Recently voted ‘most iconic’ UK ad, Hovis’s ‘boy on a bike’ has gained lustre in the years since its launch in that its director, Ridley Scott, went on to a fruitful Hollywood career.
A remastered version – with a modern pack shot at the end – shines it up beautifully. The Ashington Colliery band have rerecorded the soundtrack, too. It’s lovely – though it does connote a northern-ness at odds with the Dorset setting and westcountry voiceover, a disconnect that surely wouldn’t happen if the ad was made today. And why is Hovis bringing it back now anyway? To mark its 46th anniversary?
However, the ad’s ‘iconic’ status transcends such quibbles. After all, the longevity is written in: the ‘As good as it’s always been’ slogan could as easily refer to the ad as it could the bread itself.