John West reprises bear v fisherman fight scene

LONDON - Private equity firm MW Brands is reuniting the John West fisherman fighting with a bear over a salmon to launch a new skinless and boneless tinned salmon product.

Previous owner H.J. Heinz company and its ad agency Leo Burnett won a Gold Lion at Cannes in 2001 for ad which was a Grand Prix contender. The ad was also popular with the public has maintained its popularity via social networking sizes and is ranked among the top virals, with an estimated 300m viewings.

The new ad, created by Cheetham Bell JWT, opens with scenes from the original advert and then cuts to a YouTube-inspired ad: featuring a home-made mountain setting where a man is re-enacting the fight for a salmon between a male doll and toy bear.

The toy bear is a free giveaway as part of a launch promotion for the new product which goes on sale in mid-November.  Research shows many people do not buy tinned salmon because of the skin and bones in the product. 

John West sales director Andrew Gidden, said: "We've listened to consumers and appreciate that the skin and bones in the current product is an issue for some people. This new product will have a wider appeal and we hope will encourage those who have never bought tinned salmon to do so."

The new commercial breaks on 18 November and will run for three weeks.  A survey by The Viral Factory ranked the original advert as the sixth most popular viral video on the internet.

MW Brands is a private equity funded seafood business formerly part of HJ Heinz which sold John
West Foods of the UK, Petit Navire of France and Mareblu of Italy to form MW Brands in March

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