If there's one campaign that marked the turning point in the transformation of Sainsbury's from a cheap downmarket chain to the grocer of the middle classes, the celebrity recipe series from the early 90s was surely it.
Created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the work had a painful birth. Creatives across the agency had tried and failed to crack the brief and it fell to David Abbott, AMV’s legendary creative leader, to craft the solution.
The result was a series of ads showing celebrities – Felicity Kendal, Zoe Wanamaker, Juiie Walters and the former Labour chancellor Denis Healey among them – making their favourite recipes using fresh products from Sainsbury’s.
So successful was the campaign that stores often sold out of the items featured in a commercial the day after it went on air.