Captain Birdseye Charts Course for Brand Relaunch in UK

After an extended period of “shore leave,” the Nomad Foods-owned Iglo Group in the United Kingdom has called the Captain Birdseye character back to active duty. Starting on April 9, the venerable advertising mascot will be at the helm of an £8 million television, cinema, in-store, social media and broader digital campaign to reboot the company’s 57-item core range of frozen food products under “Love the Birds Eye Difference” banner.

Fish Fingers“This relaunch is about Birds Eye reclaiming the great British tea time and driving growth back into the frozen food category," stated Steve Chantry, the brand’s marketing director. "Birds Eye is eaten by 90% of all UK households and our product quality improvements and increased pack sizes will offer consumers even better value for money. We are confident that this campaign will be a big hit and strengthen Birds Eye’s position as one of the nation’s most loved and trusted brands.”

After all but being sent into retirement a few years ago and absent from television for about a decade, the Captain’s return to the spotlight in part is intended to provide a nostalgic voyage into yesteryear for older consumers. At the same time the about face in Iglo’s marketing department, which had previously sidelined the old salt as “outdated,” is clearly geared to appeal to British youngsters who have yet to see the iconic character promoting fish fingers and other frozen products on the screen.

“We know that consumers remember products from their childhood with fondness, and we believe the new ad will not only reignite their latent love for the brand, but also reassure them that Birds Eye is committed to quality and is a cut above other brands,” said Chantry. “The reappearance of the Captain after so many years is an exciting step for us, and we look forward to bringing back memories for those that remember him, as well as introducing him to a brand new audience.”

The TV commercial that will soon begin airing features a boy with a tail scampering through a field of pod-popping Birds Eye peas near a harbor where Captain Birdseye happens to be piloting fishing boat that’s bringing in the day’s catch. The spot ends as the lad arrives home with his tail disappointedly drooping because he thinks that his mother has not prepared his favorite Birds Eye dishes. Soon enough, though, the tail starts wagging as he walks into the garden and sees that a plateful of Birds Eye Fish Fingers, Potato Waffles and Peas is waiting for him to enjoy.

In-store merchandising accompanying the relaunch will include gondola-end point-of-sale support. Revamped product packaging will highlight “The Birds Eye Difference” tick icon, guaranteeing the brand’s commitment to improving quality and value.

Birds Eye kid