Bernard Matthews brings back bootiful catchphrase

Elaine MaslinBernard Matthews is to bring back its iconic 1980s bootiful catchphrase as part of a new �5million television and PR campaign.Elaine Maslin

Bernard Matthews is to bring back its iconic 1980s bootiful catchphrase as part of a new �5million television and PR campaign.

It is one of the most memorable advertising phrases to come out of that decade - which put Norfolk on the map for generations.

The first phase of the new campaign is �1m worth of television advertising to be run over four weeks on ITV1 starting tomorrow.

In a nostalgic and light-hearted advert harking back to the 1980s, a young boy will be seen singing Joe Cocker's You Are So Beautiful to a golden drummer, gradually surrounded by his family, a choir and then an orchestra in the Manchester Evening News arena.

It comes just weeks after the company announced a four year ambassadorial deal with fiery television chef Marco Pierre White to promote their brand.

'The biggest thing we have is the catchphrase bootiful, said Matt Pullen, marketing director at Bernard Matthews.

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'In reality we are saying he got it right all those years ago.

'Bootiful is a truly iconic word and became synonymous not just with a brand, but with an entire county. People from across the UK came to associate the phrase with Norfolk, a little like the Worzels for the West Country.

'We are in a position where there is a lot of water under the bridge and we need to bring back some of the personality and humour,' added Mr Pullen.

The firm, founded 60 years ago, was hit by a series of problems from Jamie Oliver's criticism of its Turkey Twizzlers to avian flu and animal welfare.

But since 2008, it has refocused on its core product, turkey, and is back in profit.

Its trucks are to be rebranded with bootiful as part of the new retro campaign, all in the same style of writing used in an image which saw the word projected across the home of Bernard Matthews at Great Witchingham Hall.

Mr Pullen said the deal with Mr Pierre-White was more about promoting turkey as a meat than the Matthews brand, but that the chef was happy with the return of the catchphrase, as was Mr Matthews himself, who stepped down from the day-to-day running of the firm earlier this year as he turned 80.

The first time the phrase bootiful was used in a Matthews advert was in 1980. Mr Matthews himself spoke the words as he walked across the front lawn of his hall.

Legend has it that the director filming the advert simply asked Mr Matthews how he would describe his turkey - and the word was spoken.

Bootiful was used the most by the company in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the company was one of the biggest advertisers in the UK. Now the UK's fresh turkey meat market is worth �13bn.

Mr Pullen said with 60pc of the UK's turkey supply coming from Bernard Matthews - branded and own label - if they did not promote turkey meat, no one would.

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