McVitie's Ads Want to Examine the "Emotional Role" of the Biscuit in Today's Society

By Gary Cutlack on at

United Biscuits, owner of the McVitie's brand and all the magical sugary food it produces, is about to launch a £12m advertising campaign in the UK. It wants to make the eating of too many biscuits an emotional event. After all, who hasn't cried themselves to sleep after eating an entire packet of Chocolate Digestives?

Sarah Heynen, the United Biscuits marketing director, said, in classic marketing terms: "We knew that our biscuits have a surprisingly important place in people’s lives – people relate to them in very emotional way. We wanted to bring this feeling to life, in a memorable, modern way."

Which it will do via a series of TV adverts. The United Biscuits announcement describes the ads like this:

"The adverts, created by Grey London for bakers United Biscuits, were inspired by the insight that something as trivial as the humble biscuit is a powerful and deeply embedded ritual habit in our daily lives."

Here are the emotions we associate with biscuits:

1. Oh god, there are only five Chocolate Hobnobs left, how am I going to make it through the evening?


2. Oh Jesus, no, something bad happened I can't remember and now there are now only four Chocolate Hobnobs left. The shop will be closed. Why can't I stop eating biscuits? I'm fat and am going to die of a stroke aged 52 unless I stop...


3. Somehow there are now only three Chocolate Hobnobs left. Not sure how that happened. Probably a burglar. Does anyone know the number for the National Biscuit Emergency Services, or it it something my GP could help me with?


4. I couldn't control myself and now there is only one Chocolate Hobnob left.


5. This is the last Chocolate Hobnob. I'll savour it by eating it slowly instead of stuffing it in in one go while snorting for breath through my nose. Then I'll make myself puke and start eating the emergency pack that's hidden in the toilet cistern.

The adverts will show during Coronation Street tonight for the first time, with three of them set to promote the joys of eating additional sugar via some sort of emotional trickery. [United Biscuits via Telegraph]