Bernard Matthews goes down illustration route in £3m rebrand

Brandopus’s new identity for the turkey brand focuses on its original home of Great Witchingham Hall and replaces a 2013 identity developed by Springetts.


Turkey brand Bernard Matthews is set to launch a £3 million rebrand that uses illustration and focuses on Great Witchingham Hall, where Bernard Matthews started the business in 1950.

The new identity has been created by Brandopus and replaces previous branding which was designed by Springetts and launched in 2013.

Springetts also rebranded Bernard Matthews in 2008, when the company was looking to revamp its image following £10 million losses spurred by negative press around Turkey Twizzlers and an outbreak of bird flu at its Suffolk processing plant.

New branding shows off “Turkey Hall”

Whereas the most recent Springetts branding used an image of a turkey and “hinted” at Great Witchingham Hall, the new branding shows off the hall as well as a series of illustrations.

The 2013 branding, by Springetts
The 2013 branding, by Springetts

Bernard Matthews chief executive Rob Burnett says: “The brand now has an engaging and simple illustrative style, with a look that reflects our countryside roots in Norfolk and celebrates our award-winning green energy credentials.

“We believe that the brand’s unique story will be better told by bringing to life the world of Bernard Matthews. Characters from the illustrations will also be brought to life allowing consumers to explore the world further.”

Rebrand includes a new packaging system

BrandOpus executive creative director Paul Taylor says: “The redesign transforms the brand identity from a generic association with farming to a celebration of its true roots in the Norfolk countryside. We believe that the brand’s unique story will be better told by bringing to life the distinctive world of Bernard Matthews.

“The illustrative style we have developed not only imbues the brand with its well loved quirks but also conveys a light-hearted family charm that will see it welcomed back to the centre of the nation’s dinner tables.”

The rebrand also includes a website redesign and a new packaging system, which will see an on-pack colour categorisation introduced. Fresh coated products will move from clear plastic to full colour sleeves with a window to see the products.

“A new chapter in an iconic story”

The rebrand will roll out across 100 turkey and chicken SKUs in frozen, fresh breaded and cooked meats ranges.

Burnett says: “The branding is a completely new direction and new chapter in what has been an iconic story.

“The branding combines the best from the past, with the landmark Witchingham Hall, and a contemporary and fresh design that feels very British.

Visitors can tour a virtual reality “Turkey Hall”

“However, it’s not simply about new packaging, this is about an integrated sales, marketing and new product development strategy which helps us resonate with modern families.”

To launch the brand, Bernard Matthews has also created a virtual reality animation of Great Witchingham Hall, which can be viewed by grocery retailers, in what the brand calls an “industry first”.

Bernard Matthews used Great Witchingham Hall to develop his business, buying the dilapidated building for £3,000 and filling its 35 rooms with turkeys.

Discover more:

Bernard Matthews launches new identity

• Bernard Matthews rebrands to restore confidence

Hide Comments (5)Show Comments (5)
  • D Conran August 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Creating a Turkey by dropping the Turkey? – A bit too much CBeebies meets Downton Abbey.

  • mark glynne-jones August 26, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Having seen Falmouth Uni Degree shows, illustration as well as daughter’s Fine Art, any one of that talented bunch would have done so much better. In the dark and with a knackered Sharpie.
    Turkey indeed.

  • Adam North August 26, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Oh dear, this looks more like a scribbled mock-up to me than a finished design. Also I can never get my head around the ‘Turkey Dinosaur’ product! Just highlights that Bernard Matthews is a Dinosaur where the brand is concerned!

  • Mike Dempsey August 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    He/they should spend the £3 million on giving their turkeys far more space and some sort of humane existence before they murder them.

  • erika clegg August 27, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Some of their investment in three rebrands in less than a decade (and a lot of wind turbines) might have been better spent on reputation management, specifically about animal welfare. An ethical farming policy is tucked away on their website: I only found it following a fairly in-depth Google stalk. … frankly, I’m still not convinced.

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