Pam's happy to serve up big helpings of Oliver

By IRENE CHAPPLE

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the face for Pam's, is enjoying something of a renaissance.

The advertising he fronts has just creamed the competition in New Zealand's inaugural EFFIE awards, and Oliver's mug is now prominent nationwide in a new phase of the campaign.

Indeed, the young Bri'ish geezer who endeared himself to New Zealanders almost two years ago continues to offer Pam's a selection of jolly good news.

The Pam's campaign, created by Foote Cone & Belding, collected Best In Show at the EFFIEs, a celebration of advertising effectiveness.

This week the campaign moved from its high-profile television and magazine strategy on to bus backs, which will - according to FCB general manager Brian van den Hurk - reinforce the link between Oliver and the brand.

Pam's is also sponsoring new television cooking show Oliver's Twist, which started last month.

Last week, Oliver announced he and his wife Jules are expecting their second child, five months after the birth of daughter Poppy.

That, reportedly, has been of particular excitement for the couple who had been told Jules was unable to have more children.

It's exciting news too for Pam's, Foodstuffs' private label brand, which has Oliver signed up as its face until the middle of next year.

"He's just a well-liked personality," says Bart Wright, Foodstuffs' manager, private label.

"He has validity in food, has energy, youth and family ... he's now a married man with children ... he is the perfect fit for the brand."

The signing of Oliver by FCB was an inventive process.

To convince the star - who knew nothing about Pam's or the New Zealand market - to front the campaign, the agency had a kauri pantry made, packed with Pam's products and shipped to Oliver.

His signing sunk around $2 million of Foodstuffs marketing dollars over the year - not much more than a standard fast-moving consumer goods campaign, says Wright.

In return, Oliver delivered a 20 per cent increase in sales - worth $60 million.

According to FCB research, Pam's image as a "frumpy, apron-clad woman with cardigan and slippers" was lost in favour of Oliver's attributes of "quality, contemporary and cool".

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