The campaign, created by McCann London, breaks on Sunday (21 September) and reintroduces Homepride’s brand mascot Fred as a 6-foot puppet that helps out during family mealtime. He was previously a small animated character.
Fred also features more prominently on Homepride’s new packaging, taking a position in the centre of the label. He will also be brought to life via radio and in-store activity, as well as in a social campaign that will see the Fred puppet go into people’s homes to help them with cooking.
Helen Warren-Piper, savoury business unit director at Homepride owner Premier Foods, says the company had initially considered ditching Fred because “we thought he might be a bit outdated”. However, in focus groups they found that mums still associated the character with the brand and so decided to keep him.
The change with this campaign is that Fred is now a real character, brought to life by a professional puppeteer who has worked on films including Gravity and Star Wars.
“Fred is bigger and friendlier than he ever was before – we’ve turned him into a real character. That was a big decision executionally to turn him from an animated icon into a real character,” says Warren-Piper.
Premier Foods has been working on the rebrand for the last year to modernise its range and message, introducing a brand proposition that positions Homepride as the “home of family favourites”. It will introduce a range of new flavours aimed at showing families that a range of classic meals can be easy to make.
“Mums have a repertoire of 6.5 meals over a two-week period and they’re a bit afraid to diverge from that because of a fear of failure. In the advert we’re saying ‘here are some classic meals that are easy to make’,” says Warren-Piper.
Premier Foods recently restructured its business to focus on categories rather than brands. Homepride now comes under a new “grocery” unit that includes brands such as Bisto, Sharwoods and Batchelors.