'Comeback of the century': Turkey Twizzlers return with boxing-inspired social push

Turkey Twizzlers: taken off school menus after Oliver campaign
Turkey Twizzlers: taken off school menus after Oliver campaign

Social campaign is accompanied by giant statue outside company HQ.

The much-derided Bernard Matthews brand Turkey Twizzlers has returned after 15 years with a social media campaign featuring a light-hearted sporting theme.

With the tagline “Comeback of the century", a 16-second teaser shows a series of newspaper headlines such as “Man tortured with quinoa” and “No more fun at dinner times”, then depicts a fitness trainer in 1980s-style gear putting an unknown character through their paces.

This generated speculation in titles including LadBible, Mail Online and The Sun.

A full version of the video was released yesterday (Tuesday) on Bernard Matthews' social channels and a three-metre-tall statue of a golden Turkey Twizzler was unveiled outside the company's head office in Norfolk.

The activity, released alongside a new pack design, was led by Nexus PR and supported by Beattie for paid digital media.

Turkey Twizzlers were withdrawn from school menus in 2005 after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticised their lack of nutritional value as part of his "Feed me better" campaign to improve the standard of meals served in schools.

The new-look product has been reformulated to contain about twice as much turkey meat and fewer calories than the previous incarnation and is available in two variants – Original Tangy Tomato and Chilli Cheese.

David Leigh, marketing director at Bernard Matthews, said: “Relaunching a product with such a deep place in people’s hearts has made us think very carefully about how we communicated. Nearly 30,000 people signed a petition to bring it back in 2018. There were so many creative opportunities – I’m sure you can imagine, some very tempting.

"However, with this campaign, we’ve looked to capture the mood of the nation and keep it simple and positive; mischievous, not malicious. We all need to make a comeback right now. Hopefully, even if in just a small way, this campaign gives consumers – Twizzlers fans or not – some light relief.”

Nexus managing director Harvey Choat said: “The context of where the world is makes this relaunch much more potent. There will be haters, but it’s hard not love a good comeback – consumers are sick of the gloom.”

Turkey Twizzlers are being listed by major supermarkets from 20 August, starting in Iceland.

A version of this story first appeared in PRWeek

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