Essay: Brands in the British bread industry

The British bread industry has always been a battlefield for widespread brands like ‘Warburtons’, ‘Hovis’ and ‘Kingsmill’. ‘Hovis’ is a great British brand, owned by Premier foods. Founded 125 years ago and has been highlighted as a long-standing household name for generations. Hovis is widely known for campaigns activities since brand establishment. Since 2006, brand of all generations had found itself in a deep trouble (see Figure 1). It has been said that ‘The UK’s leading flour Millers bread quality had gradually been ignored’ Advertising spendings had been cut and the packaging had become somewhat tired, distribution was really under the threat’ (Hovis, Brand Revitalisation). Thus, in early 2008 new marketing directors of Premier foods, Jon Goldstone and Julie Leivers decided to catapult Hovis back into the British history. A new marketing team, ‘Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy’ for advertising and ‘Frank’ for consumer public relations, arrived with a big pitch and began to develop a huge believe in a revival of ‘Hovis’ bread, by creating multimedia campaign. Danny Brooke-Taylor, executive creative director of ‘MCBD’ promoted his marketing idea to the ‘Hovis’ company.
(Figure 1: Declining brand share)

Relaunching the old-fashioned brand was unpredictable hard job. The creative team of ‘MCBD’ started their development plan from improvement of advertising activity, revitalising the packaging and creating outstanding communications. Whilst most bread adverts show kids using their products for breakfast in an attempt to make their product looks like an essential part of family life, ‘Hovis’ takes one step further with newly refurbished campaign attempting to make their bread significant on a national scale. Premier Foods decided to invest ?? 15 million in brands reanimation campaign.
Campaign ‘As good today as it’s ever been’ included TV commercial ‘Go on Lad’, posters and newspaper ads!!!!!. Aim of this campaign was to deliver the consumer the message that ‘Hovis’ is British national bread that has been with them for over a century. It is truly British product that creates a resistant image of ‘Hovis’ bread heritage, which might be especially important in the period when Britain is so multi-national. I consider that this is the common theme of whole promotional campaign. The ‘Hovis’ campaign positions nostalgia as having integrative function, which is bringing a nation together through its brand. This implies that audiences are able to rely on the brand as it has been there through the tough times that its consumers have been through.
By creating commercial ‘Go on lad’ for ‘Hovis’ bread industry, marketing director Jon Goldstone decided that the new advertisement should recreate the strength of ‘Hovis’ heritage and reaffirm the power of the brand. This is the story of a young boy running through the streets of England to get the loaf of bread home to his mom. As he is running he runs through every major event of the last century. With eyes of the running boy we observe the whole history of Britain in a period of ‘Hovis’ existence, where he meets the team of suffragettes, the two World Wars, the swinging sixties and more.
The ‘Hovis’ advert shows the different periods of time demonstration how Britain has changed and focuses on the whole ‘Hovis’ heritage. From this we can see that the campaign have own developed semiotics tool and style. Ron Beasley said that ‘In 1950s French semiotician Roland Barthes drew attention to the values of messages and techniques with the theoretical tool s of the science of semiotics in advertising’Barthes inspired the first true semiotic works analysing the implicit messages of advertising'(Beasley, 2002, p 20). In advertising semiotics applicable due to the fact that the viewer first perceives the picture, not just perceives, it reads the picture message. Thus, we can see that video shots and music deliver to us hidden messages, which we need to perceive. Each single picture and sound is a connotation of signifier. For example, let’s have a look at the video shot when lad meets the horses with the carriage. All the sounds of horses with the carriage were created to show the different time of ages. Very clearly highlighted old-fashioned radio, which was used in early 40s. Also, as we can see in this advert all houses are collapsed, which looks like after the War. This is a signifier that connotes the World War. Sound effects and music play such a major role in all television adverts, as music is one of the main parts to impress and perceive the consumer as well as promote the brand. Music helps people to remember things, so when people listen to certain music from the video they will think about Hovis bread. Sounds in this advert signify many different ages. Music throughout the advert is a signifier of different moods, as when the major event of Britain changes, music evolves happier. Therefore, semiotics is an important part in human life, as well as in creating and impressive advertising.
Despite the fact that the campaign has created a great commercial to promote their brand, they created striking press adverts release (see Figure 2), where classic ‘Hovis’ ads of all generations were updated to showcase modern products. The most successful companies have to change the image of their products from time to time to attract the attention of the reader. This stimulating mood press ads were placed in leading national magazines and newspapers. It was also aimed to attract consumer interest by giving discount on wholemeal bread. ‘Hovis’ headlines that adding adverts into newspaper doubles the increase in emotional involvement.
(Figure 2: Launch press)
Although the released TV commercial and newspaper ads gave a good result, there was another campaign element, which should be mentioned as a ‘boom’ in British bread market (Figure 3). The ad was created by ‘MCBD’ agency and has received three complaints ”one each from rivals ‘Allied Bakeries’ and ‘Warburtons’, and one from a member of public'(Hovis ad banned from making ‘Britain’s softest’ claim). Thus, this provocative ad was banned by ‘Advertising Standarts Authority’ for stated text next to the image ‘Voted Britain’s softest white’. John Reynolds comments that ‘Hovis’ was rated “significantly softer” than its rivals and, furthermore, that it carried out regular monitoring of the softness of its bread’ (Hovis ad banned from making ‘Britain’s softest’ claim).

(Figure 3: Soft white advertising)

During a difficult period in the grain business, ‘Hovis’ has started partnership with ‘The Royal British Legion’ to help to raise ?? 100,000 for charity purposes. Thus, after TV commercial ‘Go on Lad’ launching was created new bread packaging for ‘Hovis Seed Sensations bread’ with sincere poster and sentimental slogan ‘Here’s to our soldiers’ on it (Figure 4). This slogan is some kind of message from the old times, which is attempting to send a sense of patriotism to the consumer. Packaging of wholemeal bread with the image of poppy symbolizes the nostalgia of those times, when the ancestors of British families were participated in the heroic wars. This creates a link between the product and the buyer, which is a method of persuasion. Advertising agency created a stereotype of the past and has proved stability of nation by unexpected results of this relaunch. ‘Hovis’ was giving a 10p donation for every single pack of ‘Seed Sensations’ production. Richard McQuillan, marketing controller of ‘Hovis’ company said that ‘We are proud to be associated with the Royal British Legion’Our poppy -inspired packaging is sure to catch shoppers’ attention at the point of purchase’ (legion). This advertisement was running on a range of media, social media websites, PR and press advertising. Promotional slogans on ‘Hovis’ packaging were also key: ‘the legion’s poppy image was carried on packs of Hovis’s Seed Sensations bread and rolls, which contain poppy seeds’ (Cause-related marketing – Hovis and the Royal British Legion). As a result, Premier Foods announced that ‘their Poppy Appeal activities raised ??130,654.57 for The Royal British Legion’ (Hovis supports Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal).

(Figure 4: Poppy seed loaf advertising)

This stunning creative campaign by MCBD deeply demonstrates that iconic brand such as ‘Hovis’ bread can easily beat the world with the brutally powerful campaign effect. The old-fashioned historic loaf revived using popular advertising techniques: persuasion, emotions and visual stories. Persuasion can be defined as one of the most important ways of the psychological impact of advertising. Although that in England are many leading brands of bread, ‘MCBD’ has decided to remind the consumer that the ‘Hovis’ have the same patriotic taste and feeling as 122 years ago. In our case ‘Hovis’ brand is quite old-fashioned and high-quality bread, which plays such a major role in Britain’s nation life. Visuals help us tell our stories quickly with impact and emotion. The little hero of this sincere advert gave a big opportunity to feel the taste of British patriotism and nostalgia. The Second World War and the Millennium fireworks create nostalgic feelings, promptly creating a link between British heritage and the ‘Hovis’ brand. However, the only thing that does not change over time is the loaf of ‘Hovis’ bread he is carrying, signifying that Hovis is proud to have stayed the same and is ‘As good today as it’s ever been’. The ‘Hovis’ campaign positions nostalgia as having integrative function, which is bringing a nation together through its brand. This implies that audiences are able to rely on the brand as it has been there through the tough times that its consumers have been through. In this campaign we can see how Hovis brand packaging has not been changing relatively to the changes in the country. Now people can see the same sign of patriotism that they used to see in different ages, they see something unordinary that is closely linked to their everyday passions and this is a direct proof of ‘Hovis’ created the slogan ‘As good today as it’s ever been’. Family values are highlighted within this campaign, as the young boy is bringing home the bread for his mother. So, this heart-warming advert has very broad target audience that applies to all ages. In this campaign we can highlight three main topics: Britain, bread and boy. These three words are the most important symbols of patriotic feelings experienced by the viewer when watching ‘Hovis’ ads and commercial.
As a conclusion I would like to say that the moral of the story was that ‘Hovis’ campaign ‘As good today as it’s always been’ was a perfect revival of the underlying brand. ‘Hovis’ created the real emotional residence with the audience. Created great campaign ‘As good today as it’s always been’ has proven that there is always an opportunity to revive everyone’s favourite product, which is a part of Britain. ‘Using the technique of nostalgia and patriotism creators causes unexpected excitement around the brand’ (Hovis, Brand Revitalisation). MCBD invested a piece of heart to prove that through advertising consumer can change his mind. Thus, commercials ‘Go on lad’ reaction to the release of the campaign within the media was immediate. ‘This campaign received an instant response from the nation’s bread eaters, with sales jumping up by ??12 million in the first three weeks after the campaign launched'(Hovis, Brand Revitalisation). Within 24 hours of the first broadcast of commercial ‘Go on Lad’, ‘Hovis’ received over 1,000 e-mails and letters praising the commercial. Nostalgic video hit the most popular TV channel such as ITV and won the nomination ‘ITV Ad of Decades’. Features of the campaign appeared in several newspapers, including ‘The Independent’ and ‘Daily Mirror’. Research my Millward Brown showed that Hovis’ brand image improved by 8 % in terms of product value. The advertising campaign is a Grand Prix winner of the ‘IPA’ Effectiveness Awards.

Source: Essay UK -

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