An Old Tagline and a New Approach for Hovis


Love In Every Loaf


It’s been three years since Hovis last advertised on British TV, and they’ve marked their return with the revival of one of their classic distinctive assets from the legendary “Boy On A Bike” ad. There’s no boys or bikes or cobbled streets in sight, but the brand has brought back the ad’s simple, nostalgic tagline, “As Good Today As It’s Always Been”. It’s read by acclaimed actor Christopher Eccleston as part of the voiceover in Hovis’ new, warm-hearted commercial.

It’s clear why Hovis are keen to tap into memories of their classic ads, in the run up to beginning a whole new campaign with new agency VCCP. The brand are known for making classics which mix sentiment, nostalgia and a strong sense of place and time. 1973’s “Boy On A Bike” was still scoring 5-Stars on the Test Your Ad platform as recently as its reissue five years ago.

At the same time, the landscape for Hovis has changed since 2021. A cost-of-living crisis and high inflation has rocked household budgets and made the price of food top-of-mind for consumers. Life isn’t easy and household-name brands like Hovis need to convey understanding and reassurance around their customers’ daily lives right now.

That explains the approach VCCP and Hovis have taken here – a reassuring, comfy voiceover by Eccleston matched with shots of everyday life for Hovis’ customers and how the brand fits into it. There’s a new dad munching toast, a crust-avoiding toddler, a teenager snacking and chatting on a videocall, and a grandad with a tupperware box of sandwiches. All Hovis life is here, as the brand demonstrates how it makes life that little bit nicer for people.

It’s not a groundbreaking or visually exciting ad, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s an ad with a job to do – reintroduce Hovis to consumers and remind them it’s a brand you can always rely on. It does that job extremely well. Look at the moment-by-moment emotional trace in the Test Your Ad report and you’ll see a huge swell of positive emotion that translates into the strong 4.0-Star score for predicted long-term brand building. There’s also a strong Brand Fluency score showing high recognition and an Exceptional short-term Spike Rating.

Hovis and VCCP have made a classy, feelgood ad that brings Hovis back onto screens in a way that stays true to the brand’s heritage while placing it gently into modern Britain. It sets the stage quietly but effectively for whatever the brand and agency are baking next.

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