Charlie Bigham’s is making a long-awaited return to UK TV screens with a new fully-integrated campaign for its handmade, freshly-prepared meals which celebrates its founder’s food philosophy and commitment to quality in every single dish produced in its kitchen.
Created in partnership with its agency of record, VCCP London, with media planning and buying by Electric Glue, the new campaign introduces a new brand platform with the message: “Handmade in Charlie Bigham’s kitchen, cooked in yours”.
A charming animated 30” spot sits at the heart of the campaign, introducing Charlie’s story and following his hands-on involvement in creating the dishes which grace the dining rooms, living rooms and kitchens of homes around the UK and have made Charlie Bigham’s a category-leading brand.
Featuring the illustration of Emily Sutton, who designs Charlie Bigham’s packaging for Big Fish, the film was directed by award-winning animation director Isabel Garrett of Blinkink, and shows Charlie picking ingredients in the market and designing new recipes in the tasting kitchen. Voiceover for the TVC is provided by Charlie himself and by Richard Osman, who has previously voiced Charlie Bigham’s audio campaigns.
The campaign challenges preconceptions of ready meals (the category which Charlie Bigham’s leads) as mass produced products which compromise on quality. Charlie Bigham’s rejects the term for its products as each of their dishes is handmade, freshly prepared and never frozen.
The new trail introduces Charlie to TV audiences for the first time, with the voiceover pointing out that: “You couldn’t make him up, even though most people think that we have!” It goes on to tell the story of Charlie’s travels 25 years ago which inspired him to create prepared meals with high quality ingredients, and how this grew into the much-loved brand.
The film is underpinned by a 360-degree campaign that will be rolled out across TV, radio, OOH, social and PR. This will be managed by an agency team comprising Electric Glue for media planning and buying, MK21 for social channels and Sunny Side Up for PR.
Charlie Bigham said: “We are on an exciting Journey here at Charlie Bigham’s which started over 25 years ago when I took off in my Campervan across Europe and Asia. Advertising is a key pillar in our growth strategy and we’ve been steadily building awareness since 2021 - from 30% awareness to almost 50% of UK adults having now heard of us.
“We’ve listened hard to our existing and potential consumers, who tell us that when they know the story of the brand, where we’ve come from, what we care about and my continued involvement in the business it improves their interest, belief and long term loyalty - so here I am, starring in our latest TV ad and telling our story.”
Ross Neil, Deputy Executive Creative Director at VCCP London added: “"In most creative projects, the instinct is to keep adding more and more. However, simplicity proved crucial for capturing Charlie's world, as originally envisioned by illustrator Emily Sutton. Striking a balance was key; too much detail would've overpowered the charm we sought - like over seasoning the perfect fish pie (sorry for that analogy). The challenge lay in animating Charlie authentically. The solution - a tight-knit team fostering honest conversations led to a film we're immensely proud of. This is the start of a new chapter in Charlie Bigham's story."
The campaign will run in the UK from today until 15 March and will appear across multiple touchpoints including TV, audio, D/OOH, organic and paid social on YouTube, Pinterest and Meta.
This is a historic moment for Charlie Bigham's as it looks to go to the next level of reach to tell the story of the brand using TV, BVOD and YouTube as well as OOH, radio and social. Pippa Glucklich, CEO of Electric Glue