LBB> When the client approached you, what were they keen to do with this campaign?
Jonathan> We’ve always had a great relationship with the Thomy/Nestlé client, and at some point, they approached us to challenge them with creative ideas that would force them to step out of their comfort zone. They’ve always been a conservative brand but wanted to push the envelope, and see what could happen if they let go of the reins, and trusted us as their agency partner to guide their brand into a more modern way of advertising.
LBB> Tell us a little bit about how ‘The Thomy Saurk’ was first mentioned during the ideation process.
Jonathan> For me, as I guess is the truth for a lot of people, having seen the response to the Saurk, food has always been a mere vessel to get sauce in my mouth. And one day while eating lunch and brainstorming some ideas for Thomy/Nestlé with my art director, I reached for the tube to replenish the dollop on my plate for the umpteenth time that meal, and asked her, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could screw a fork on top of the tube so people could sauce every bite as they eat". Shock, horror and disgust briefly ensued until my AD remembered how much ketchup and mayo she goes through every time I visit.
LBB> The product is self-proclaimed ‘unnecessarily necessary’. Why did you want to bring a little fun and humour to this ad?
Jonathan> Joy is a part of Thomy’s DNA. They’ve always understood that sauce is about adding a bit of joy to food. It’s not entirely necessary to have it, but why would you want to eat anything without it? This is the same for joy as an emotion. Some would argue it’s not necessary to have joy to live, but what kind of life is that? The Saurk is no different. It brings even more joy to adding sauce to your food. You can’t help but smile at how unnecessarily silly and fun it all is. And after everything the world has been through over the past few years, something to spread a bit of joy seemed absolutely, completely, entirely, unnecessarily necessary.
LBB> We’d love to hear a little more about German humour, how you tapped into it and how you struck the right balance to make this spot so funny.
Jonathan> The best comedy, no matter where it comes from or who delivers it, all has one thing in common – it’s rooted in truth. I think as humans we’re entertained by reality more than fantasy because we can relate to it, and actually, we do like to laugh at ourselves sometimes. From the outside looking in, the truth is, Germans take engineering, sausages and mustard very seriously. So, when we got super serious about German engineering, the most unnecessarily efficient way to sauce a sausage and stuff, I think it was always going to resonate on some level because it’s so rooted in Germanness.
LBB> There are so many hilarious details in this campaign. How did you come up with ‘saucing and forking’, ‘snackcessory’, ‘optimal food stabby-stabby’ and some of the other amazing lines?
Jonathan> There’s an entire sub-culture of fanatical sauce lovers on the internet, with their own in-jokes and memes and we wanted every line of the campaign to be just as funny as what was already out there. Honestly, there was as much eye-rolling as there was laughter at times, but we just kept asking, could it be more silly? Could it be more fun? Could it be even more unnecessary? And the lines just kinda kept pouring out. Easy-peezy Thomy squeezy.
LBB> The Saurk is not only reducing sauce wastage but it’s recyclable, dishwasher safe and reusable! How did you achieve this during the design process?
Jonathan> Obviously, we didn’t want to create another useless single-use object. You could say, all-around saucestainability was always a goal during the design process. So, we had to do a lot of research around materials that would be recyclable and stand up to high dishwashing temperatures so the Saurk could be used over and over again. And obviously, we had a lot of help from a product designer who is way smarter than any of us when it comes to making something that is actually usable and does what it says on the packaging.
LBB> And following that, how long did it take to create The Thomy Saurk in production? Did you face any challenges throughout the process?
Jonathan> Let’s just say it wasn’t forking easy. But what’s a year and a bit between friends?
LBB> Of course, the voiceover sets an amazing tone. Who did you cast to narrate this spot and how long did it take to hit the right notes to create the voiceover for the campaign?
Jonathan> We ended up using one of the actors in the film. Leo Kuhnen was only supposed to deliver a guiding voice for timing, but after getting into the booth and absolutely nailing the character of ‘mad scientist’ so perfectly, there was no going back.
LBB> How has the German market reacted to his hilarious spot?
Jonathan> You’re always gonna have internet trolls no matter what you put in the world, but to say we’re blown away by the positive response would be an understatement. To give you an idea, in the first couple of hours after launch a piece of content we posted on TikTok received 1.5 million organic views. 25K likes and almost 10k shares.
LBB> What are some of the best reactions you’ve seen or heard of so far?
Jonathan> There have been so many. “THIS IS ELON MUSK!!!”, “GERMANS GERMANING”, “WHAT IN THE GERMAN-ENGINEERING IS GOING ON HERE?”. If you think our campaign is funny, just go scroll through the comment sections of some of our TikTok content. The internet is a far funnier place.
LBB> Are there any other juicy details to share?
Jonathan> Turns out the line, “One small fork for man, one giant squeeze for mankind”, may not have been a complete joke after all. Let’s just say, if you’ve ever wanted to go to the International Space Station, but have been worried about eating dry sauceless astronaut food, watch this space… haha.