Arnott's CMO on the new Bluey product range and building brand partnerships

Arnott's Group marketing chief, Jenni Dill, talks through one of the FMCG's first partnerships in the entertainment space and what makes a great brand collaboration

Arnott’s latest partnership with Australia’s iconic Bluey character is a significant step forward in helping the FMCG grow its ‘better for you’ snacking category presence, its CMO says.  

Arnott’s kicked off a new biscuit collaboration with much-loved children’s TV character, Bluey, in June. The range aims to fill a gap in the market for healthier packaged snacks for children and is the first time the loveable blue heeler will be featured in the snacking aisle. Different products across the new range have earned a health star rating of 3.5 or 4 stars.  

To support the product portfolio launch, Arnott’s has embarked on a shopper marketing and social media campaign with Publicis Groupe’s The Neighbourhood. Activity for the ‘Arnott’s x Bluey’ campaign is being led by Publicis’ shopper marketing agency, Arc, along with Saatchi & Saatchi, Spark Foundry and Herd MSL as part of The Neighbourhood team.  

The Arnott’s Group chief marketing officer for A/NZ, Jenni Dill, told CMO the business regularly reviews partnerships and has been on the hunt for opportunities that fit with key strategic pillars, can drive growth for the business, and will support the overall re-energisation of its brand portfolio.

US food giant, Campbell Soup Company, divested its international operations including its Australian Arnott’s business to KRR in mid-2019 for about US$2.2 billion.  

“We carefully select our partners, as we know that the most successful collaborations typically come from like-minded brands with strong consumer relevance,” Dill said. “Arnott’s has been loved by Aussies for almost 160 years and our consumers trust us to deliver to a high level of quality with every biscuit, or partnership, we make.”   

The Bluey partnership made sense for Arnott’s on a number of fronts. Bluey’s iconic Australian character is certainly in the mix, but not the dominant reason.  

“While this series is locally created and locally made – just like Arnott’s – what drew us to the partnership was the genuine opportunity to create a nutritious treat that could be loved by both children and their parents and carers,” Dill explained. “Growth in the ‘better for you’ snacking space is one of our key strategic priorities. So while there is a natural synergy between Arnott’s and Bluey, the launch of this sweet and savoury biscuit range helps to deliver on our ‘better for you’ growth ambitions.”    

Bluey is one of the FMCG’s first major ventures with an entertainment property and Dill said she’s thrilled to be working closely with Bluey and the team at the BBC into the future.  

“We are just getting started on this partnership and we see plenty of potential for it to continue to grow,” she said.  

To ensure the success of any such product collaboration, particularly with an established brand like Bluey, Dill said Arnott’s has clear guidelines for collaborations. One of the key components is trust.  

“You need trust between both parties in the expertise that each bring to the table,” she said. “Arnott’s has known how to create delicious biscuits; the Bluey family deeply understands how to build much loved characters and how to engage and connect with their audiences.  

“The best collaborations are built on the trust that each partner understands their own strengths and works together to deliver on mutual priorities.”  

As to why brand collaborations are so important for organisations to be pursuing in 2022, Dill pointed to how challenging the past few years have been for consumers.  

“But what people have rediscovered, and what Arnott’s so strongly believes in, is the little moments in life are the most important,” she said. “Moments like time spent with your kids, a Scotch Finger snapped between grandpa and granddaughter, a box of Shapes shared with mates or a moment of quiet indulgence at the end of a long day with a Tim Tam and a hot chocolate. It’s these little moments which resonate with our consumers.  

“Collaborations like Arnott’s x Bluey can bring new excitement to a category, creating new little moments of joy in the school lunchbox or as an after-school snack.  

Innovation within the biscuit aisle also plays a role in driving strong shelf presence and in-store display presence for the Arnott’s portfolio, Dill added.  

General manager of Saatchi & Saatchi and The Arnott Group’s chief client officer at Publicis Groupe, Toby Aldred, also pointed to the potential argument that longstanding brands today face the increased challenge of maintaining their place in culture.  

“Collaborations can act as critical shortcuts particularly for long-standing and established brands looking to create cultural traction,” he said. “And cultural traction is important because it helps create attraction and loyalty beyond reason – an essential ingredient in a world where most categories are becoming commoditised.”  

Dill flagged more collaborations in the pipeline for Arnott’s, starting with Primo. On shelf this month, Arnott’s and Primo are launching a range of classic grab and go snack packs with various combinations of crackers, cheese and meats.  

“These will drive new snacking occasions for our classic Jatz and Shapes brands,” she said.

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You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page       



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