Where Brands meet Comedy

The comedy entertainment marketplace offer an ideal way of promoting brands through a number of marketing initiatives such as product launches, sponsorship and awareness campaigns.

In his career Matthew Willetts (Director) has created award winning artistic solutions for a number of leading brands. This has been achieved by an extensive knowledge of the entertainment industry, mixed with business experience and a clear understanding of the client’s brand. Comicus offers a variety of creative initiatives that present the ideal creative solution. A unique service from conception to delivery

After taking an initial brief, Comicus will suggest methods to reach the target audiences through entertainment initiatives and respective databases. Comicus works closely with the client by understanding the objectives of the project and the brand values before giving an extensive proposal and programme of action.

Creative Initiatives include: sponsorship platforms, social media programme, theatre tours, talent competitions, university tours and promotions, venue branding, road shows, television, DVD and the Edinburgh fringe festival.

Brands that work best through humour & comedy are brands that don’t take themselves too seriously and have a strong element of fun and social integration (see the Heinz Salad Cream case study at the bottom of the page).

Workshops & Training
Comicus Ltd provides a variety of arts based training and informative lectures that can be delivered to groups or to individuals to support corporate initiatives such as teambuilding, presentation, writing skills, change management or employee motivation. Our aim is to bring the best out of people, enabling them to achieve outstanding creative results.

Comedy workshops have been used for a multiple of corporate initiatives, such as a fun day experience or as a team building exercise involving presentation and writing skills. Emphasis can be placed on different aspects of the course depending on what the delegates want to achieve. The fun starts with looking at how comedy material is written and the different aspects that go into making a good joke or laugh line. This is rolled out by looking at our own life experiences as an inspiration to create relevant funny material.

One of the most effective forms of communication is humour. When people are being entertained they tend to listen and remember more. Comicus combine creative flair with technical excellence to produce promotional, training and information presentations on Video, DVD and AV. Taking a firm brief from the client we work to get your message across through humour, drama and strong writing. The creative team are experienced in producing many different styles of programmes, from a magazine format, to documentary, drama, reconstruction and pure advertising in a concise, effective and entertaining way.

Using the best comedy writers, producers and performers we offer a complete production service to provide our clients with dynamic, high impact presentations that work. Our creative team have worked on such broadcast TV programmes as Little Britain, Steve Coogan, Jack Dee, Harry Hill, The Sketch show, Have I got news for you, The Late Edition and many others. They have also worked for a number of corporate clients (Coca Cola, Swedish Match, SunAlliance, President Office Furniture, Marks & Spencer)

To assist others in the making of their own productions, Comicus offers a range of services, including scriptwriting, casting, directing, creative consultancy, video film crews and editing.

Speech Writing
One of the most daunting experiences for many people is to get up and make a speech. Comicus cannot only help and advise on Presentation skills but can use professional writers to script the speech based around a corporate initiative or personal brief.

View Major Drinks Manufacture Case Study

The Background

The client was a major soft drinks manufacturer which was holding its annual conference.

The Problem

During the conference the company wanted to provide their employees with help & support in areas that most concerned them. One such issue was public speaking. Those that had to do this, sometimes, frightening task were embarrassed, concerned and nervous at the thought of standing in front of people and delivering a speech let alone trying to be funny. They did not want to let themselves or the company down.

The Solution

A series of comedy workshops were booked during the conference for all styles of employees (lower, middle management & executive levels) where they were shown how to get up on stage with confidence and relax. Further, delegates were taught how to turn personal anecdotes into amusing stories without making them self indulgent and of no value. The Staff attending the workshops were also shown how to use the newspaper as a source of comedic and interesting research to include in a speech.

The Result

Delegates became a lot more relaxed and confident about standing up in front of people, delivering information with amusing asides. Further the managing director commissioned three speeches to be specifically written for him.

View Asphalt Engineering Company case study Case Study

 Asphalt Engineering Company

The client was a highly successful engineering (Asphalt) company supplying a unique web base flooring to support and make highways, pavements and airfields last longer.
The busy executives were completing 45 minute sales presentations up and down the country to interested groups and parties ranging from local councils to large construction companies.

The Problem

The professional presentations were packed with interesting product information but the subject matter could at times be a little tired. What was needed was something to lighten and possibly entertain to keep the audience alive and interested.

The Solution

Comicus developed a strategy of movement within the presentation, organised and re-scripted anecdotes and wrote a series of comedy material around the industry issues to help support and emphasise key points in a humorous but professional manner.

The Result

A better response and interest from delegates with key points being high lighted through humour.

View Southampton Solent University case study Case Study

Southampton Solent University

The Background

The client was a growing University in Southampton offering an established list of performance, media and television degree courses to students. One new course which was in development and receiving much praise was the new BA Comedy degree course, the first in the country.

The Problem

The University was trying to find a person with the relevant academic qualifications who could not only lecture, but had a strong professional comedy background so students could be instructed in an academic and practical manner. This was to convey the real life issues around performing and writing within the comedy industry.

The Solution

Comicus was approached to help, and our Director (Matthew Willetts) began lecturing on the module in Comedy writing & performance and further helped develop the course alongside the head tutor.

The Result

Students not only get an academic appreciation of Comedy, but gain a much needed practical insight into the running of a competitive and sometimes cut throat industry.

View Heinz Salad Cream (Relaunch) Case Study

Heinz Salad Cream

CAMPAIGNS: Relaunch – Reviving the fortunes of Salad Cream

ALEX BENADY, PR Week UK, Friday, 14 April 2000.

Client: HJ Heinz
Campaign: Relaunch of Salad Cream
PR Team: Holmes and Marchant Counsel
Timescale: Jan – Mar 2000
Budget: Undisclosed

Client: H.J. Heinz

Campaign: Relaunch of Salad Cream

PR Team: Holmes and Marchant Counsel

Timescale: Jan – Mar 2000

Budget: Undisclosed

HJ Heinz must be unique in having a trio of products so embedded in the national psyche, and larders, that rational discussion about them is almost impossible. Heinz’s Baked Beans, Ketchup and Salad Cream all drip  with resonance of childhood, and Britishness.

Unfortunately, in the case of the last product, the dream exceeds the reality. Although Heinz Salad Cream dominates its sector with 59 per cent share salad cream has long since been outflanked by other dressings and mayonnaise as palettes have become more sophisticated, and sales are in decline. However, the mere suggestion that Heinz was reviewing the future of the condiment was enough to the spark a nationwide ’save our sauce’ campaign in the media. Heinz swears that it had nothing to do with the campaign.

But bowing to popular demand, last month it announced that it was relaunching the product – with a 66 per cent price hike.


To put Heinz Salad Cream back on dining tables; to position it as a quirky taste; and to remind young adults in particular that it goes with everything.

Strategy and Plan

Because of short lead times, Holmes and Marchant had to start planning the relaunch before it was even confirmed that it would happen. The core objective was to inject some contemporary personality into a brand that was perceived as old-fashioned and had been sorely neglected for years. Research found that the taste, although universal in its appeal, was thought to be quirky and individualistic. The target market was identified as young adults – who would then be able to pass those memories on to their own children.

Comedy was thought to be a perfect fit with the message and the target market, so the brand was relaunched to a wide cross-section of consumer journalists at the a comedy club in London. The media were treated to contemporary foods with the addition of salad cream.

A photo call was arranged with Denise Van Outen and Graham Norton – both  quirky individuals – which allowed for some cheeky images of Norton rubbing salad cream into Van Outen’s chest. The session was also used to  launch a sponsored 20-venue comedy tour sponsored by Heinz Salad Cream.

Measurement and evaluation

The central messages that Heinz Salad Cream is back and that it tastes good with everything were faithfully replayed by the seven papers which reported the story. In fact the Sunday Mirror thought it was so good that it re-ran the news, despite it having already appeared in the daily edition. This then triggered a further round of coverage in the broadsheet dailies. It was also covered on BBC2’s Working Lunch, as well as BBC Radio 1, 2, News 24, and Virgin.  There were, however, some murmurs about the price having doubled and some suggestions that the original ’save our sauce’ campaign was in fact a tease.


Although part of a fully-integrated marketing campaign the PR has fulfilled its brief admirably. After years of neglect, it got Heinz Salad Cream talked about again. Retailers have been persuaded to stock it and, despite the massive price hike, Asda has even given the creamy condiment the accolade of a five-star relaunch package with special gondolas and in-store radio. A web site was also launched to coincide with the product’s availability in stores. Sales are said to be going well, although whether this can be sustained against competition from more exotic products has yet to be seen.

Copyright: PR Week

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