It has been 13 years since the character last appeared on TV screens. But actor James Coombes, who originally played the role in 1987, will bring the role back to life in a new 30-second TV ad, created by Fallon London.
The spot begins by showing Coombes wearing a black polo neck in a British spy headquarters. He is watching a montage of action scenes from the historic ads.
He then reveals a secret passage featuring framed pictures of his best action moments while trying to deliver the box of chocolates. The last frame is empty and a briefcase waits next to it.
In the ad, Coombes says, "The search is on. New Milk Tray Man, step forward." He then makes a dramatic exit through the window.
The media budget is £4 million for the campaign for Cadbury, which is owned by Mondelez International.
The ad was directed by Tomas Skoging through Acne. Fallon's executive creative director Nick Bell art directed and wrote the spot. It will be unveiled tonight during ITV’s The Chase. It will also be shown in The X Factor break this weekend.
The integrated campaign will include social media and PR activity, content films, in-store and out-of-home work. This will be handled by a group of agencies – Golin, Elvis, PHD, Gravity Road and RPM. People who want to apply can visit a special website, newmilktrayman.com.
Mondelez’s senior brand manager, Hortense Foult Rothenburger, said: "Since it first launched in 1915, Cadbury Milk Tray has always been the way to treat the woman you love. However, this sentiment has changed over time and with that so must our hero, who now needs to be thoughtful as well as adventurous.
"Our modern Milk Tray Man will know the importance of being caring and considerate, and how delivering a delicious box of chocolates can bring a smile whenever the occasion."