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McCann London & Bisto Want You to Spare a Chair for the Elderly

McCann EMEA, 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Real family stars in Bisto’s new TV ad for Spare Chair Sunday campaign

McCann London & Bisto Want You to Spare a Chair for the Elderly

Bisto has launched a new TV ad showing a real family inviting an elderly neighbour over for Sunday lunch as part of the brand’s Spare Chair Sunday campaign.

The TV ad, created by McCann London, shows The Handfield-Walker family from Ilkey hosting Connie, a 93-year-old lady who currently lives on her own and doesn’t often get to enjoy a roast on Sunday with the company of others. Bisto and McCann were there to document the heart-warming occasion.

Bisto launched the Bisto Spare Chair Sunday campaign in September this year as an initiative to combat the growing issue of loneliness amongst older people. Bisto has partnered with national charity Contact the Elderly on the project, which encourages people to volunteer to invite a lonely older person for Sunday lunch.

Since launching the project, Bisto had 885 people volunteer to host a Spare Chair Sunday.


On Sundays families traditionally sit down for lunch together and enjoy good company over good food. But over a million people in the UK over 70 live alone and don’t have family or friends to be able to enjoy this social occasion. A total of 36% of older people in the UK eat alone every day.

The 30-second TV ad, which launched on Wednesday, 9th December, will also be supported by a radio campaign. The work is the latest iteration in the Bisto Together Project, showing the power of food to bring loved ones together, which first launched in 2014. The ad also promotes Bisto Best, Bisto’s premier gravy, made for those extra special roasts.

Helen Warren Piper - Marketing Director Bisto, says: “We have had over 100 years of bringing people together around the dinner table, and continue to do so through the Bisto Together Project. Loneliness is a real problem in the UK and for older people specifically. The work that Contact the Elderly already does is proven to work and uplift the community as a whole. We have found a perfect partner in Contact the Elderly in driving forward our Together Project through the Spare Chair Sunday campaign.”

Laurence Thomson - Chief Creative Officer McCann, says: “We’re really excited with this latest iteration of the Bisto Together Project; Spare Chair Sunday. The initiative shows Bisto’s commitment to bringing people together through great food. Since the project launched earlier this year with the charity Contact the Elderly, it has already been a success and with this spot we’re able to raise excitement and encourage even more people to sign up for this great cause.”

Creative Agency

Account Manager: Christos Cardovillis

Chief Creative Officer: Laurence Thomson

Planner: Thomas Keane

Business Director : Georgie Rechner

Account Director: Kate Douglas

Producer: Claire Hopkins

Creative Agency: McCann London

Creatives: Lianne Galazka, Imogen Jones, James Rook

Production Company

Director: Eivind Holmboe @ Fish Films

Producer: David De La Flor

Category: Conveniece , Food

Genre: Storytelling