Lurpak Weave Your Magic Case Study

Creative Effectiveness Lions are coveted by both brands and agencies, showing that creative work actually achieves a business goal and pushes the brand’s performance forward.

For Lurpak, a look at the neurological responses to the ad show that its effectiveness comes from strong emotional drivers and memory triggers for both men and women.

As part of our exclusive series of neuro-analyses of the winning ads at Cannes this year in partnership with Neuro Insight, we took a look at how viewers' brains respond to Lurpak's ads.

Masterfully Magical/Magically Masterful

On first impressions, the Luprak “Weave Your Magic” ad takes one on an adventure, reminiscent of childhood fantasy movies that whisked us off to a faraway place – yet this place isn’t so far – it’s just a few steps away in the kitchen. The ad portrays the ‘magical’ world of baking and cooking, which of course, wouldn’t be possible without the help of Lurpak butter. But, do viewers fall down the rabbit hole into wonderland, rushing off to buy Lurpak butter for that tea party they’re late for? Well, this ad won a Creative Effectiveness Lion which is awarded for those ads whose creativity has shown measurable influence on consumer behaviour, whether it be through brand equity, sales or profit. To understand why this ad was effective, let’s take a deeper look through Neuro Insight‘s Memory Encoding time-series Analysis, looking at female viewers first.

 As we can see from the Memory Encoding graphs, the female audience appears to be captured from the start of narrative; Memory encoding starts off strongly and is sustained as the narrative develops and peaking at the strongest scene in the ad - the butter falling into the flour. This is a powerful image that can also be used on billboards to replay the entire TV in the audience’s mind. Engagement and Emotional Intensity scores are considered as well.

Immediately after this peak Memory Encoding drops significantly for the next 10 seconds, an effect also seen in the male group. It seems that, while women were highly engaged (not shown here) by the opening narrative and music featuring the magic and mystery, as soon as the mystery is resolved and the ‘magic’ is revealed to be cooking ‘that brings people to her door’, memory encoding drops. This pronounced drop in memory encoding is an example of what we term ‘Conceptual Closure’ and occurs whenever the brain identifies the ending of an event, an event boundary, or when an implicit question is answered or uncertainty in a story is resolved.

While Conceptual Closure can sometimes seriously compromise ad effectiveness, in this case, Conceptual Closure is not a problem as it does not occur around the times of branding. Branding occurs earlier in the ad visually when Memory Encoding is high, as well as towards the end when memory encoding is re-triggered at a crucial moment – the scene where the butter is spread onto the roll which coincides with the voice-over ‘and a good measure of Lurpak butter’. So, women register the fact that the ad isn’t just about cooking, more specifically, it’s about butter. But will women remember which brand of butter? The Neuro Insight measures, indicate that they will. With strong Memory Encoding at visual branding at the start, about 15 seconds in, at verbal branding towards the end, “a good measure of Lurpak butter” and at final branding, right at the last moment, Memory reaches or exceeds 0.7, which is Neuro Insight’s benchmark for effectiveness. This shows that, by women’s standards, Lurpak definitely deserved to win the Creative Effectiveness Lion. But, do men feel the same?

While men show greater variability in Memory Encoding, the male Memory Encoding peaks generally coincide with the female ones in all but the first five seconds of the ad. Once again, the revelation that cooking is the magic that ‘brings people to her door’ triggers the Conceptual Closure drop in memory. However, when it counts – at key branding moments - Memory Encoding is just as strong, if not stronger than women’s memory response. Thus, the Lurpak brand was communicated effectively to both male and female audiences.

Overall, it’s clear to see why the Lurpak ad won a Creative Effectiveness Lion. Not only is the narrative well encoded, but the ad uses precisely the right moments to brand allowing viewers to effectively store in conscious and unconscious memory ‘the Magic of Lurpak’.

We've also looked Volvo's Jean-Claud Van Damme fuelled Epic Split and the Harvey Nichols' 'Sorry I Spent it on Myself' ad.

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Have something to say? Send us your comments using the form below or contact the writer at

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Weaving some magic

This case study from AQR's Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Awards reveals how Lurpak became a global 'champion of good food'.

Lurpak sells in 75 different countries but while the product is the same the brand had never established a consistent global positioning.

In 2007, the first year of launching the new, 'champion of good food' positioning, the brand achieved double digit growth, overtaking Flora to become category leader. Lurpak had grown by realising what was important to its audience: to make butter matter to people, you had to talk about what mattered to them — food.

But there was a problem replicating this success in other markets: with food an inherently local issue, how could Lurpak be the ‘champion of good food’ globally?

The brand was set an audacious challenge: develop one campaign which could both create a brand in new markets like Australia — to drive awareness and trial — and change perceptions of a brand established for 100 years, as in Denmark, to improve consideration.

To do this, we would need to find a universal truth about food as powerful in Saudi as it was in Russia. We didn’t know what we were looking for but we did know it had to be different. It had to escape the category standards to stand out sufficiently to inspire consumers.

Building the platform

Our innovative Positioning Web methodology underpinned our approach. Even though it is based on a standard ‘insight, benefit, reason to believe’ format, it is significantly different to the rigidity of typical positioning stimulus. Each Web board has a particular theme but allows for multiple insights, consumer benefits (rational and emotional) and reasons to believe. Each of these elements is ‘sprinkled’ around the board.

Crucially, this creative approach encourages deeper stimulation, allowing consumers multiple ways into the same area. The absence of any clear rational coherence means respondents are more open to looking for meaning and connections: they think harder. They can also reject individual elements without rejecting the whole idea. The process helps consumers articulate what is really meaningful to them.

We supplemented our Webs with ‘manifesto’ versions of the same positioning areas. Written (by Wieden & Kennedy) to give more free ranging, poetic evocations of the same area, these provided another way of illuminating what had the greatest potential to captivate.

Our global research partners (we covered seven countries) weren’t used to working in this way. Time had to be built into the process to coach them in this more free-form approach. Close collaboration throughout was important in ensuring ideas emerging from one market were followed up in the next and to properly understand the areas of difference and distinction. The lead researcher from Voodoo and the planner from W&K watched all the sessions and liaised closely with local moderators after each one.

This constant discussion between researcher and planner was a critical part of the process. The output had to not only be based on real insight but also be a springboard to great creative work.

Research output

This was the proper use of qualitative research: analysis feeding creative thinking. We weren’t looking for a winner from pre-set ideas, rather to learn enough to inspire a brand platform with real, universal emotional heft.

We saw past different languages and tastes, to the one thing that united them as food lovers: the visceral joy experienced while cooking and the ‘moment of alchemy’ when raw ingredients transform into finished products.

A multi-sensorial moment of sights, sounds, smells and textures. It wasn’t just good food we needed to talk about, it was the creation of good food. Good food was divisive, cooking universal. And butter was key: you couldn’t make a great cake without butter to bind it all or a sauce without butter to enhance the taste. Butter was the food lover’s ally in this joyous moment.

The strategy — the heroic cook

This moment of creation became the anchor point for our story. We would drive growth by telling the story of the food lover as a cook, making heroes of them and creating a brand world that they felt intrinsically connected to.

The creative idea: from hero to magician

With the cook cast as hero, the kitchen was their miraculous kingdom. Ingredients were transformed; states were changed as things were mixed, moulded, melted, bubbled and risen. It was a moment for our food lover to realise their creative potential, a place of miracles and failures, a place where they were powerful, alive and special.

And so Weave Your Magic was born: a campaign about the magical power of the cook to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.


WYM has been rolled out in six markets, with plans to roll out to another seven by 2016. The largest global roll out in the brand’s 100 year history.

New market: Australia

Since campaign launch in May 2013, Lurpak has seen the fastest growth in its market history, far outpacing both value and volume growth for the total market and at a higher rate than any individual competitor.

Established market: Sweden

Launched in September 2013, WYM has proved it can improve brand fortunes in an established market. Data shows the ad created brand appeal and confirmed the brand’s alignment with their beliefs (‘passionate about good food’), increasing their consideration of the brand, which in turn corresponded with significant sales uplift.


Weave Your Magic shows how true audience insight can be used to cross cultural divides, even in the most local of categories like food and to straddle completely different stages of market growth, from new to established. It is proof that with the right insight global work can be locally relevant, creatively engaging and commercially successful.


Peter Fenton-O'Creevy
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2015

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *