Mr Kipling ad aims for pre-Xmas cut-through

Saatchi & Saatchi's Christmas television campaign for Mr Kipling features a live birth on stage as the venerable cake maker turns his hand to directing a nativity play, with disastrous consequences.

The 30-second spot, which aims to promote Mr Kipling's Christmas mince pies, is the fifth in Saatchis' "forgiveness" campaign, in which Mr Kipling makes a hash of various tasks he undertakes, but is forgiven because he makes such fantastic cakes.

"The influx of communication during Christmas time makes it challenging to get your message across to a very busy audience," Tony Granger, the executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, said.

"The idea had to stand out. It uses a clever gag and witty humour but remains relevant to the brand and the consumer."

The ad opens with a woman, called Mary, giving birth. As the camera pulls back, it emerges that she is on stage in front of a horrified audience.

The actors playing the three wise men are comically attempting to continue with the tale to little effect. The spot ends with a stunned woman asking a vicar, who is eating a Mr Kipling mince pie, if the cake maker has ever directed before.

The vicar, unperturbed by the whole farce, responds with the endline: "No, but he does make exceedingly good cakes."

The ad was written by Joel Bradley and art directed by Phil Clarke. David Lodge from Outsider directed.

"Saatchis' campaign will definitely drive sales for the mince pie brand during such a significant time of year," Kate Taylor, the brands director at Manor Bakeries, said.

"It is the bravest campaign we have launched yet, but it will have the intended cut-through," she added.

The campaign is part of Mr Kipling's Christmas campaign that will run from 24 November until 21 December. The ad will run nationally on Channel 4 and five as well as with a regional weighting including the Central, HTV and London television regions.

Media planning and buying was handled by Vizeum.

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