United Biscuits announces new strategy with £12m ad campaign

United Biscuits has today announced the re-launch of its McVitie’s brand, unveiling a £12m multi-media advertising campaign as part of its efforts to accelerate growth for the sweet biscuits category.

Representing the biggest campaign of its kind for United Biscuits to date, all of the company’s sweet products (with the exception of go ahead!) will now sit under the McVitie’s brand as part an overarching masterbrand strategy.

The new campaign will coincide with the brands push to take a larger share in the global market. Speaking at the campaign launch in London last week, chief executive for United Biscuits’ international division Jeff van der Eems said the sale of KP Snacks, a former segment of the UB brand, had opened the opportunity for the company to focus largely on the McVities and Jacobs portions of the company and to expand international operations.

He said United Biscuits’ global branding could account for up to 20% of sales in three years.

The three 30-second TV commercials will begin airing this evening. The adverts, created by Grey London for United Biscuits, were inspired by “the insight that something as trivial as the humble biscuit is a powerful and deeply embedded ritual habit in our daily lives,” according to United biscuits.

United Biscuits is also revitalising the design and packaging of the range to support the re-launch and realignment of all sweet products under the new McVitie’s masterbrand, through the on-pack McVitie’s wheat sheaf logo. This follows the migration to flow-wrap packaging technology for the production of all digestive brands, as part of a £35m investment plan at the company’s factory in Harlesden.

United Biscuits CEO, Martin Glenn, commented: “Our masterbrand campaign for McVitie’s is the result of 12 months of extensive customer research in which we aimed to get to the heart of the emotional role biscuits play in our lives. Thanks to the strength of our heritage range, McVitie’s has come to represent 40 per cent of the everyday biscuits market in the UK. The new campaign aims to tap into consumers’ love for these brands as well supporting our efforts to drive growth for the category.”

The first three 30 second adverts will air at 20.45 on ITV1, during Coronation Street. The £12 million campaign runs from February 3 and will continue throughout the year with the 30-second ads being supported by the biscuit maker’s biggest ever in-store, PR, press and online marketing, including a significant push on McVitie’s social media channels and PR.