Thorntons

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Sweet success with chocolate giant

Established in 1911, Thorntons is now the UK’s only independent chocolate and confectionary company. With 286 shops, 186 franchises and a strong supermarket presence, Thorntons makes chocolate lovers smile every day with their delicious products. In 1924, Thorntons innovated created their own Special Toffee recipe and has since become synonymous with their hugely successful toffee range.

Arch Creative were approached by Thorntons to create the illustrations for the new nostalgia product range and packaging re-launch.

Thorntons wanted to design a new range of bags, boxes and the quintessentially British Toffee slabs. The designs would need to engage a younger demographic, without alienating the existing older market. The resulting quirky, Heath Robinson style illustrations would carefully strike this balance and have already proved a big hit with young and old.

Featured project

Packaging illustrations and animated video

We initially illustrated Norman and Stanley Thornton, who were the sons of the original founder Joseph. We had some fun in the studio as one of the Arch directors modelled for the photos, riding bikes and getting into some tricky poses – you can just about see his resemblance in the finished packaging! We also illustrated a range of mechanical contraptions to set the scene of a factory environment where the brothers were creating their scrumptious recipes. Finally we illustrated a set of animals, from a swinging Monkey to a flying Parrot.

Utilising the vintage illustrations we created, we developed a storyboard which we’ve brought to life with animation. This was inspired by the fun eccentricity of the Monty Python animated sequences and helps to portray the heritage of Thorntons.

The humorous concept plays on the industrious innovation of the two brothers and their quest to create the perfect secret recipe for Special Toffee. With a little help from their animal friends, they work tirelessly together to produce their first golden nuggets of special toffee; the blueprint for future generations. The theme naturally conveys the provenance of Special Toffee and highlights the history and story of Norman and Stanley Thornton having a ‘Smashing time’.

The video has been used as part of an integrated Facebook campaign aimed to attract a younger demographic.