Ferrero is preparing for a recession-hit Christmas with specially targeted NPD and a £4m marketing campaign designed to shake off the brand's "staid and ambassadorial" image.

The Italian chocolate-maker has produced a smaller 20-pack Ferrero Collection to appeal to tighter budgets. The new tray will cost £5, £2.99 less than the existing 32-pack Collection, which it will be sold alongside.

Levi Boorer, Ferrero UK customer development controller, said its £5 price tag would resonate with shoppers.

"Creating innovations with this key £5 price tag will help to remove a psychological barrier for consumers looking for an affordable but premium, gift," said Levi Boorer, Ferrero UK customer development controller. "We are keen to also target convenience sectors and high-street retailers including Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local, where offering luxury confectionery products can seem risky. By stocking a brand consumers know and trust, they can reduce this risk."

The new activity will be backed by a £4m spend for Christmas 2009, including a new ad for Ferrero Rocher appealing to younger consumers.

"The brand continues to be a favourite for 50-plus consumers, but there were 100,000 more 35 to 50-year-olds buying Ferrero Rocher in 2008 compared with 2006, thanks to campaigns including the Desperate Housewives sponsorship, and we want to increase this," said Boorer.

Ferrero is also adding a 24-pack box of coconut-flavoured Raffaello chocolates to line up against the 18-pack, also retailing at £5.