True Originals: McVities and Sir Trevor McDonald collaborate to remind the nation of one of it's favourites

True Originals: McVities and Sir Trevor McDonald collaborate to remind the nation of one of it's favourites

McVitie's is brought back into the hearts and minds of the nation with the launch of True Originals, a major new masterbrand platform, with the help of Sir Trevor McDonald

True Originals has been created to reaffirm the brand’s position as not only the sweet biscuit market leader, but purveyor of some of the UK’s most loved biccie brands - from Hob Nobs, to Rich Tea to Chocolate Digestives - each seen as an integral part of British culture.

The platform allows the McVitie’s brand owner pladis and TBWA\London to convey its venerated status, deliciousness and love for the brand without becoming wallpaper; to be iconic and to set it apart from imitations. 

The platform will become the basis for a range of activations, campaigns and cultural moments in the coming months and years as the brand reasserts and reaffirms its market leader position, aiming to make the concept of being a True Original part of the fabric of British culture and language.

The debut activation is a TV campaign featuring one of the country’s most loved and respected True Originals, Sir Trevor McDonald, who returns to a news desk for the first time since he retired 15 years ago. As well as some less original imitations, such as a goat in an Argentina shirt and a real-life hedgehog scampering along a pavement.

With a soundtrack by British rapping superstar and Brit Award winner Little Simz, the TV work opens with a red door showing the number ‘1’ followed by the seemingly unmistakably smooth tones of Sir Trevor. His VO lists a host of ’truly original’ cultural icons, but the film contrasts these with images of poor imitations, from the Great Wall of China (a not-so-great stone wall) to The Godfather (a nervous man holding a baby).

The work takes a humorous turn towards the finale: "There's only one biscuit… the true original… and one person to tell you about it. Me, Trevor McDonald.” Viewers then see a Sir Trevor impersonator in a cramped VO studio and realise it was a fake all along. Until the camera pans to a flashy news studio where the true original news reader is holding a genuine McVitie’s biscuit. “Actually, it’s Sir Trevor McDonald, and I’ll take it from here”, he says.

Directed by Pulse Films’ Sam Pilling, director of short films such as “I Love You I Hate You”, featuring Little Simz and music video such as Nobody Speak for DJ Shadow and Run the Jewels, the ad was shot entirely on film with a 4:3 aspect ratio, giving the work a stylistic edge and championing the biscuit as the star.

The campaign launched from 4th October and ‘There is only one’ will be initially broadcast across TV, cinema, BVOD and OLV until 11th November, supported by a wave of activity across social and shopper marketing.

Media was handled by MG OMD, which planned a blend of high-reaching AV channels complemented by a sophisticated paid social strategy.

Sir Trevor McDonald said: "This campaign was such a joy to work on. The team were so professional and it was a great collaboration all round. They saw the fun in doing it in the way that we did it. The humour and the fact that it involved an element of impersonating me was definitely amusing. It’s the only time I would/could ever say you’ve got it wrong, it’s ‘Sir’ Trevor McDonald. And the biscuits are good too.”

Paul Jordan, executive creative director at TBWA\London, said: “True Originals gives us an amazingly rich platform to continue creating great work and cultural moments that not only reaffirm McVitie’s status as an iconic leader in the category but also as an integral part of British culture. And we’ve got loads more massive moments lined up after this one. And what better True Original than Sir Trevor McDonald to launch the whole lot? He's loved by all generations, and it was a real privilege to spend time with him when he wasn't shooting.”

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