The power of the penguin: Bluebird celebrates 60th anniversary, tweaks ad for release of new ‘Kiwi As’ flavours

Potato chips and penguins are not a particularly natural partnership. But the power of advertising has made it so. And now, in Bluebird’s 60th year, our Antarctic friends are back in a rehashed ad to promote a co-branding initiative with Tegel and Wattie’s that sees the release of some new ‘Kiwi As’ flavours. 

Bluebird’s first polar-themed ad is thought to have first appeared in the late ’80s and spliced together real footage. Later on, an animated ad featuring water-skiing penguins aired between 1994 and 1996 (Animation Research Limited, which does the graphics for a range of sports broadcasts, including the America’s Cup, won a host of international awards for their trouble). And the ‘Heist’ ad featuring Aerosmith track ‘Walk this Way’ was launched a few years back. That ad has been given a spruce up by Energi and Kaleidoscope, and some funk has been added in the form of a Tahuna Breaks track. 

According to the Bluebird website, the company, which is now owned by PepsiCo, opened its doors 60 years ago in 1953, “just a few years after young entrepreneur Les Saussey’s started selling popcorn and then potato chips at the Western Spring Speedway in Auckland. Les started out small but the popularity of his Bluebird chips quickly grew and he soon expanded his range of flavours to include Ready Salted, Salt & Vinegar and Chicken.” 

Now it is one of the biggest snack food manufacturers in the country and sells brands including Bluebird, Doritos, Grain Waves, Copper Kettle, Delisio, Twisties, Rashuns, Burger Rings and Cheezels. 

The ‘Kiwi As’ flavour range was launched in 2009, with Kiwi Dip, Wattie’s Tomato Sauce & Mince Pie and Mainland Cheese, Hellers Ham and Sour Cream with a dash of Kaitaia Fire. This time it’s selling smoked sweet chilli chicken, sausage & sauce and Kiwi onion dip.

And while it’s not penguin related, here’s another classic Bluebird ad from the ’80s that gave a nod to Back to the Future and claimed the chips offered ‘the taste of tomorrow, today’. 

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