Cathedral City advert

Cathedral City’s lockdown ad Stay Home saw it lean into its comforting shtick 

No one does soothing cheese ads quite like Cathedral City. Whether it’s cheese on toast bubbling under the grill, or a golden, cheddar-topped pie placed on a family table, the brand’s campaigns portray the product as a source of comfort for the people of Britain. As lockdown hit last year, it leaned into this even further with its Stay Home ad, which mirrored images from its 2014 ad Come Home – such as a park and a school playground – but absent of people. “Right now, more than ever, the safest, most comforting place to be is home,” its captions ran. It was both timely and touching. 

But cheese suppliers haven’t always gone down this homely route when advertising their wares. From the quirky to the downright questionable, we mark this year’s Dairymen special with a rundown of 10 unforgettable cheese ads.


1. Not As Mild As You Might Think, Leerdammer 

In a magical fairytale forest, a seemingly sweet and innocent elf skips through the trees, playing his flute and befriending the resident animals. But he changes his tune when an elderly man approaches, carrying a basket laden with Leerdammer. With one toot of the flute, the fellow is turned into a tree, allowing the elf to help himself. With behaviour like this, we can only assume the elf’s taste in cheese is anything but mild. 

2. English Cheddar 

There’s no prizes for guessing which way these characters would have voted in the EU referendum. In this ad – one in a series from the 1980s – Cheddar and his port-quaffing colleague Stilton extol the virtues of British cheese compared with imitations from “overseas”. It’s certainly memorable but, unlike a fine stilton, it hasn’t aged well.

3. Brunch, The Laughing Cow

The Laughing Cow and her cheese-loving pals often graced our screens in the 2010s, promoting the brand’s cheese spread and triangles. This ad sees the bovine besties enjoying brunch – in a gym, for some reason – when they are approached by a smooth-talking hunk. Unfortunately for him, his chat-up line is not cheesy enough to tempt them from their Laughing Cow Light and crackers.

4. Ba ba ba, ba Babybel

There’s no doubt some shoppers still sing the refrain from The Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann when adding Babybel to their trolleys today. The song was used to soundtrack the brand’s catchy 1990s advert, which saw a group of the wax-wrapped cheeses desperate to join a family’s day out. 

5. Philadelphia comedy duo

Actresses Sara Crowe and Ann Bryson – also known as comedy duo The Flaming Hamsters – appeared in a string of silly ads for Philadelphia in the 1990s, portraying two friends somewhat unhealthily obsessed with the cream cheese. Crowe’s ditsy delivery of lines like “you don’t need a man at all, you just needed a new serving suggestion” could be something from a sketch show rather than a cheese campaign. 

6. Cheese It

“There’s a hundred ways to eat it but there’s no way you can beat it”, proclaims this energetic 1987 ad from The Cheeses of England and Wales. The minute-long campaign bombards the viewer with ways to enjoy cheese, from the standard (sticking it in a sandwich) to the strange (cutting it into chips and dunking it in dips). What the weirdly big baby has to do with cheese, we’re not sure.

7. Pilgrims Chosen 

What happens when a shopper picks up a pack of Pilgrims Choice cheddar and pops it in their basket? Well, according to this ad, all the staff at Pilgrim’s Choice HQ go absolutely beserk. While its office employees, warehouse workers and cheesemakers might not actually celebrate by body popping and pole dancing in real life, it successfully represents just how much it means to the brand when consumers choose Pilgrims. Clever, and very funny too.

8. Lymeswold

In this 1980s ad, the butler at a well-to-do dinner party thinks quickly to get his hands on the last wedge of Lymeswold, which is vanishing rapidly from the cheeseboard. He diverts one of the guests with an imaginary telephone call and tucks into the creamy blue cheese himself.

9. Calcium, Cheestrings

Kids would do anything for a Cheestring. That’s the message behind this cheeky campaign, which sees a cunning schoolboy con his mum into buying him all the Cheestrings he desires by faking a calcium deficiency. We wonder how many kids attempted the Tipp-Ex-on-the-fingernails trick after seeing this ad.

10. Edam

Everyone loves a good cheese pun. Or that was presumably the thinking behind Dutch Edam’s string of 1980s and 1990s adverts, which play on the fact that Edam is, well, a big, red, ball of cheese. While some ads described it as ‘reddy for anything’ and ‘the all-round cheese’, the standout has to be the above, in which a piano-playing Jerry Lee Lewis-alike gestures to an oversized Edam as he sings, “goodness gracious, great ball of cheese”. Edam fine advert.


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