Bread’s biggest advertisers have taken a thick slice out of their traditional ad space budgets with spend down 23.2% over the past year [Ebiquity 52 w/e 31 July 2015].

Warburtons remains the category’s biggest spender with £3.3m spent on traditional advertising, despite nearly halving it from the year before. The bulk of Warburtons’ budget went on TV, having employed Hollywood heavyweight Sylvester Stallone as brand ambassador.

“We are always committed to building on our performance, which is why we invested in the category’s biggest-ever marketing campaign to support our core bread range and drive interest in the wrapped bakery category as a whole,” says Megan Harrison, Warburtons brand & portfolio manager. Warburtons has proclaimed the ad to be a ‘great success’, so much so that Sly will be back on our screens in October.

Rival Kingsmill also took the bread knife to its advertising spend, hacking off a cool 40.8%. The £2m it did spend was predominantly focused on NPD sandwich thins, which were launched in September 2014.

“An £8.4m investment has been committed to the development of the product, which includes a significant and sustained marketing campaign that aims to capitalise on the growth opportunities that exist within the segment,” says Greg Bertolotti, category controller at Allied Bakeries.

Bread’s biggest brands may be cutting back, but the New York Bakery Co believes you’ve got to spend dough to make dough, having sunk an extra 33% into ads.

“In 2015 the New York Bakery Co have changed approach,” says Karen Revel-Chion, head of marketing for the brand. “Our advertising now focuses on our point of difference in the market – our authentic New York-style recipe. We launched our new advertising campaign in May 2015 to inspire consumers to try our products and be transported to downtown NYC.”

Brands     % % % % %
Warburtons £3.3 -46.8% - 20.7 4.5 6.1 68.7
New York Bakery Co £2.5 33.0% - 1.4 8.6 - 90.0
Kingsmill £2.0 -40.8% - - 1.3 - 98.7
Mission £0.8 65.6% - - 100.0 - -
Hovis £0.7 18.0% - 4.5 95.5 - -
Roberts Bakery £0.3 - - - 1.5 11.9 86.6
Sheldon’s £0.1 - - - - - 100.0
Brennans £0.1 -63.2% - - 38.7 - 61.3
Sunblest £0.0 - - - - - 100.0
Dunkin’ Donuts’ £0.0 510.5% - 100.0 - - -
TOTAL £9.7 -23.2% 0.0 8.2 19.0 2.4 70.4

Here’s our pick of the most significant bread & baked goods TV ads over the past year…


Forget ice cream, it turns out the cure for a broken heart is egg and soldiers – especially if the egg is designed to look like your crummy ex-boyfriend. Kingsmill is trying to put white bread back on the family table by proving it isn’t as bad for you as people think – it keenly points out that Great White is the only soft white bread with as much fibre as wholemeal. 

New York Bakery Co

Frank Sinatra wanted to be in the very heart of it, but according to the New York Bakery Co you don’t have to be in New York to feel it; you just need a little taste (preferably of one of its bagels). The brand was keen to point out its authenticity in this ad with a true New Yorker filming with a portable camera. It might look low-budget but New York Bakery Co splashed out an extra 33% on traditional ads over the past year [Ebiquity]. 

Warburtons – Sylvester Stallone

Two heavyweights join forces in this ad: Jonathan Warburton, boss of Britain’s biggest bread brand, and Sly Stallone, who of course needs no introduction. The Rocky and Rambo star turns Warbies delivery driver for these tongue-in-cheek ads, which reflect the brand’s A-list credentials as the country’s only £500m plus bread brand. 


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