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Takeaway delivery app Foodhub briefed production company JMS Group to create the brand’s first television campaign, and for it to make a big impact. Love it or loathe it, the Foodhub TV advert ‘Hot Meals in Your Area’ hopes to gain notoriety via television and social media.
Foodhub is a challenger in the food-tech industry providing online food ordering marketplace and EPOS solutions. Despite Foodhub’s scale, its brand recognition to date had been overshadowed by app behemoths Just East, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats. Lacking the budget to bring in celebrity endorsement at the calibre of Snoop Dogg, the brief to JMS Group – and Foodhub’s agency CG Advertising – was to achieve the maximum impact and word of mouth around the brand within a modest production budget.
The commercial’s director, Tom Vaughan-Mountford, explained, “We’d developed some cracking creative for the campaign – but the brand’s USPs of better value for customers, and a fairer deal for takeaways were somewhat nebulous and proving tough to sharpen into a message that would tempt viewers to download the app. There were several cool ideas, visually strong, but the underlying argument just wasn’t moving the needle. After several weeks of back-and-forth rewrites and animatics, none of the concepts were quite what we were after for a launch.”
We all know the obvious equation between food and porn, indeed the term ‘foodporn’ is well used on its own. Throughout creative discussions, the obvious low-hanging gag had been sidestepped several times. JMS Group’s Elena Ford – the campaign’s creative lead – said, “Foodhub wanted to make some noise so having explored all the other avenues we broached the question with them: The Pornhub comparison has already been made… do you feel comfortable leaning into this and having some fun with it?” To make the case JMS Group wrote a creative concept based loosely on a ‘porn pre-roll’ or programme trailer on an adult channel. Elena added, “We started batting innuendo-laden dialogue around the studio, laughing like school kids telling dirty jokes, and knew we’d got a hook for the campaign.”

‘Hot Meals in Your Area’ – Cheeky Foodhub TV Advert Airing on Sky

Tom describes production of the commercial as a “Kick, bollocks and scramble shoot”. The entire cast was affected by travel delays which compressed the schedule of the single day’s shoot by almost two hours. “The styling of the commercial was intentionally low-fi as the creative called for a somewhat less than polished appearance, and some strange lighting choices, the look was ‘a foodie version of Babestation’. The spot needed to stick out like a sore thumb in any break, almost as though it’s airing on the wrong channel. So, the breakneck pace of the production day was in some respects conducive to the style we were going for.”
Knowing that ‘Hot Meals in Your Area’ was likely to prove divisive, Foodhub took an initial rough cut to a 30-person focus group, including several customers. Although several mentioned they felt the ad was potentially in poor taste, the overwhelming majority were not only positive, but voiced tremendous enthusiasm for the daring of the commercial.
Notable comments from the group included, “The best ad I’ve ever seen”, “Would go big on TikTok”, “Worth getting sacked for”, and “I love it, but I’m sure the snowflakes won’t”. As an intriguing aside, it was the men in the focus group who were more vocal in their criticism of the commercial’s content. Foodhub’s initial worries were largely allayed by the feedback from the group, and the cut that has gone to air isn’t far removed from the initial version viewed by them. Just one shot was removed as the talent’s outfit was deemed too salacious.
Actor Dan Dewhirst has final make-up applied for his role in the Foodhub TV advert.

Actor Dan Dewhirst stars in the Foodhub TV advert. Image: Richard Jarmy

Tom is confident ‘Hot Meals in Your Area’ will hit the right notes, “The commercial was already being widely talked about even before we delivered it. Countless people were shown various cuts of the ad during production, and behind the scenes photos from the shoot were being shared too. We’ve got a lot of love for the concept but have also heard plenty of air sucked through teeth. No one is in any doubt there will be some flak, in fact we’re looking forward to it.”
“We were introduced to JMS Group by CG Advertising, an agency supporting us with our out-of-home campaigns. We gave them a difficult brief to start with, and then changed that brief a few weeks into the project. We certainly didn’t make it easy for them. We wanted something memorable and just on the right side of ‘naughty’; an advert that was translate easily from TV to social media and beyond. JMS brought their ideas to the table, and we loved the script that they came up with. It was refreshing, funny, and definitely memorable! However, that was nothing in comparison to the way they brought it to life during production. The set was perfect, the actors spot on, and the diligence to detail very much appreciated. JMS also listened to us when we asked to change some elements of the advert; we appreciated their flexibility.  Overall, we’ve had a lot of fun with this project and we’re very proud to bring Foodhub to the masses with a Sky and digital campaign. We’re sure we’ll be working with JMS Group for a long time yet.” said Foodhub’s Jackie Sims.

For further information about using targeted television advertising to promote your app contact JMS Group. JMS Group has a lengthy track record in producing television campaigns for online services.

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