The Sunday roast remains one of the most important meals in our week – it's when the family comes together, and the perfect Yorkshire pudding is its crowning glory. This is the sentiment that builds on a powerful new spot for Aunt Bessie's, launched by Grey London this week.
The flagship TV ad, directed by Tom Green, is inspired by a true story – that of June, the much-loved nan of creative director Chris Clarke. June was certified blind at 16 and yet cared for her entire family, always providing a stand-out Sunday roast without missing a beat.
The film, which launches nationally today, shows multiple generations enjoying time together, playing games, talking, laughing, and squabbling before they sit down together for a family meal cooked by a proud, blind nan – just as Chris's grandmother would do.
It's a truly authentic film that retains the integrity of what was so special about Chris's nan. For this reason, Julie Bennett, a genuinely blind grandma, with no prior acting experience, was cast in the lead role. Julie spent just half a day on set familiarising herself with it before the shoot itself.
"We all know someone who cares, no matter what," says Chris Clarke. "For me, it was my Nanna June. A legend in every sense of the word. This platform celebrates her, and all those other wonderful people who simply can't help but care. Those people who bring the family together every Sunday, with roast beef and Aunt Bessie's Yorkshires."
Sarah Koppens, marketing director at Birds Eye UK, adds: "We had a sense of how special this story was from the moment Chris and Matt presented it in mid-February. Given everything that has happened since that time, the sentiment captured within the ad couldn't be more relevant. Caring for others is a fundamental way in which we connect and demonstrate our love – but that’s not to say it's always easy to do. We were thrilled that Tom (Green) wanted to work with us, celebrating the human truth in the story and doing such a beautiful of shining a light on it."
Aunt Bessie's was bought by Nomad Foods in July 2018, adding to a frozen foods portfolio that includes Birds Eye, Goodfella’s, Findus and Iglo.