‘Advertisers must stop tying mums to ovens’ says Premier Foods as it unveils new Oxo family

New Oxo campaign moves away from gender stereotypes by showing a family where cooking duties are split evenly between the mum and the dad.

Oxo is launching a new marketing campaign that aims to move away from gender stereotypes such as the woman always taking responsibility for the family meal.

As part of the campaign, created by J. Walter Thomspon, Oxo is introducing a new fictional family consisting of a mum, dad, three children and a pet rabbit. And while the first ad features the mum at the stove cooking a meal to impress her daughter’s school friend, the second shows the dad sorting out a meal for last-minute dinner guests. This decision was made to show that in many modern families cooking responsibilities are now split.

“Those advertising scripts where the mum is literally tied to an oven just don’t work anymore,” explained Helen Warren Piper, marketing director for grocery at Premier Foods, which owns the Oxo brand.

“It’s clear advertisers need to think beyond mum and to do a better job at representing the whole of the modern family or consumers will reject them.”

“Oxo is a historic brand, we’ve been around since 1847, and if we don’t get with the times we’ll look like an outdated brand too.”

Helen Warren-Piper, marketing director for grocery, Premier Foods

An overwhelming 95% of British families feel marketers need more balance in their portrayal of the family unit, according to a recent study from Haygarth and Flamingo London. Having polled 1,000 British parents, 72% agreed there were no longer fixed gender roles in the modern family household and that advertising must pay greater respect for individual needs over traditional stereotypes.

Read more: Unilever – Gender stereotyping is about people not just about women

And ahead of launching the new campaign, Oxo, which conducted a seperate study, found nearly one in three of British dads (29%) now take on sole responsibility for cooking, while 87% take on at least some responsibility for preparing meals.


“Certainly in the research groups, the ad we showed where the mum did all the cooking was met with disappointment. It was clear what direction we needed to take,” added Warren-Piper. “And it’s good to see the likes of P&G and Unilever also going down a similar direction.”

Although the campaign will be distributed through social channels, Warren-Piper said Premier Foods still prioritises TV as a marketing channel as it delivers “the best ROI.” Above all, she says the aim is to match some of the longevity of the past.

Read more: Sir Martin Sorrell – Facebook cannot claim a three-second view is the same as a TV ad

She concluded: “If you look at Lynda Bellingham as the Oxo mum, she did 42 ads with us. We have so many scripts up our sleeve with this new Oxo family and we want to make them equally as famous [as Lynda]. Our hope is that this will run for many years.”

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  • Michael Cass 22 Nov 2016 at 11:00 pm

    You think this is am acceptable advert. promoting the idea that only Facebook comments matter, and that face to face communication has no place.

    More to the point, it is promoting the idea that the only thing that matters is what the traditionally popular kid thinks of you, to the point where even the parents care.

    Most disgusting thing i ever seen in my life. I have never been so incensed by an advert. this makes me want to vommit.

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