Five food TV ads that do more than just make me peckish

Ten years ago, Marks & Spencer seduced the nation with its “Not just any food…” campaign. The sultry voice over and taste bud teasing visuals left viewers drooling over their TV sets – and increased chocolate pudding sales by 3,500%. Not bad for an advert that simply showed the product.

A decade on, M&S recently launched their new food ad with a contemporary and stylish twist. There’s no sexy voice over, but it’s just as tantalising. Plus, if you look closely, you’ll spot an oozing pudding paying homage to their iconic ‘This is not just any chocolate pudding’ advert.

M&S do foodie ads well, but they’re not the only ones who know how to make food products stick in people’s minds (and make them want to stick it in their mouths). Here are five of my current favourite food TV adverts:

Marks & Spencer: Only M&S – 2014

Here it is – the new look M&S food advert all hip and modern. They’ve kept a plain black background, which is in-keeping with their branding and allows the food on show to be the only thing viewers can focus on. Plus, the black background really makes the colours of the food pop. The switches between shots like sharp fast knife slices and slow motions spills keeps the pace changing – and the audience’s interest. And sound effects are subtle but effective – they’re only used when necessary to show another dimension of the intricacies of food preparation.

The new M&S food ad works because it’s more about the creation of the fine food rather than just the end product – sometimes it’s the making of the food that’s the most interesting. It’s something Great British Bake Off fans like me will appreciate.

Anchor Dairy Spreadable: The Glorious Nothing Days – 2014

Part of Anchor’s ‘Tastes Like Home’ campaign, this advert does its job in giving me cravings for a lazy Sunday spent in my PJs in front of the TV. With everyday life filled with things to keep us constantly busy, those ‘glorious nothing days’ are something many of us can relate to looking forward to. And this advert depicts everything that’s fabulous about lazy days perfectly. Which includes warm buttery toast, obviously.

Marmite: Neglect – 2013

I really like this advert because, like all good things in life, it’s silly but clever. Developing their ‘Love it or hate it’ campaign to ‘Love it. Hate it. Just don’t forget it’, Marmite’s new concept grew from their knowledge that many kitchen cupboards nationwide are housing unused jars of Marmite. The advert spoofs animal rescue programmes, removing neglected jars of Marmite from offenders’ homes and taking them to a rehoming centre to be then be adopted by Marmite-loving families. It’s a funny advert and the theme is clear and memorable.

Heinz Soup: I Love Winter – 2012

I don’t know about you, but in summer, soup doesn’t appeal to me. But when winter comes around, a hot bowl of soup is always guaranteed to warm my cockles. This adverts shows a situation we’ve all been in: coming home to shelter from the cold, wind and rain, cupping your numb hands around a radiating bowl of soup and letting the steam warm your face. Ahhhhhhh. It works well by positioning a bowl of Heinz soup as the solution to all your winter woes.

Yeo Valley: Boyband – 2011

The easiest ways to make your advert memorable is to base it around music or a song, or to make it funny. This advert does both. In 2010 we were introduced to the Yeo Valley rapping farmers. A year later the hot farmers came together again to form a Westlife-esque, wind machine using, all dancing boy band ‘The Churned’ – stars of a new mini music video / TV advert that ran alongside that year’s X Factor shows. It brings together and exaggerates all the cheesy clichés you’d expect to find in any given boy band’s music video, creating a funny advert that you can have fun cringing at. It’s not the sort of advert you’d expect to see from a dairy brand, and you wouldn’t expect to watch a parody of a full music video in an ad break. So if the music or comedy aspects didn’t make this advert stick in your mind, the element of surprise sure would have.