Asda brings back the 'pocket tap' in meta ad campaign

The pat-on-the-bum gesture first appeared in 1977.

Asda has revived its signature pocket-tap motif in the latest iteration of the supermarket’s “Asda price” campaign.

Created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the decidely meta “That’s Asda price” features a family attempting to create its own Asda ad.

While neighbour Christine is chuffed to make a cameo in their amateur spot, the dad of the family (Sunny) is more concerned with how much he has saved on the weekly shop, prompting him to execute a near-perfect pocket tap while simultaneously saying “pocket tap”, as is custom.

It ends with an updated version of the “Asda price” jingle. The ad will make its TV debut on Friday (4 September) during Lorraine on ITV.

The work was created by Clark Edwards and Andre Hull, and directed by Juliet May through Merman. Media is handled by Spark Foundry.

“We are so excited to be bringing Asda Price and the pocket tap back, but with a more modern look and feel,” Anna-Maree Shaw, chief customer officer at Asda, said. 

“Sunny is a real family man – a fun-loving savvy shopper that is always on the hunt for a bargain, like so many of our customers." 

Shaw continued: “It was so much fun filming with him and his gorgeous family – and we hope our customers love them as much as we do!”

The campaign celebrates Asda’s rollback event, as part of which the brand "invested" £100m to lower prices across the supermarket.

Roger Burnley, CEO of Asda, added: “We know that given the year it has been, saving money is more important than ever for our customers, which is why we’ve invested in rolling back the price of thousands of products this September and will keep doing so through the rest of 2020 and beyond. 

“Saving customers money has been our DNA for over 50 years and shoppers have always known and trusted that Asda Price means great value – as well as being an icon that makes them smile – and so we thought the time was right to bring it back.”

Asda first aired its pocket-tap ads in 1977, and the move has since been recreated by celebrities including Julie Walters, Richard Beckinsale and Michael Owen, as well as members of staff.

However, the brand opted to retire the tap in 2007 after it moved its creative account to Fallon, from previous agency Publicis.

By 2015, Asda’s pocket tap had returned to screens in a campaign celebrating the supermarket’s 50th anniversary.

Asda first teased the return of the pocket tap on Twitter, where it asked followers whether the supermarkets should bring back its famous gesture.

Asda is not the only supermarket looking to the past for creative inspiration. Marks & Spencer recently re-enlisted Dervla Kirwan to voice its "This is not just food..." idents for its sponsorship of Britain's Got Talent.

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