Mother London Crafts Homage to Iconic 70s Ad for Hovis

By Erik Oster 

Mother London launched a new spot for Hovis bread which subtly pays tribute to “Bike,” the classic 1973 spot for the brand directed by Ridley Scott.

Like its classic predecessor, the ad, entitled “Stuck,” pitches Hovis as fuel for bike-riding youngsters, emphasizing its wheat germ content. But the new ad, directed by Academy Films’ Johnny Hardstaff, doesn’t rely on such allusions to get its message across. The effects-heavy spot shows three children peddling furiously to escape a house which keeps reforming its walls to trap them inside. “Don’t get stuck indoors,” the voiceover says near the spot’s conclusion, explaining the preceding action. Despite the allusion to the Scott-directed ad from the seventies, it’s a thoroughly modern message, with the obvious implication that the children get “stuck” inside by houses filled with attention-grabbing technology.

“There’s just this feeling that it’s all too easy to get stuck inside in front of a screen and forget that there’s a different kind of fun to be had outside your house,”agency producer Kreepa Laxman told Adweek. “Probably because there are so many cool bits of tech in kids’ lives these days, they need help from parents, and us, to remember to get outside and have physical adventures. The kind you need a crushed sandwich wrapped in tin-foil for, and that probably involve climbing trees and using sticks. Sticks are always important.”

Perhaps because kids tend to be less active these days, casting for the spot proved difficult. “…kids’ bicycle skills aren’t what you’d expect,” Hardstaff told Adweek. “It was chaos, but amidst the carnage we found three great kids.”



Client: Hovis
Agency: Mother London
Production Company: Academy Films
Director: Johnny Hardstaff
Director of Photography: Carl Nilsson
Production Company Producer: Annabel Ridley
Editor: Joe Guest at Final Cut
Visual Effects Artists: Adam Crocker & Anthony Bloor
Post Production House: MPC
Post Production Producer: Dionne Archibald
Sound Design: Sam Ashwell at 750mph
Music Composer: Tom Player at Wake The Town