The campaign forms part of a £5m marketing spend - the largest for Flake in four years - as the confectionery giant tries to reverse last year's decline. The brand turned in the worst year-on-year performance of the UK's top 20 chocolate confectionery brands, according to The Grocer's Top Products Survey 2006, with sales dropping 11%.
"This indicates how important it is to re-engage with our consumers," said Mike Tipping, head of customer relations. "We expect this campaign to reach lapsed users and new ones."
Tipping predicted the brand would not only reverse its decline but also achieve double-digit growth this year. Buyers have welcomed the news. "There has been little marketing activity for Flake and the old campaign remains memorable," said one. "I am very pleased to see Cadbury re-focus on a major brand."
The ad, first screened in 1959, has been updated for the 21st century. The identity of the new frontwoman is still under wraps but she will be seen alone, eating the chocolate in the ad's time-honoured manner, in a car on a deserted country road. The execution will still feature the "Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate..." theme tune. Previous Flake girls include former Miss World and Bond girl Eva Rueber-Staier.
Despite the legion of male fans, Tipping said the commercials were targeted at female consumers. "The brand is about indulgence and me-time situations," he added. "Indulgence accounts for about 55% of the chocolate confectionery market and this is growing. The ads epitomise the idea of treating yourself."
The Flake portfolio includes a Praline version and a dark chocolate variant. Tipping said the latter was out-performing rival dark chocolate brand extensions. The ads will be backed by a dedicated brand website as well as nationwide sampling.