Sticking with cafes this week, on the 11th Feb more than a 1,000 customers visited the McVitie’s London cafe pop up – ‘the Cuddle Café’ during it’s brief, one day opening on the 11th Feb. The concept store was part of the brands continuing ‘Sweeet’ advertising campaign which suggest the pleasurable experience of eating a McVities biscuit is akin to the comfort of cuddling a fluffy kitten.
During market research McVities’s parent company, United Biscuits discovered that almost 75% of Brits said that they would like more cuddles in their lives. So they set to work to give the customers what they want with the Cuddle Café on Tottenham Street, featuring ‘Sweeet’ animal friend characters from the brand’s popular TV ads.
Some of the elements of the Cuddle Café were designed with the help of Dr Stuart Farrimond, a researcher who is an expert on the emotional and health benefits of cuddling, as he explains:
“My research not only discovered that cuddling a soft toy triggers a similar emotional response and health benefit to hugging a person, but also that the act of drinking a hot beverage can stimulate similar warm, positive feelings. So what better combination that a cuppa and a cuddle?”
McVitie’s marketing director, Sarah Heynen, added:
“At McVitie’s we truly know the importance of a cuddle, and what better way to put a smile on people’s faces and beat the winter blues than with a Cuddle Café? People are so busy these days, and lead such stressful lives, that we want to offer all of our visitors their very own form of ‘cuddle therapy’ coupled with a cup of tea, cakes, biscuits – and all for the price of a hug.”
Like the Ziferblat, the tea and biscuits at the café were free, but people weren’t charged by the minute – all they needed to do was hug one of the cuddly characters in store – and McVitie’s will be continuing the freebies, as part of a £3 million marketing exercise, giving away ‘Sweeet’ character cuddly toys with promotional packs, to help spread the positive emotional and health benefits of a cuppa and a cuddle (and of course, to sell more biscuits!)