Birds Eye unveils lockdown 'life hacks' as owner adds McCann London to roster

Brand has worked with Grey London since 2016.

Birds Eye: first work by McCann
Birds Eye: first work by McCann

Birds Eye has come up with a series of ideas and "life hacks" to entertain families during teatime and playtime amid the coronavirus lockdown.

The hacks, which include colouring pages and a word search, will be available through Birds Eye’s social media channels and website for families to download.

"So, what’s for tea?" was created by McCann London, as Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods moves away from working solely with Grey London, which has handled the brand's advertising since 2016.

The campaign includes a TV spot, which begins with images of families in their kitchens, with references to working, exercising and entertaining from home. A voiceover remarks: "We’re all trying to live together, laugh together and do our very best to stick together, even when we’re far apart."

It launches tomorrow (Tuesday) on ITV1 and will run in place of the brand's current through-the-line activity, "Eat in full colour". Birds eye previously announced plans to increase marketing spend on vegetables by £10m this year.

The appointment of McCann marks a change in direction in the way Nomad works with ad agencies. Steve Axe, chief marketing officer at Nomad, told Campaign: "We're moving to a model where we are working with different creative partners and decoupling that from our production and digital amplification to allow us that flexibility."

It means Grey and McCann will pitch for any new briefs that Nomad has, but Axe said that this is an "evolving model".

Nomad has also hired digital shop Hogarth to work alongside Grey and McCann, as well as media agency Zenith and Elvis, which works on digital and social media.

Grey first landed Nomad’s creative account across Europe in April 2016, releasing work such as "Winner winner Birds Eye chicken for dinner", "Real food, made simple" (which starred a revamped Captain Birds Eye) and last year’s £6m veg-based campaign "Eat in full colour".

The agency also picked up the Aunt Bessie’s account from St Luke’s after the brand was acquired by Nomad.

What's for tea: ad hopes to add flavour to life in isolation

McCann’s appointment is the latest in a series of changes for the brand, with Birds Eye hiring former Cadbury marketer Sarah Koppens as marketing director in December last year.

In February, Birds Eye revived its search for the nation’s favourite fish-finger sandwich, marking Elvis’ first work for the brand since winning its UK digital and social account in August 2019.

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