The Co-op is hoping to emulate the success of Chicken Run with a ground-breaking new TV advertising campaign, produced by the film's creators Aardman Animations.

Breaking today Monday (3 July), the latest multi-million pound TV ad campaign for Co-op (CWS) food stores features computer animated characters in real life settings. It represents the first public foray into the world of computer animation by Aardman's, the triple Oscar-winning producers of Wallace and Gromit, whose first feature length film was launched nationwide last Friday (30 June) after receiving rave reviews in America.

Following on from the Co-op's award-winning marketing campaign featuring celebrity relatives, the stars of the first wave of the new TV ads are busy bees Andy and Karen and sharp sheep Colin and Jane - all computer generated animals in live action settings.

Andy and Karen are a 20-something bee couple, hectic and time-pressed, having to shop on their way home from work for chilled ready meals and fine wines. Colin and Jane, their twins Jessica and Becky (13) and their young son Harry (7) are a sheep family, who rely on the Co-op to provide value-added shopping. Whether it's family budgeting or being rewarded with cash twice yearly via the Co-op Dividend loyalty card, these 40-something sheep don't get fleeced.

The humorous TV ads, developed by Partners BDDH, focus on how the Co-op - with its emphasis on convenience and market town stores and its unique Dividend loyalty card - is meeting the needs of today's shoppers. They will spearhead a £16 million marketing campaign, including press ads and point-of-sale material, which will reinforce the Co-op's strength as a community retailer.

CWS, the UK's largest co-operative food retailer, is going for growth in its convenience store and market town supermarkets, where profits are on target to more than double in the next two years. The new marketing campaign will play a key role in helping to deliver the retail strategy.
John Bowes, Chief General Manager Marketing at CWS, said: "Thanks to the successful roll out of Co-op Welcome - our new format for convenience stores - we now lead the market in this sector and we are also trialing a new format for our larger, market town supermarkets.

"The new marketing campaign, with the strapline 'There for you', emphasises our aim to meet everyone's shopping needs and reinforces our responsible retailing stance."