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Tim Tam Slams’ packaging is a slam dunk for Arnott’s

April 2019

This is a self-funded case study using our Packaging Testing solution.

Arnott’s Tim Tam biscuits aren’t just an Aussie institution, but a global cultural phenomenon – with debates around Tim Tam vs. Penguin biscuits almost as intense in the UK as Vegemite vs. Marmite. A less widely-known – but highly popular – ritual is ‘biting’ the corners off a Tim Tam, dipping it into a warm beverage, ‘sipping’ out the melted filling, before ‘slamming’ the remainder into your mouth.

Colloquially known as the “Tim Tam Slam”, Arnott’s wanted to capitalize on this opportunity by developing a specially formulated product which promises to enhance the famous ritual. But, for a brand with a reputation for constant incremental flavor innovation, this needed to be carefully managed – meaning the new product’s packaging not only had to convey the significance of the new proposition, but it also had to stay true to the brand’s roots. 

To assess whether Tim Tam successfully delivered on this goal, we used our three C’s framework to assess the effectiveness of the new Slams packaging:

  • Captivate: Does it stand out and elicit a positive emotional response?
  • Connect: Is the brand instantly recognizable?
  • Compel: Does it pre-dispose people toward purchase?

Arnott's Tim Tam Slams - New Packaging Testing


In its ability to grab shoppers’ attention, the Tim Tam Slams packaging was an unequivocal success. Not only was it highly eye-catching, but the flavor emphasis emboldened the product’s perceived taste. The prominent callouts to ‘Bite’, ‘Sip’, and ‘Slam’ represented a departure from the typically restrained and muted aesthetic of the core Tim Tam range – however, it was nonetheless a hit. The packaging elicited feelings of excitement and happiness, and an eagerness to find out what the new ‘Slamming’ experience was all about.

Tim Tam Slams - Packaging Testing - Captivate


For many brands the prospect of halving the space on-pack dedicated to the logo and product would be met with great anxiety. However, it’s a testament to the distinctive assets Tim Tam have built-up over the years that they were able to pivot yet still maintain unquestionable synergy with the masterbrand. While the majority of the pack was dedicated to the new ingredients and ‘Bite, Sip, Slam’ text, the packaging shape, iconic split biscuit imagery, and prominent logo all ensured the link back to Tim Tam was never in doubt.

Tim Tam Slams - Pack Testing - Connect


Without careful consideration being given to how the proposition was brought to life, Tim Tam Slams could’ve easily just been perceived as a new flavor range. However, by dedicating much of the pack’s real estate to hero the ‘Slamming’ aspect, it conveyed – especially for the uninitiated – a very new and interesting way of consuming Tim Tam biscuits. By emphasizing the product’s chocolatey goodness and leveraging the quality perceptions Tim Tam is renowned for, the Slams’ packaging positioned the product as both a different and highly compelling proposition.

Tim Tam Slams - New Product Packaging Testing - Compel


Tim Tam Slams provide a reminder of the freedoms afforded to brands with entrenched assets, having the luxury of playing around with branding properties while facing few repercussions in terms of shelf standout and recognizability. This advantage applies more broadly across all marketing touchpoints, not just packaging.

This enabled the ‘Slamming’ concept to be the dominant focus of the overall aesthetic – subsequently conveying all the excitement of a new product, while at the same time retaining the masterbrand’s inherent strengths. With the packaging doing all that could be asked of it, Tim Tam’s next challenge will be ensuring the product can credibly deliver on the brand’s promise of enhancing the 'Bite, Sip, Slam' experience.

Tim Tam Slams - Packaging Testing - Performance Summary

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