McVitie's invests £12m in new breakfast offer

Publicis has unveiled a £12 million ad campaign to launch McVitie's new McV a:m snack range, which features consumers who find the products so irresistible that they steal them from other people.

The range, which includes chewy cereal bars, cereal bites, morning slices, muesli fingers and muffin bars, is supported by a combination of television, radio, press and bus-side advertising.

"We are targeting the morning eating occasion, anyone who doesn't have a traditional breakfast at home as well as those looking for that 11 o'clock top-up," Fiona Keyte, a planning director at Publicis, said.

The main 30-second television commercial, called "train", opens aboard a commuter train. A businesswoman sits next to a sleeping man and finds she cannot resist the packet of McV a:m cereal bites on his lap. She begins to pilfer them one by one. She also takes his morning paper to read and his headphones to listen to music. When the train pulls into the station and the man wakes up, she hurriedly tries to leave but is dragged to the floor in a tangle of headphone wires.

"Routemaster" is a ten-second spot set on a bus in morning traffic. The conductor slows the bus down to let a businessman who is running late catch up and climb aboard. But as he gets close the conductor sees the man's cereal bar, snatches it and drives on.

In the third ten-second ad called "jogger", a man sitting on a park bench reading a paper has his cereal bar stolen by a jogger as he runs past.

The voiceover in each spot, by Graham Norton, ends with the strapline: "Make yourself at home."

"The communication programme we have developed for McV a:m is the biggest ever investment McVitie's has made to support a launch," Garry Biggs, the marketing director at McVitie's, said.

"This heavyweight campaign is distinctive and not only does it bring humour to morning commuting but communicates how the new range offers consumers great choice."

Television will be supported by three 40-second radio ads featuring Norton interviewing commuters, hassling them about their dress sense and getting them to sample McV a:m products.

A tie-in with Metro newspaper will include cover wraps and a competition, while 1,400 T-sides will appear on buses.

The campaign was written and art directed by Andy Jones and Scott Sparks.

James Griffiths from Another Film Company directed the ads. Starcom Motive handled media planning and buying.

McVitie's is part of United Biscuits, which owns brands including Oreo, Chips Ahoy! and Hula Hoops.