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Olga Keating
14 May 2021

Get your DING back: are you ready for the lockdown lift?

Mars Wrigley' Extra chewing gum has launched a saucy campaign by Energy BBDO in preparation for easing restrictions in the UK. The campaign aims to capture the mood of the nation and display it in a lighthearted and exaggerated way.

Some critics recognise that bringing humour to such a challenging situation is no easy task while others find it a bit too ambitious given the slow vaccination rate.

As for regular humans, their views on the ad and the lockdown lift in general were polarising, sometimes even within the same person! They are happy to be free again but cautious, even fearful of the future.

So we used this ad to measure the temperature in the society in view of May 17th.
Created by:
Co-CCOs: Josh Gross, Pedro Perez
SVP, ECD: Kenny Blumenschein Creative Directors: Lucas Owens, Monique Kaplan, Colin O'Toole, Hansel Quintela Director: Nick Ball
About the video ad
Wrigley's Extra launched a provocative campaign that shows post lockdown exaggerated reality. The ad makes light of many of the things we disliked about lockdown such as never ending zoom calls, bad personal hygiene and overall feeling of being stuck. Starved for human interaction, unwashed and unshaved people rush to the streets like lions out of a cage to hug and kiss one another. Watch the ad here.

Have Wrigley's and BBDO managed to capture the sentiment of the people starving for connection? What is the balance between anticipation and fear? And how does this bold approach sit with the British people?
What did we test? Get your DING back: For When It's Time Ad Campaign which launched on the 30 April 2021

Who did we target? The video was shown to the national representative sample of Brits between 18 to 35 y.o.

How was it tested? We used the Video Test solution on the Fastuna platform. Online panel respondents were sent a survey link to their email. After viewing the ad, they answered our survey questions. We also added three bespoke questions about their attitude to easing of lockdown restrictions.
Funny or cringy?
The ad only scored 56 out of 100, which is on a weak side based on standardised Fastuna norms. Taking a closer look people did like the ad but found it irrelevant and not believable. We wonder why.

See the full report here.
Well, quite a few respondents found the ad overtly sexual, cringeworthy and animalistic.
It's a bit cringe lads! — Lad,31 :)
It seems crazy over the top and I did not like the over the top kissing scenes in public, which were a bit disgusting and animalistic. — Male, 28
Bit odd! — Female, 21
On the bright side, the ad does stand out with a high uniqueness score (70% found the ad unique + very unique) and 75% found the ad clear, so there were no barriers to comprehension. Quite a lot of Brits found the ad interesting (67%). Many could relate to it.
Fun and fresh! — Male, 26
Quite funny with dozens of people running around. — Male, 21
Because it is funny and it is something I can identify with. — Male, 30
I like the music and the general idea of the advert. I'm excited to start socialising again. — Female, 27
The video makes what it is about very clear and relates to most people's lives right now. — Male, 21
Captured how a lot of people have been feeling and going through due to Covid, found it relatable. — Male, 20
The advert is very humorous and exaggerated. I love it!!! — Female, 18
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So: are we ready for a hug?
Many Brits are in real anticipation of just hanging out with friends, being around people, seeing extended families and doing 'normal stuff'. Hugging? Perhaps so.
I feel happy as it has been to long and like I've been trapped in a prison. — Male, 30
I'm very excited, I've missed out on so much this last year so excited to make up for it. — Female, 21
Still, many feel uneasy about going back into some semblance of normality fearing the infection will begin to spread again or having to go back to work unvaccinated. This creates a feeling of detachment with the story. Some consumers understand the humour but can't relate to it as they don't share the feeling of happiness that this ad assumes.
Looking forward to meeting friends but currently unhappy as I'm being forced to go back to the office when I haven't been vaccinated. — Female, 24
I am a bit scared but in the same time I am looking forward to get out. — Male, 30
I don't think it's particularly responsible. — Female, 30
I'm happy that things are being eased but still think we should be cautious. I've desperate to not go back into lockdown. — Female, 30
So will the Brits come out in their PJs on May the 17th?
The advert stands out and many like it, meaning that BBDO got the sentiment right for the most part. People are itching to come out of hibernation and see one another. However, it did not quite strike an emotional cord with those who feel more anxiety about the lockdown lift rather than happiness. While a few felt put off by the overtly sexual tone of the ad majority found it funny.

Is the ad for chewing gum or is it more fitting for Viagra? Not everybody saw that the ad fit the product.
Get your ding back sounds like viagra (sorry), and had I not seen the extra branding I would have thought it was a viagra advert with the jumping on each other, kissing, rolling about on grass. — Female, 28
Didn't really understand what the point of the video was, also bit weird showing loads of random people kissing, wouldn't make me want to buy the product. — Female, 24
However you feel about it, it is going to be a transition and people will have to adjust once again to the new dynamics of daily life. Let's just hope we remember to take a shower and change out of our pyjamas, while Extra will take care of our fresh breath.
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