Julie's Biscuits ad with GOVT SG follows story of 'fictionalised' marketing head

Julie’s Biscuits has launched a film titled "Operation Maybe", as part of its recent rebranding campaign. Collaborating with creative agency GOVT, the biscuit company aims to elevate its new look and spread its reinvigorated message of confidence through its film. 

The film features a Malaysian cast including Indi Nadarajah, Fabian Loo, Amanda Ang and Bella Rahim. It tells the story of Julie's marketing head, Raju, proposing to rebrand the company but was met with a "maybe" from his boss, which Raju deems as disapproval. Raju then gathered different colleagues in the company to physically change the logo outside the building to let his boss see what a good idea it is. According to a press release, the story-line is fictionalised, comical take inspired by Julie’s actual real-life multi-layered rebranding process, including internal management, employee and stakeholder consultations and navigating insights from actual Julie’s consumers and focus groups.

The film was rolled out on Julie’s YouTube channel, social media, and digital platforms. It was also edited into a 60-second teaser that was released prior to the film. 

Julie's creative collaboration with GOVT started in 2019, while the rebranding process kicked off in 2017. Julie’s director, Tzy Horng Sai, said the rebranding exercise included expertise of its founding members and new generation talent. 

“We felt after 35 years, Julie’s needed some rejuvenation. For the longest time, we were kind of just…there. Seen, but not necessarily heard. We wanted to change that," Sai said. While Julie’s still hold the same values with the rebranding, Sai said the company wanted to shout it out to the world, be bold and thought-provoking, and bring a little optimism to every day. "It’s a change we believe our loyal fans will be on board with, and one we hope will attract new ones too. Taking a plunge into something new isn’t just something we’ve done, it’s something we hope to inspire others to do too," he added.

Kevin Joseph, GOVT’s associate creative director, said the team poured much of themselves into the characters in the film. It also hopes the audience watching it realise they are never too old to grow young, no matter where they are in life. "To see a heritage brand like Julie’s embrace evolution like this is inspiring. When you've been at something for so long, it's easy to get stuck in the status quo. I'm sure we've all been there before, especially in our jobs," he added. Joseph leads Julie’s rebranding filming process, following the team’s 2019 short film, The Translator. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to GOVT for additional information.

According to Julie's, it had to accelerate its marketing, consumer engagement and product deployment strategies aggressively onto digital platforms amidst the pandemic-hit year. “A lot of the marketers in Asia still rely on physical branding and on-ground promotional activities to engage with customers. We had to hasten our digitalisation efforts to best interact with our customers and introduce the brand to new consumers,” Sai said. This comes as festive seasons such as Hari Raya, Christmas, and Chinese New Year, were halted due to the pandemic.  

“We do believe that our strong family brand identity has brought back fond memories during this challenging year. Julie’s is privileged to have the loyalty of many consumers who have developed an emotional relationship with our brand and our value of sharing. We hope that we are still helping families and friends create warm memories during these trying times,” Sai added.

Julie's first rebranded in November 2020, unveiling its new brand logo, which aims to give the brand a younger look. In the new logo, Julie has short hair and wears a hairband with a red ribbon at the top, as well as a blue outfit. She is looking forward and upwards in the new logo and according to the brand's corporate identity guide, Julie takes on "a spirit of hope and confidence". Despite the brand refresh, Julie is still the same girl, as evident from her blonde hair and splash of red. The brand's primary colours - yellow and blue - are also prominent in the new logo. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE then, Sai said Julie's spent close to SG$1 million for the entire project and worked with Superunion for the global rebrand. 

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