Flora is to capitalise on its sponsorship of next month’s London
Marathon with a new series of TV commercials through Ammirati Puris
Lintas starring Richard Wilson, the brand’s cantankerous spokesman.
The first of three new 30-second commercials shows Wilson wearing a
tracksuit instead of the white linen suit he has donned for past Flora
ads. He explains, in his usual ratty tones, that the way he keeps fit is
by eating a healthy diet with plenty of carbohydrates.
Meanwhile, Flora, which contains polyunsaturates, helps to reduce his
cholesterol. Much to his annoyance, Wilson’s food rant keeps being
interrupted by footage of the London Marathon, backed by the Blues
Brothers’ track, Someone to Love.
Wilson looks scornfully at the marathon runners and proclaims marathons
are not for him: ’Not this body, matey. With my schedule, every day is a
At the end of the ad, he sneers: ’Twenty-six miles. Haven’t you people
heard of a bus pass?’
The second film features Wilson and the British athlete, Liz McColgan,
who won the women’s London Marathon last year. A third commercial shows
an on-pack promotion for the British Heart Foundation.
The commercials were created by Peter Matthews, an APL creative
director, and directed by Nick Lewin through Cowboy Films.
The TV campaign will be supported from 1 April with bus-sides carrying
the strapline: ’Healthier in the long run.’ Media buying is through
Alastair Bruce, the marketing manager at Flora’s owner, Van den Bergh
Foods, said: ’Integrating the Flora London Marathon with the main brand
advertising was a key issue following the start of our involvement with
the event last year.’
He added: ’The task for 1997 was to drive the communication of the Flora
health message. Using Richard Wilson is the perfect way of achieving a
synergy between the event sponsorship and the main brand advertising.’