Ribena is set to launch a new brand positioning as part of its debut campaign from BBH, introducing the tagline ‘Chin Up’ with two hilarious films one of which introduces us to the fab Ribena cats ‘mate’.
The two entertaining films and OOH campaign will be highly relatable for anyone who’s struggled to parallel park a car, had an awkward handshake moment, or been harshly judged by a cat.
Representing a major shift in direction for Ribena, ‘Chin Up’ is rooted in those awkward, banana skin moments (like calling your boss ‘mum’), which might make you cringe in the moment, but once shared with friends, gives everyone a good laugh.
After being appointed by Ribena in 2021, BBH devised ‘Chin Up’ to be a long-term brand platform that can be activated day to day in entertaining ways, and aims to help people laugh through life’s little stumbles.
The campaign has a £7 million investment to reach a significant 91% of adults in the UK, and is set to make a splash this summer, during Ribena’s key soft drink selling season and beyond.
Charlotte Flook, Head of Ribena at Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I said: “Ribena is an icon mainstay of the soft drinks category – in fact, we’ve been bringing our incredible taste to consumers in the UK for over eight decades now!
“With the brand in strong growth of +15%[i], now is the perfect time to launch our new campaign.
“‘Chin Up’ puts our brand’s cheeky irreverent personality at its heart by encouraging the nation to reach for a Ribena to help them laugh through life’s awkward little stumbles.”
Centred around two films, directed by Thomas Ormonde of Mindseye in collaboration with BBH, the campaign will also run across online video, OOH, social media and in store marketing, prompting shoppers to reach for the drink “when it’s Ri-bena bit awkward”.
Flook added “this new positioning will drive reappraisal of the drink to help retailers to grow their sales of the brand in store across our ever-popular ready-to-drink and squash ranges and give their category sales a lift.
“BBH’s clear-eyed thinking about the direction the brand must head in makes a huge amount of sense, and the creative way they’ve brought it to life with ‘Chin Up’ is a joy.”
In the first ‘Chin Up’ film (above) we see a man attempting to parallel park. Even before he begins, he feels under pressure thanks to the very tight spot’s proximity to Nosey’s Cafe, Gawpers Supermarket and a bus stop – plus a lorry driver offering some less-than-helpful advice as he waits to pass.
As attempt after attempt goes wrong, various cats – nature’s most judgemental animal – chime in with a disappointed head shake and a chorus of ‘Maaaaate’.
Finally the man reaches for his Ribena, and after taking a sip the tables are turned – he’s now relaxing in the role of onlooker, and one of the cats is in the driver’s seat (doing an even worse job).
The voiceover says: “When it’s Ribena high-pressure parking palaver… Chin up, my friend. Chin up.”
Another film (below) shows a woman checking her reflection in a tinted car window, only for a teenager – nature’s second most judgemental animal – to roll the window down and give her one of the most chilling looks in British advertising history.
This awkward altercation continues with various reflective surfaces, until she pulls out her bottle of Ribena.
John Nolan Studio, famous for its animatronics on films like Jurassic Park Dominion and Mary Poppins Returns, created the clowder of cats featured in one of the films. The OOH activity has been illustrated by Rob Flowers.
Helen Rhodes, Executive Creative Director at BBH, said: “It’s not everyday you get the chance to take an iconic, beloved British brand and reimagine it to the world.
“We took this task very seriously but we also had a lot of fun doing it. Animatronic cats are just the start. This is a brand platform with endless possibilities to get Ribena talked about in culture and beyond. One awkward moment at a time.”
The campaign breaks 1 June, running on TV in the UK and Ireland, including ITV, Channel 4, Finecast and Sky.