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Why “The Muppet Show” Is Now Called “The Giant Crumpet Show”

British brand Warburtons teams up with Disney for a Muppet-filled Christmas ad.

Why “The Muppet Show” Is Now Called “The Giant Crumpet Show”

A crumpet is, by definition, a thick, flat, savory cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and typically eaten toasted with butter. A Muppet, by definition, is a puppet or marionette created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The reality of both these fantastic things is that to experience them is something that goes far beyond words. And just in time for Christmas, Warburtons has brought the two phenomenons together.

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Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Animal and all the gang have temporarily changed the name of their show to “The Giant Crumpet Show” in honor of the brand launching a new giant crumpet. In fact, they’re so excited, they also altered the lyrics to their classic theme song to celebrate this momentous occasion in munchies.

Inspired brand creativity? Cultural blasphemy? However you may see it, it’s still pretty damn funny. The agency behind it is WCRS London, and creative director Billy Faithful says the idea came about first as a way to top last year’s Christmas ad extravaganza starring Sly Stallone.

“The only thing that mattered for the follow up was being as big, if not bigger than Sly. Bigger scale, bigger laughs, broader appeal,” says Faithful, adding that everyone at the agency were very excited once they heard the brand was coming out with giant crumpets. “Honestly, you just say those two words combined to any Brit and they grin from ear to ear. We spent months writing scripts but the first time we started talking about The Muppets, people had the same response. Utter joy.”

As the British Christmas advertising sweepstakes heat up, with the likes of John Lewis aiming straight for your cryballs, Faithful says another goal here was to offer up something completely different. “We all felt there was a gap in the kind of advertising brands were making,” says Faithful. “At its best it was heartfelt and touching, at its worst, it could get mawkish. Of course, Christmas is an emotional time of the year, but it’s not all schmaltz. It’s also about laughter and happiness, about entertainment. That’s what our film would be about. Laughter and joy.”

Faithful credits co-directors Declan Lowney and veteran Muppets director Kirk Thatcher with bringing it all to life. The creatives also worked with the makers of The Muppet Show to make sure both the characters and the brand were best served by the end result.

“Disney were great in getting us access to the writing team whilst they were busy with The Muppet Show to check our work was true to the Muppets,” says Faithful. “We agreed a simple rule that no Muppet reference would get through without some Warburtons wit and reference sprinkled on top. No scene would get through without hidden gags, in-jokes for Warburtons fans and Muppets fans alike.

“So much of Muppet humor is cultural context, and as soon as they got our ambition to crash the world of the Muppets into Northern humor and British culture, we were off and away.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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