Hovis Turns Over a New Loaf

Hovis turns over a new loaf


Bread Wars! In the face of another star-studded ad from Warburtons, veteran bread brand Hovis might seem a bit crusty. But Hovis aren’t a brand to loaf around – they want a slice of the action and are looking to butter up consumers with their own celebrity campaign starring Tom Kerridge, the celebrity chef who’s the toast of the foodie world.

Puns aside, part of the reason for this renewed activity in the sector is a spate of product innovation. Kerridge, a familiar and trusted face from his own food shows, is promoting Hovis’ new Bakers Since 1886 range, a series of premium loaves which use more traditional recipes. This artisanal-style range follows similar innovations from smaller brands like Jackson’s and supermarket chains like M&S.

Hovis’ campaign for the new range, created with agency Initials, isn’t that far away from the recent Warburtons’ ad. In both, our hero dodges company until he’s finished with his delicious bread. So Hovis is aiming for similar emotional touchpoints – the simple pleasures of bread and privacy in a hectic world. It’s another sign of a tasty rivalry.

The Hovis ad we’re spotlighting, though, has one major difference to the Warburtons’ work. It’s only 10 seconds long. The ad is short, sweet and to the point, relying on the audience’s existing liking for Kerridge and his natural charm to get the idea across in super-quick time. It’s not always an easy feat to score well in 10 seconds, and Hovis manage it, with a more than respectable 4.1-Stars and an excellent Spike score. Fluency isn’t quite as good, perhaps because the ad is also working to introduce the new range.

Establishing that range identity also explains why Hovis isn’t using its previously established assets. It was only a couple of years ago that Hovis’ reissue of its 1973 classic “Boy On A Bike”, scored 5-Stars and rated higher than almost any ad that year. But “Boy On A Bike” is indelibly associated with the Hovis wholemeal loaf and the master brand. Even though its new range plays on its proud heritage, the brand is letting the implicit endorsement of Kerridge do the work of creating a sense of authenticity and selling Bakers Since 1886 as a real foodie’s loaf.