Nesquik celebrates the awkward life of ‘Betweenagers’

Who: Nestlé Canada (Nesquik) with McCann Canada for creative. Production by Soft Citizen (directed by Perlorian Brothers) and Pirate for audio, with Rooster, Alter Ego and Fort York for post-production.

What: “It’s All In the Making,” a campaign for Nesquik’s line of syrups and powders that introduces a new expression to the marketing lexicon: “Betweenagers.”

What’s a betweenager? Nestlé describes them as people at that awkward age where they’re too old for the things they grew up with, but too young for everything else. “It’s that time when nothing is made just for them, and independence is just slightly out of reach,” it explained.

When & Where: The campaign is running now across TV, online video and social.

Why: The “It’s All in the Making” tagline is described as “a nod to the fun act of mixing the product into milk but also a deeper connection to the role Nesquik plays throughout a child’s development.”

It’s accompanying a refresh for the nearly 70-year-old brand that includes a new product formulation featuring cleaner ingredients and sustainably sourced cocoa, as well as the introduction of a new vanilla flavoured syrup.

How: The campaign is reaching out to the parents of “Betweenagers,” positioning Nesquik as a product capable of bridging the divide between the innocence of childhood and the uncertainty of adulthood. There are more than 20 executions in total, featuring kids who are slowly growing up and learning life lessons but are still young enough to enjoy a childhood staple in Nesquik.

One 15-second spot shows a young boy who has mistakenly shaved off a portion of his hair, while the accompanying voiceover says that “Learning what not to do…still counts as learning.” Another spot features a young girl explaining “real drama”: 16 friends, but only eight birthday party invitations. A third spot features a young girl whose cheetah face-paint is the only makeup she is permitted to wear, and points out that “fierce will always be fierce.”

And we quote: “Nesquik is such a nostalgic brand and it was important to us that we create a product that parents could feel good about sharing with their kids. We loved the idea of reinforcing not just the fun of making Nesquik, but the role it plays in a kid’s burgeoning independence.” —Eryn Pasut, marketing director of Nestlé Beverages.

Chris Powell