Hovis brings back ‘boy on bike’ as it looks to overcome ‘consumer concerns’ around bread

Hovis is returning to TV for the first time in three years with an update to its iconic ‘boy on bike’ advertising that aims to deal with consumer concerns over the health benefits of bread.

The £5m integrated campaign will air tonight (5 October) and run for six months across TV, VoD, radio, digital, PR and in-store media.

The TV spot, created by Mother, shows a modern take on the brand’s ‘boy on a bike’ advertising. But according to Hovis’s CEO Martyn Wilks this reprisal was a “happy coincidence” and that the ad is not meant to be nostalgic.

“When you want to depict children being energetic and having fun outdoors, you inevitably end up with a bike. The idea for the ad came before we had the boy on the bike. It’s a happy coincidence,” Wilks told Marketing Week.

“We used part of the original music to help land the brand. But it’s not a nostalgic ad – it’s of the day and shows kids as they really are.”

Healthiness is in the brand’s DNA

The ad will showcase Hovis’ “Good Inside” range, which it is launching on the back of consumer research that found that parents are increasingly concerned about their children’s general health.

“Parents worry that their children are always indoors. We wanted to take that idea and use our range to overcome consumer concerns of bread’s healthiness,” he explained.

“We’re the only big bread brand to have no major preservatives in our products. This is increasingly important, as consumers do have concerns around the healthiness of bread. We wanted to re-engage them with the every day purpose of bread.”

Shifting perceptions

The brand aims to measure the campaign’s success in various ways. Besides analysing its sales figures, the brand will also explore whether consumer perceptions of the brand have changed.

“We will be closely monitoring what people think about the brand. We’ll do a pre-launch analysis and track it throughout the campaign to see if we are changing people’s perceptions,” he explained.

  • Find out more about above-the-line advertising at this year’s Festival of Marketing, where you can listen to speakers on the multichannel stage. For more information go to www.festivalofmarketing.com.

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