Oxo Updates Its Vignettes of British Family Life for the 21st Century

Revival of Much-Loved 80s Campaign Will Reflect Modern Families

Published On
Oct 10, 2016

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Throughout the '80s and '90s, stock cube and flavorings brand Oxo (not to be confused with the household tools brand) was well-known in the U.K. for its heartwarming advertising portraying a typical British family, headed up by a long-suffering mum played by well-known TV actress Lynda Bellingham.

That series ended in 1999, and Bellingham subsequently passed away from cancer, but now the Premier Foods-owned brand has revived the campaign with a new "Oxo family" for the 21st century, created by the original agency, JWT London.

The updated vignettes of family life include one scenario, seen here, where the teenage daughter invites the "most popular girl in the school" 'round for dinner, but is horrified to find her mom cooking meatballs. After the mother adds an Oxo cube, the meal proves so delicious that the guest photographs her meal and posts it on social media.

Another ad sees the parents forgetting that they've invited friends around for dinner. Dad saves the day by adding an Oxo stockpot to a last-minute meal -- although the kids give the game away at the dinner table.

Both ads were directed by Declan Lowney, whose credits include sitcom "Father Ted," and the feature film "Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa," as well as the recent "Giant Crumpet Show" Muppet-themed ad for Warburtons.

According to JWT, the campaign aims to buid a positive portrait of modern U.K. family life, illustrating that despite technology, long hours and busy schedules, families can still come together for a meal. What's more, the campaign reflects the fact that fathers are increasingly joining the mother in the kitchen and sharing work and domestic duties (although we'd like to see even more of Dad in the kitchen in future ads).

James Whitehead, J. Walter Thompson London executive partner, said in a statement: "Our new family are a real team: chaotic and imperfect, there's teasing and the occasional strop, but there's also a lot of life, energy, love and getting things done as a real family."


Oct 10, 2016
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Executive Creative Director :
Russell Ramsey

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