British Collection – Tim Tam


What a delight it is to have you for afternoon tea Boris! Could we fancy you with a Fish & Chips, or perhaps a Bangers & Mash Tim Tam? Do take a seat on the couch and make yourself at home while we put the kettle on.

On the 12th of June 2020 Tim Tam became the focal point of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s free trade proposal between the UK and Australia. The world watched on as Johnson held up a Tim Tam packet during a press conference and said, “How long can the British people be deprived of the opportunity to have Arnott’s Tim Tams at a reasonable price?”

And when the conference ended, Johnson’s mic dropped through the floor shattering into the Southern Hemisphere, landing right on the doorstep of Campbell Arnott’s.

Momentarily, you could hear cicadas singing in the gum trees as Australia’s favourite chocolate biscuit was thrust into a global spotlight.


In recent years, the Tim Tam marketing focus has been on growth through innovation (e.g. new flavour ranges like Messina, Slams, Crafted Collection). These rotations have built fame and affinity for the brand beyond the “core” range; it has also primed Tim Tam’s highly engaged social audience to eagerly anticipate the new flavour introductions each year and deliver a huge amount of amplification.

So, when Boris Johnson’s seemingly off-the-cuff remark created an opportunity for a real-time marketing response that could create & extend earned media fame for Tim Tam during the news cycle, demonstrate Tim Tam flavour innovation credentials in a playful way and seed the broader business story about new markets and global expansion. Arnott’s and Publicis Groupe’s The Neighbourhood found themselves with very little time to beat around the bush.


Within a day of the trade deal press conference we had created the Tim Tam British Collection. A range of conceptual flavours “inspired by British cuisine.” A bit of light-hearted Australian banter with our Commonwealth friends, the range included left-of-centre flavours like Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips, Scotch Egg, and Scones & Cream. But the “concept” became much more, with such an enthusiastic response from the public Arnott’s culinary team got to work producing a limited run of Tim Tam Scones & Cream for taste testing which made the rounds on national media like Sunrise, Pedestrian Group and more.


With a fair shake of the sauce bottle, Arnott’s and the The Neighbourhood had set new benchmarks for the brand, the Tim Tam British Collection delivered all-time highs for the in Earned Reach, number of placements, social engagement rates and Earned Share of Voice. Tim Tam dominated SOV across the entire sweet treat category in Australia (this includes; Cadbury, Ferrero, Mondelez, Nestle), Tim Tam captured a 37% share of voice in Earned media in June (baseline SOV is 10-15%).

The fast turnaround of the Tim Tam British Collection would not have been possible without the immense mutual trust between client and agency. Arnott’s and The Neighbourhood have demonstrated to brands that when given the opportunity to hijack the news, with speed and proficiency a creative concept can have a phenomenal impact.

  • Weeklong debate over the new flavours created massive levels of engagement (>20%) on owned social platforms
  • Three separate waves of coverage over a two-week period
  • 500+ pieces of earned media coverage generating 160MM+ earned opportunities to see
  • 3MM social media impressions, 150,000 engagements and 18,000 shares of content
  • Thousands of social comments and call centre calls to “make Scones & Cream real”
  • Inspired an Aussie to deliver Tim Tam packets to 10 Downing Street for Johnson’s birthday
  • Amplified the company’s corporate story around “Australian-made” as a key point of difference from its competitors in the snacking category.
  • The “concept” lead to the production of a limited
  • Secured business profile features in national business publications like The Age and SMH.
  • Tim Tam British Collection has put a jolt into Arnott’s international expansion plans.

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Herd MSL

Herd MSL is an ANZ public relations and integrated communications agency that provides strategic counsel and creative thinking. We champion our clients’ interests through fearless and insightful campaigns that engage multiple perspectives and holistic thinking to build influence and deliver impact.

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