Viewers are literally loving or hating the new Marmite ad, which draws widespread complaints upon its release.
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority received 250 complaints about Marmite’s first ad in two years, within the first 24-hours of its release.
This controversial docu-style ad for the food spread spoofs the show, Animal Hospital – a BBC series featuring animal welfare stories from RSPCA hospitals.
The tongue-in-cheek spot was created by adam&eveDDB, London and follows a team rescuing "neglected" jars of Marmite that have been forgotten at the back of cupboards. The great acting teamed with BBC newsreader Michael Buerk as the voiceover adds to the documentary feel. It is the first ad for the brand in two years.
"The ridiculousness of a Marmite rescue team actually liberating these forgotten jars felt like it had the most potential for comedy, explains creative director, Rob Messeter.
"And then it came down to tone. It could have been brought to life in a much more over-the-top, more obviously ‘comedy’ way, but we thought playing it absolutely straight made the idea funnier.
"That’s where the director James Rouse came in. He wanted these rescue officers to take themselves and their task very seriously and that naturally lead to referencing an Animal Rescue-type TV show."
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority received 250 complaints about the ad within the first 24-hours of its release.
"I think early on, six months ago, we were aware from research groups that a very small minority of people felt uncomfortable with the rescue theme," says creative director, Mike Crowe.
Video: Marmite "Interview with shocked neighbour" by adam&eveDDB, London
Video: Marmite "Callum's Breakdown" by adam&eveDDB, London
"So we were conscious of always trying to be as respectful as possible to the genre. To parody the work of animal rescue officers in a jokey way felt wrong.
"To be honest we had no idea it would stir up such a fuss when the ad broke, all we set out to do was to simply make it as funny and entertaining as possible. Luckily the majority of people can see the funny side, and of all the brands, Marmite has license to be divisive."
The advert is running on television, YouTube, the brand’s Facebook and website.
Video: Marmite “End Marmite Neglect” by adam&eveDDB, London
Video: Marmite “Meet Rookie Officer Callum Howe” by adam&eveDDB, London
Beyond the multimedia and TV content, the campaign includes a series of outdoor posters shot by photographer David Sykes of kitchen cupboards, featuring forgotten Marmite jars.
What side is Archive on? The ad made it as our Spot of the Week...