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Ritz Serves Up an Absolute Cracker

October 2023

This is a self-funded case study using our ad testing solution.

Emotion is a non-negotiable for advertising success — there, we stated the obvious! Acting as the mechanism which enables advertising to convey desired messages/impressions, it’s one of the key pillars of our 3Cs Framework. However, it’s the actual communication of something which addresses a key category ‘job to be done’ which is the aspect of advertising ultimately responsible for motivating behavior. Fuse the two together and that’s where the real magic happens, delivering greater bang for your advertising buck.

The question that has long divided the marketing community is whether the two can exist in harmony. Or more specifically, does focusing on one inevitably compromise the ability to deliver on the other. We needn't look any further than the humble Ritz cracker to answer this question.

Perhaps not a category that typically conjures a rush of emotion, the brand’s recently-launched U.K. campaign “Ready When You Aren’t” brought to life the relatable scenario of guests arriving early, consequently leading to a frantic rush to prepare the house. The chaotic slapstick theatrics were a sure-fire way to attract attention, with the instant familiarity of the story bringing positive vibes.

With the overall approach feeling like a pivot away from what people have typically come to expect from Ritz, it’s a reminder that advertisers need to be careful about the use of humor — given it runs the risk of overshadowing the brand. However, by giving the brand a critical role as the solution to the problem (i.e. a tasty and convenient snack that is socially desirable), the end result was an ad unmistakably for Ritz and which strengthened mental structures around the brand.

Most obviously, the lighthearted and entertaining production led to Ritz coming across as a fun brand, which is an important differentiator in a mature category. While this alone might have led some advertisers to consider it a job well done, Ritz took things up another gear — simultaneously delivering impressions of convenience and shareability alongside its emotional glow up.

In doing so the ad drove meaningful difference for Ritz crackers. That is, conveying ideas that not only stood out within the wider category, but framing them in a way that meant something to people. By addressing both functional, emotional, and social ‘jobs’ that are important to category consumers, Ritz was able to deliver the elusive “double whammy”.

The ultimate outcome was the ad being predicted to deliver a short-term motivational uplift within a campaign primarily designed with a longer-term payoff in mind. As a result the brand effectively killed two (very expensive and time-consuming!) advertising birds with one stone, giving Ritz the best chance of coming top of mind during key buying moments.

Get in touch to speak to one of our consultants about our ad testing & tracking solution. Expert-led, evidence-based insights — which don’t break the bank.

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