80’s commercial for Bisto ‘Never in a month of Sundays’
Bisto is a well-known brand of traditional British foods in the United Kingdom, most famous for its gravy products.
The very first Bisto product, in 1908, was a meat-flavoured gravy powder, which rapidly became a bestseller in the UK. It was added to customers’ own gravies to give a richer taste and aroma. Invented by Messrs Roberts & Patterson, it was named “Bisto” because it “Browns, Seasons and Thickens in One”.
Bisto Granules were introduced in 1979. The granules dissolve in hot water to form a gravy substitute. This product capitalised on the growing preference among British consumers for foods (or food substitutes) that can be quickly and conveniently prepared. As of 2005, Bisto Gravy Granules dominate the British market, with a share in excess of 70%. Every UK grocery outlet is likely to have a Bisto product on its shelves.
In 1919, the Bisto Kids (created by cartoonist Wilf Owen), appeared in newspapers and soon became popular. Bisto is notable both for the age of its brand and for the advertising campaigns it has used. Although the Bisto Kids have not been included in Bisto advertising for many years, many people still recognise them; the Bisto Kids, a boy and girl in ragged clothes, would catch the odour of Bisto on the breeze and exhale longingly, “Aah, Bisto!” This clever gambit was intended to capture the all-important “Oliver Twist” (or “urchin”) segment of the working-class market. The Bisto Kids were also part of more elaborate advertising campaigns in later years.
During the 1980s, the company released a series of commercials in the UK which featured a song that included the recurring phrase, “Never in a month of Sundays”.
The company sponsors the Bisto Book of the Year Awards in the Republic of Ireland.
The latest campaign for Bisto encourages families to sit up at the table for one night a week to eat ‘proper’ food. This advertising campaign has seen support from unlikely sources such as politicians and members of the clergy. It is rare for an advertising campaign to have a social message, as well as encouraging more sales of a product.