40-second ad charts the history of the retailer and its modern focus on quality fresh food

Morrisons has unveiled a new TV ad to celebrate 125 years since its founder William Morrison first started the business as a market stall in Bradford.

Morrisons' new TV ad

Morrisons’ new TV ad

Debuting on Monday 17 June during 24 hrs in A&E on Channel 4, the 40-second ‘Over the counter, over the years’ ad, created with agency Leo Burnett, follows a conversation between Morrisons colleagues and customers, played out over 125 years.

It aims to show that while a lot has evolved in customers’ lives since 1899, their passion for Morrisons’ great quality fresh food has remained. The supermarket stressed that even today, its Market Street heritage is clear to see in stores up and down the country as butchers, fishmongers, bakers, cheesemongers and deli colleagues make and serve customers fresh food every day.

The ad begins at Morrisons’ original Bradford market stall, with a customer purchasing local eggs. Then, with each cut, the film jumps through time to a new decade continuing the conversation between the customer and the colleague while also capturing the fashion, hairstyle and food choice trends of each era.

Viewers see colleagues’ uniforms evolving from white overcoats to red bow ties and boaters, while customers start out shopping in hats and change into brown sheepskin jackets and shell-suits. Throughout the ad, customers are seen buying fresh British food before the ad finishes with a customer purchasing doughnuts from a modern-day Market Street counter.

The ad is part of a wider integrated campaign which includes TV, Market Street promotions, radio, press, digital display, social media and out of home as well as activity in Morrisons stores and online. 

Out-of-home executions will feature images of Morrisons Market Street colleagues and highlight their skills and expertise while a social media campaign will show the customers and colleagues from the ad tasting modern-day Morrisons favourites and sharing their reactions. Retro recipes from each decade of the past 125 years will also be shared across Morrisons social channels, website and blog.

In addition, throughout the month offers and activities are live for customers across the UK, including the chance for More Card members to become a More Points Millionaire and participate in the biggest-ever ‘Basket Bonus’. Morrisons is also launching a £1m charitable fund to enhance community spaces across the UK.

The ad was directed by ‘US’, through Academy and will be shown on network TV spots that include ITV’s Coronation Street, Channel 4’s Bake Off The Professionals and Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox.