The brand is Bertolli, known originally as Olivio in the UK, which is owned by Unilever. My recollections are based on ads from decades ago, so I am not at risk of giving away any trade secrets. Olivio was launched in the UK in 1991 as an alternative to butters/margarines. It is made from olive oil (which was seen as exotic at the time) and the advertising leveraged the fact that people in the Mediterranean live much longer thanks to their diet of fresh fish, vegetables and olive oil. The ads performed well but some were much more impactful and compelling than others. To help enhance the effectiveness of future ads, I conducted an analysis of all the brand’s ads up to 1994. The technology at the time was primitive so most of the analysis was done by hand. It was a slow and costly process. We nevertheless identified some clear success factors. Olivio’s most effective ads all included several of these features:
- Old people being surprisingly active for their age
- The glorious Mediterranean outdoors
- Varied and delicious-looking fresh produce used to prepare a family meal
- Grandparents interacting with their sons/daughters or, better still, their grandchildren
- The same, distinctive music
These insights helped the team come up with a string of wonderful ads that resonated with consumers, were hugely impactful and helped accelerate the brand’s growth through the 1990s.