cruel agency creative derides cute hedgehogs’ thespian efforts

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There's a nice piece over on AdWeek about our new Lactofree 'Hedgehogs' spot. Here's what it says:

The folks at Wieden + Kennedy love their spokescreatures.

Last year, for Cravendale milk, the London agency filmed a charming pack of scheming cats with a thirst for milk—and opposable thumbs. (ITV viewers voted it the best TV spot of 2011, and it was on Adweek's list of the year's 10 best ads, too.) Now, W+K is out with another sweet commercial starring hedgehogs to promote the virtues of Arla's Lactofree dairy products. The spiny beasts are told they can enjoy treats like latte, crumpets and pizza if they use Lactofree—because they're not intolerant to dairy, only to lactose, which is the the sugar in dairy.

A wonderful detail in both campaigns is the element of truth in the whimsy: Hedgehogs really are lactose intolerant, just as there really are polydactyl cats with a genetic mutation that gives them extra toes. "Hedgehogs are a gift from the advertising gods," says Hollie Newton, the W+K creative behind the Arla spot. "They are lactose intolerant, wonderful and very sweet." Still, she adds, "they are rubbish actors."

Of the five African Pygmy hedgehogs on set, half of them ran really fast, while the others would just curl up in a defensive ball. W+K built a little seat for the one with the Parisian latte, while the two with the pizza have their own tiny sofa. Newton, who's still not sure how the agency was able to attach the blue bow to the supermarket-shopping hedgehog, says she would never have wanted anything but the real creatures in the spot.

And the agency got a great souvenir: The miniature commercial set, with its six-inch milk aisle, is on display at the agency's gallery space.

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Here's the TV ad again:

our ouch-free new work for Lactofree

Milk full page

Lactofree, the UK’s first range of lactose-free dairy products this week launches a new print campaign across the UK.  Created by Wieden + Kennedy (that's us!) the work will run in the Metro newspaper group through January and February. Like this:

Metro Monday 24th January

The ads were illustrated by Owen Gildersleeve, using a range of hand-crafted methods.

The new creative seeks to unravel the sometimes confusing world of lactose intolerance, which is thought to affect up to one in seven of the UK population. The ads aim to help consumers recognise the symptoms of the condition. Which is useful, because over 90 percent of those who think they can’t have dairy can with Lactofree.

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Our mission was simple, to help people have a really good cuppa or a tasty bowl of cereal. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is when you’re lactose intolerant. We realised that there’s a lot of confusion around the subject of dairy problems. So we wanted to help people navigate this world, avoid the pitfalls and confusion along the way and get to the holy grail – a cup of tea that doesn’t give you belly ache. 

new campaign for lactofree

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Wieden + Kennedy extended its relationship with Arla foods (producers of Lurpak butter and Cravendale milk) in May last year when we pitched and won the Lactofree business. Lactofree is the UK’s only product range that has all the taste but
none of the lactose of real dairy. Lactofree is gently filtered to
remove the lactose – the sugar found in milk that can cause
digestive problems.

The new campaign is now being rolled out across digital
channels, TV, cinema and print/advertorials and will continue throughout 2010 in the UK.
The idea is all about encouraging dairy avoiders – people who have had to 'finish with' dairy because it didn't agree with them – to mend their
broken relationships with dairy.

Here are a couple of examples of the work: