Bates hires celebs to front £7m Christmas push for Woolworths

Woolworths has hired a raft of celebrities for a £7 million

pre-Christmas TV offensive to reinforce its claim that its outlets are

more than just places for cheap stocking fillers.

ITV's football frontman, Des Lynam, the Pop Idols presenters Ant and

Dec, the EastEnders stars Mike Reid and Syd Owen, the comedy actress

June Whitfield and the pop group Steps all feature in a series of five

commercials breaking nationally this week through Bates UK.

Once again, the advertising brings a seasonal flavour to a theme

introduced in 1999 of presenting the stores as having so many items to

choose from that shoppers risk forgetting what they went in to buy.

The theme of "Don't forget what you went in for" is encapsulated in one

of the films featuring a woman who encounters Lynam as she leaves the

store. Seeing his moustache reminds her that she forgot to buy a pastry


Susan Wilkinson, the head of advertising at Woolworths, said: "We are

absolutely delighted with these ads and are confident they will drive

sales over the all-important Christmas period."

The commercials were written by Giles Horton, art directed by Matt Head

and directed by Declan Lowney through Tomboy Films. Media buying is

through Zenith.