David Abbott, the long time creative driving force behind Sainsbury’s
advertising, is taking a back seat as it bids to reclaim its crown as
king of British supermarketers.
In the most significant acknowledgment yet of the creative succession at
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the new national TV branding campaign
beginning this Thursday is being handled not by the agency’s creative
director, but Peter Souter, who was named as his deputy and heir
apparent in January (Campaign, 12 January).
Souter and his art director, Paul Brazier, have produced four 40-second
commercials, breaking the almost exclusive hold that Abbott and his
creative partner, Ron Brown, had on Sainsbury’s TV work.
Souter said: ‘It was quite scary when David threw the brief at us
because Sainsbury’s is a very senior client. But it’s been a great
confidence builder and I’m proud of the work we’ve done.’
Sainsbury’s sees the new initiative as the start of a marketing campaign
to reverse its fortunes in the wake of an almost pounds 100 million fall
The commercials also mark the probable end of the five-year series of
celebrity recipe films, although Souter declined to rule out their
return. ‘We won’t be doing any for a while, but we have an open mind,’
The latest films, which were directed by John O’Driscoll through Paul
Weiland Films, attempt to match Sainsbury’s reputation for quality with
the price claims of its biggest rivals, Tesco, Asda and Safeway, using
the line, ‘Special food at everyday prices’.
The first commercial shows a family barbecue in which a husband tries to
take theÿ20credit for exotic and delicious recipes, while his wife points
out that they come ready-prepared from Sainsbury’s and ‘don’t cost
Farah Ramzan, the Abbott Mead board account director for Sainsbury’s,
said: ‘We’ve now found a way of bringing people in to express their own
preferences in a way which is real and likeable.’