Dolmio brings Pepper Hacker to life as consumer product

A year after Dolmio and its ad agency Clemenger were accused of scamming awards and teasing consumers with a Pepper Hacker that shut down phones and TVs, the agency has brought the product to life.

Pepper HackerThe Mars brand will give away 3,500 Pepper Hacker grinders over coming weeks but the impact of the device will not be as far reaching as the original concept and will be able to shut down wi-fi devices but not TVs.

Mars Food Australia marketing director, Tim Hicks, said the original response to the Pepper Hacker was so overwhelming that the company felt it needed to move the item from prototype stage to a genuine consumer product.

Where the original shaker required a complex network of wiring be installed in order for a twist of the pepper grinder to shut down TVs, phones and tablets, the consumer release will override a home wi-fi network and shut down up to four connected devices for 30 minutes.

Clemenger head of planning Kit Landsdell said the consumer response to the original idea had been overwhelming.

“The idea came from Dolmio very much being a fun brand, and then in response to that we asked, could we make these for real?” Lansdell said.

“The brand would then be able to give them away as a promotion, driving excitement from the sense that clearly there was some latent value in the thought for everyday Aussies.

“It will be a lighthearted thing for parents to have on their side to help disconnect for a short while. It’s one of things that you think, ‘does it add a little bit of fun’? Yes. It’s something that will create some talk-ability.”

Lansdell said the fundamental element of the campaign was to drive sales of Dolmio. “That is what we are fundamentally about,” he said.


  • Executive Creative Director: Paul Nagy
  • Creative Directors: Ben Smith and Luke Hawkins
  • Creatives: Jack Delmonte and Haleigh Sinclair (Pepper Hacker concept)
  • Senior Art Director: Dan Walton (Packaging, Social, Website)
  • Copywriters: Adam Smith and Nick Alcock (packaging, website)
  • Head of Craft: Daniel Mortensen
  • Senior Designer: Claire Sutton (Packaging)
  • Head of Creative Technology: Brendan Forster
  • Senior Digital Producer: Joshua Speight
  • Senior Finished Artist: Anna Ballard
  • Digital Designers: Ivan So, Sebastian Perez de Arce, Marissa Karolyi
  • Developer: Dale Emrose
  • Managing Director: Emily Perrett
  • Group Account Director: Madeline Marsh
  • Senior Account Director: Matty Graham
  • Senior Account Director: Lena Galbraith
  • Senior Account Director: Emily Taylor
  • Account Manager: Katie Scrutton
  • Account Coordinator Brooklyn Andrews
  • Head of Planning: Kit Lansdell
  • Co-credit for content film: AMV BBDO
  • Production Company: Plaza Films

Production Partners

  • Product Design: D+I (Design+Industry)
  • Technical Solutions: The LX Group
  • Director: Paul Middleditch
  • Global Brand Director, Mars Food: Richard Stear
  • Marketing Director, Mars Food Australia: Tim Hicks
    Marketing Manager, Mars Food Australia: Shelley Crowe
    Brand Manager, Mars Food Australia: Lauren Dragicevich
  • Media Agency: MediaCom
  • Buying Agency: Starcom
  • PR: Ogilvy PR

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