If you’re marketing a new product, you couldn’t hope for a better response than Lewis Road Creamery got to its chocolate milk in 2014. It was impossible to miss the drink’s launch, with stock shortages leading to queues at the dairy fridge, fights at supermarket checkouts and even a chocolate milk black market.
There were plenty of rumours around the way it was being marketed, including that supply was limited to keep up the hype. That’s partially because Lewis Road is the brainchild of Peter Cullinane, former ad boss at Saatchi and Saatchi. But he says they’d planned nothing of the sort – they were just the victim of their own success.
The first product he made wasn’t the chocolate milk, it was butter, which has a special place in his heart.
“I’ve got this thing about butter. My father was a man of very few words, he was a man of so few words that one of the things I remember, I was beating cream as a kid and he said ‘if you carry on doing that, you’ll make butter’ so I associate butter with good things, and I eat a lot of it”.
He made his first butter in the kitchen at home, pitched it to a local supermarket, and Lewis Road was born. Milk and cream were the next two products on the shelves, but it was when they added Whittaker’s chocolate to that milk that it really took off.
From the idea to conception was just a matter of weeks. Cullinane says to make a successful product, the branding has to be brilliant “but the product has to be better.
"The combination of Whittaker’s and Lewis Road is brilliant, but when you take the cap off and sample it, it’s like nectar”.
To hear more about the Lewis Road story, listen to HP Business Class below:\