An Exceedingly Good Ad From Mr Kipling

An Exceedingly Good Ad From Mr Kipling


Mr Kipling’s “Little Things” ad combines perfectly baked storytelling with the sweet icing of nostalgia. Happy memories aren’t an unusual thing for a brand with a long heritage to tap into, and cake brand Mr Kipling has been a fixture of British teatimes and snacking for decades. This ad is their return to TV in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, though, so Mr Kipling and McCann London were keen to make something extra-tasty.

They succeeded, with a 4.6-Star ad that also gets strong outcomes in both short-term Spike and Brand Fluency scores. It’s job done in terms of both reminding viewers that Mr Kipling exists and building new, strong, positive associations with the brand.

So how do Mr Kipling and McCann do it? The core insight is about valuing the little things in life – all the stuff we took for granted before the pandemic and are realising how much we missed,. Like shared moments (and shared cakes) with family members. So the vibe of the ad is low-key and intimate, showing a Dad enjoying a cake with his grown-up daughter, looking at a photo of them at the piano when younger, then joining her on a duet of an old favourite song – which listeners of the right age will recognise as Blink-182’s classic “All The Small Things”.

It’s a great choice of song – quirky enough that it makes the characters seem like individuals, not stereotypes, and catchy enough that it’ll engage right-brained attention and make audiences think “wait…what was that song?”. But it only works because the happiness and ‘betweenness’ of the actors in the ad feels so real.

Mr Kipling’s ad never explicitly mentions Covid, but like a lot of pandemic-era ads it puts intergenerational relationships at the heart of the story. These relationships were the most strained by Covid, with parents and children or grandchildren enduring painful forced separation and sometimes loss. It’s not a surprise that we’ve seen a lot more older people in post-pandemic ads as they reconnect with younger family members. In our upcoming Feeling Seen special report on age representation we’ll explore intergenerational relationships and other themes around ageing – Mr Kipling and McCann London have shown us a great example of how to do it well.