In terms of brands, there are a few things for me that mark the onset of Christmas. Pret’s Christmas sandwiches, Starbucks’ red cups, and Hellman’s’ sing-along Christmas TV ad to name a few. But not forgetting Innocent smoothies’ adorable bobble hats.
I first saw these a couple of years ago and thought it was an inspired (if fairly expensive) piece of product marketing. Completely fitting with the brand personality and creating stand-out on the shelf.
This year those happy chaps at Innocent have taken it to a whole new level. Enter, The Big Knit.
Some pretty heavy advertising spend must have been placed behind this (thank you Coca-Cola) due to the double-page skyscraper ads in The Times earlier this week, but it made me take note. It seems that Innocent were made aware of how the public embraced the woolly hat novelty of years gone by and this year have created a whole campaign around it.
Together with Age UK (a charity ethos that tend to tug at the heartstrings at this time of year), Innocent asked the great British public to knit their very own Innocent bobble hats of their own design. Sadly, we’re now too late to offer knitting expertise to the smoothie bottles because, as the site helpfully told me today, all the hats have been dispatched to stores.
However, you can still contribute – by buying Innocent smoothies, natch. In Boots and Sainsbury’s up and down the cournty. 25p from every purchase goes straight to Age UK. And while I seem to remember this little woolly numbers from only a couple of years back, Innocent have been working with these guys for much longer than that:
“We first got our needles out back in 2003 when we knitted 20,000 hats to raise £10,000 money for Age Concern [now Age UK]. Since then The Big Knit has grown every single year – and 2010 will be the year we smash the £1 million mark of total money raised over the campaign’s history as we aim to put 800,000 hats on our bottles.”
So keep a look out for the bottles, and the hats on bikes coming to a town near you. Post a comedy be-hatted picture to the Facebook group, and if you’re quite the knitter, you can still learn how to make your very own Innocent hat with videos on the site. Or perhaps put your needles to better use and create something for your local Age UK outlet.
Happy Christmas Innocent.
(and just for the hell-mans of it, have a sing-along)