Jones Knowles Ritchie revives Phileas Fogg brand

Jones Knowles Ritchie has turned its hand to ailing snack brand Phileas Fogg, set to relaunch in January.

The consultancy, which is rostered to United Biscuits, having worked on Penguin, McVitie’s and Go Ahead!, was invited to a three-way strategic pitch to revive the brand in October last year, according to JKR account director Lorna MacLellan.

Previous incarnations of the brand saw the original ‘airmail’ strip and illustration of ‘Phileas’ evolve into packaging featuring evocations of market stalls, thought to be by Design Bridge, and more generic branding featuring a black roundel created by Ziggurat.

The most recent version, featuring a hand-written typeface, saw Phileas put aside his trademark balloon to ride a Harley-Davidson and a gondola in Venice. ‘For us, you can’t have Phileas without the balloon. It’s like James Bond without his dinner jacket,’ says MacLellan.

United Biscuit’s decision to rejuvenate the brand, which had ‘lost its way’ and been de-listed from major supermarkets, was prompted by growth within the sector and the success of competitors such as Kettle Chips and Tyrrells.

Sales of premium snacks are growing by almost 10 per cent, according to United Biscuits commercial manager Nick Stuart.

JKR has opted for a design which makes the brand the central focus. ‘It was a fairly straightforward approach,’ says MacLellan. ‘The charisma of the brand lies in Phileas himself – that’s where we saw the real wealth of opportunity for the branding.’

The name, which consumers are already familiar with, has been given prominence, while the colour palette is reserved, with subtle on-pack changes designed to aid navigation. The background colour reflects the product variants, while the accent indicates flavour.

The relaunch will be supported by a £2m TV advertising campaign.



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