02 April 2009

Cadbury's Wispa Chocolate

After a trial run in the Tyne Tees TV area (north east of England), beginning in the autumn of 1981, Cadbury's launched their new Wispa chocolate bar nationally in 1983. Cadbury's reveal: "During the first week of national launch, a whopping 9.5 million bars were sold in Newcastle. The local Woolworths sold 10,000 in one day!"

And: "The name 'Wispa', which is a combination of 'wisp' and 'whisper', was chosen to reflect the 'textual experience'."

Apparently, the first Wispas were deemed too big for a 'lady' to fit in her mouth, so were scaled down!

A Wispa cost 16p back in 1983. And they were actually very yummy indeed as I remember.

I remember a funny Wispa TV ad with Ruth Madoc and Simon Cadell of Hi De Hi fame - in this instance Gladys Pugh and Jeffrey Fairbrother in character, though not in name. The newspaper article below, by News Of The World TV critic Nina Myskow, dates from November 11 1984 and indicates that the Ruth/Simon ad was new on screen at that time.

There was an irritating (I thought) bloke whispering about Wispa on each and every ad - saying "bite it and believe it".

Below is the (thankfully silent) newspaper version from December 1984, which carried a 3p off coupon.

Badges from Wispa's early days.

An early Wispa mug. These usually came with an Easter Egg.
Note that the right side of the 'W' is higher than the left. This was the original Wispa logo design. The 'W' was later regularised.

A YouTube glimpse of the 1984 Wispa ad featuring Ruth Madoc and Simon Cadell.
Wispa disappeared from shop shelves in 2003, but was revived in 2007, a limited number of bars being produced after on-line interest and campaigning to bring back the product.

The interest was sparked by 1980s nostalgia and desire to re-experience this rather nice bar of chocolate. One of the advertising slogans for the relaunch was: "Some Things Are Best Left In The 80's... Others Aren't". The return of the Wispa proved so popular that Cadbury's brought it back permanently in October 2008.
Here is a fondly remembered (?!) 1980s joke:
Q: Why has George Michael got chocolate all over his face?
A: Because he was careless with his Wispa!
The 2007 limited relaunch...

A clever ad from the relaunch, name-checking many items of 1980s pop culture.

Get 'em whilst you can! But now Wispa is back for good.

More yum fun - the Cadbury's chocolate block mug was also new in 1983.


cinabar said...

After the success of Wispa, they are relaunching Wispa Gold too... can't wait!
Hope they bring back the coffee flavoured Wispa-chino too.

jonnypoker said...

i was 12-3 years old on a trip to hershey pa w/ cousin.Approached by people w/ big time camera equipment.Asked us if we wanted to be in a commercial.of course so!!Gave us buncha samples.Told us to taste-n-tell as the cameras rolled.Right in the hallway of the hotel we were in!Couple questions bout taste and "texture" (texture was apparently a big thing, they were directing us toward the "light and airy" texture of the candy bar).

Thats my story.Anyone know how to get "lost" footage of my 1st ever commercial appearance? :)