I do like a McVitie’s biscuit. Digestives, Chocolate Digestives, Hobnobs, Chocolate Hobnobs, Fruit Shortcakes. Love em all.

And those producers of fine biscuits McVitie’s have launched their new campaign. Helping bring all those wonderful biscuits front of mind again (not that they’re ever far away to be honest). The new campaign aims to embed their role in modern society. Ok, so McVitie’s have a new purpose – to bring people closer together, through the act of sharing one of their biscuits.

A company’s purpose is the reason they exist. So McVitie’s are saying the reason they produce biscuits is to bring people closer together. That’s why they do what they do.

I’ve eaten a McVitie’s with other people many, many times. And I’ve eaten a McVitie’s on my own many, many times (over the duration of my life of-course).

Question: Can I ever eat a McVitie’s on my own anymore? Do McVitie’s actually want me to eat one of their biscuits on my own any more? If I ever see a pack in the draw (substitute cupboard/tin/etc.) can I think, I’ll have one of those, because they’re gorgeous tasting pieces of food pleasure. What do you think? If people do eat a McVitie’s on their own, are the company failing to deliver their purpose?

Is this is a case of a business looking at what they do, what they are, and saying ‘we need to get ourselves one of those social purpose things, quick’.

Company purpose or social purpose

With a purpose of bringing people closer together, the campaign aims to tap into (interesting phrase itself) the societal issue of loneliness. We’re digitally connected beyond belief, yet we can still feel isolated from each other. That’s a very real piece of insight. But is this ad addressing loneliness? I genuinely don’t know, I’m asking you. Is this scenario genuine loneliness? Or is it more of a temporary situation driven by circumstance. Once down from the crane, does the crane driver still feel loneliness?

As a campaign message, a focus for their communication, sharing a biscuit together works. It can certainly help bring enjoyment and a shared brief connection. But that’s just one way having a biscuit is a pleasurable experience. It’s a treat, something to enjoy together or on your own.

I’m not sure tying it to societal issues that have deep roots, such as loneliness, is the right thing to do. I can’t help feeling McVitie’s are trying to raise an issue but they’ve missed the real heart of it. And that’s because they’ve tried to wedge themselves into having a social purpose.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope the second ad builds on this first. And we begin to see commitment towards addressing loneliness. Let’s see.

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