The building of Mr Kipling, 1967

  • Date: 1967
  • Company: Rank Hovis McDougall (now Premier Foods)

The short history of the famous Mr Kipling brand starts in 1967 with Rank Hovis McDougall giving JWT a brief: how to make more money from the flour they milled. After comprehensive analysis, Stephen King recommended they launch a range of cakes, mainly small. RHM then invited JWT plus two other agencies to present creative proposals and what JWT presented was almost exactly what finally ran. Qualitative research conducted by Judie Lannon (1938 - 2019), the brilliant founder of JWT’s creative research unit within King’s planning department, guided the agency: ‘shop-bought’ cakes had a poor reputation, any hint of ‘factory’ was bad, personalisation was good, and male bakers were thought to be better bakers than females. The name Kipling was one of many thoughts on the table, liked for its sense of masculinity and alliteration. It was Llewelyn Thomas (son of Dylan) who suggested ‘Mister’. Jeremy realised that the character of the voiceover, Mr Kipling’s friend, gave all the necessary clues to the baker’s own character. There was no need to see or hear Mr Kipling himself. 
Fast forward to 2022 and this famous brand is owned by British listed company, Premier Foods. There are 13 Kipling products; it is sold in 10 countries including the United States, Australia and the United Arab Emirates; 3.5m packs of its mince pieces are sold every year and favourite products are Angel Slices and Cherry Bakewells.