A small, animated pig explores the Marks and Spencer shelves and gazes in wonder at their festive delights in the new Christmas advert. Percy the Pig was once a gummy sweet, but in his 29 years of life, he has become a character, a brand and the face of M&S.
When walking the aisles, Percy merchandise is plentiful. There are pillows, socks, pyjamas, towels, and kitchenware. The sweet is now a sauce, a juice, a biscuit. The list is endless.
Percy even has his own Christmas range, comprised of an advent calendar, décor, outfits, Percymas pies and even a Percy Pig stocking.
But why is this pig so successful? Ten years after his creation, Percy gained popularity when a new variation appeared: Percy Pig and Pals. Joined with cola cow and orange and strawberry sheep, we learned that Percy had friends. He was no longer a sweet, he was a pig with friends.
Percy’s character was developed further when he fell in love with Penny, a lemon and vanilla flavoured gummy pig. Then came blueberry, lime, orange and strawberry piglets that helped to brand Percy as a family man. There was even a range of Percy’s parents.
Marks and Spencer personified Percy the Pig and this ensured he was loved. Consumers want to follow Percy on his journey, whether it’s globetrotting around the world or starting a family. People love to try the newest flavours and variations. This little pig connects with customer emotions, just like his best friend Colin the Caterpillar.
Marks and Spencer traditionally targeted an older demographic, but as they pioneer into the digital world this is changing. Percy is well-loved by children, young adults and families.
On the surface Percy is adored by children for his cute nature, however, his appeal goes beyond this. Young adults have watched Percy’s story develop over their lifetime. They are attached to him, so continue to buy the sweet.
TikTok is full of videos of Generation Z who grew up with Percy. The pig mascot participates in the latest TikTok trends and dances at M&S stores across the UK. With hundreds of accounts creating unique content, it is impossible to escape the Percy love.
Annually, 16 million packets of Percy Pigs are sold, which is the equivalent of 10 sweets every second. Although other supermarkets have tried to replicate Percy’s success, it is impossible to compete. Sorry Kevin the Carrot, but Percy will always hold our hearts.
Feature image credit: inkl