The Grocers’ Gold Awards earlier in the year clearly showed the target audience that this product has been around for generations, is loved, and is selling well and intends to grow in the UK market over the coming years.


  • Integrated campaign management
  • Concept and creative delivery
  • PPC campaigns
  • Social media
  • Experiential
  • Outdoor
  • Television
  • Magazine

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Pure Emerald is part of the Ubiquity Group // Marketing & Communications