Fred returns for AMV's Homepride ad

Fred the Flourgrader, one of British advertising's most familiar characters, is returning to TV in an effort to extend and consolidate Homepride's presence in the pasta sauce market.

The comedian Paul Merton provides the voiceover for Fred and animation is by Aardman in the 30-second commercial for Homepride Pasta Bakes, breaking nationally on Monday and running until early October.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has produced the ad for the £1.5 million initiative, which is intended to maintain Homepride's place as a rival to Dolmio's leadership of the stir-in pasta sauces market.

The new spot features Fred relaxing with a newspaper and a mug of tea while the director of his new commercial tries to galvanise him into action. Fred explains there is nothing for him to do while the pasta cooks. The ad was written by Tom Jenkins, art directed by Peter Gausis and directed by Dave Osmond.

AMV took over Homepride's advertising in March last year as a result of a global realignment by its Campbell parent of its soups and sauces.

The switch occurred against a background of increasing pressure on companies operating in the £370 million UK soup market to innovate and compete against a wide variety of snack food alternatives on supermarket shelves. Condensed soup accounts for only a part of Campbell's range.

Zenith is handling media for the latest campaign, as part of a strategy of exploiting consumer demand for greater convenience, while retaining their loyalty in a market that is awash with promotions and special offers.

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