Asda reveals first James Martin-fronted ads from Saatchi & Saatchi that it hopes will turn dismal sales around

Asda has revealed the first work from Saatchi & Saatchi since newly instated chief marketer Andy Murray handed the agency the creative account earlier this year.

The grocer hasn’t strayed far from highlighting its low prices – something industry commentators had urged it to do – but has ventured further into trying to inspire shoppers, a tact it will be hoping can transform its dismal sales. While the James Martin ads show Asda’s not ready to stop promoting itself as a cheap supermarket, it’s clear that Murray is trying to move into new territory.

The TV adverts will run over the summer period and all feature celebrity chef James Martin showcasing recipe ideas.

The first – titled BBQ – shows Martin in a garden alongside an Asda mum before a hoard of hungry kids show up. Martin then demonstrates a Cauliflower Couscous recipe which accompanies a steak from the Asda Extra Special range.

In another ad, Bike Ride, Martin serves up some fresh ideas for sandwiches.

“This ad marks the beginning of an exciting campaign that is designed to emotionally engage with our customers through the power of human truths of family summer moments,” said Andy Murray, chief customer officer at Asda.

“We know that summer is a really busy time for our customers, and it can also be challenging to come up with meal solutions at prices they can trust. James is the ideal person to meet this challenge, and his recipes and ideas will help to make this summer the best yet for our shoppers.”

In addition to the TV ads the campaign will also be backed by digital, in-store and on van executions and PR campaign.

Following the summer push, the grocer will also use the same format during the crucial Christmas period.

Expectations of what would arise from ditching VCCP as its ad agency and hiring Saatchi & Saatchi have been high, particularly in light of Asda reporting its seventh consecutive quarter of falling sales.

Chief executive of parent company Walmart, Brett Biggs, admitted last month that despite investments upwards of £1.5bn into lowering the price of goods on its shelves, customers are still not coming through its doors. As such, its 'Everyday Low Prices' proposition no longer resonates as strongly as it once did.

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