Last summer 2018, Kelly’s of Cornwall released its second TV advert spoken predominantly in the Cornish language, with a few key phrases in English.

Set on the beach in St Ives, it features a surfer chick, dairy farmer and family each eating their favourite ice cream flavour in a personalised beach hut.

The ad follows the success of their first #SpeakCornish campaign back in 2016, which coincided with the government’s decision to cut Cornish language funding by £150k per year. Alongside the creation of the first ever Cornish TV advert, Kelly’s worked with Dawn French to release a series of Cornish language sessions published across YouTube and Facebook. In one she explains that dropping an ice cream cone on the floor is a ‘terosa’ (disaster), whilst a ‘bodhesik’ (amateur) is the definition of a novice surfer trying to catch a wave.

Having been a much loved household name for over 100 years, Kelly’s wanted to ensure brand longevity by appealing to a new younger audience and having a distinctive voice which stood out against its big spending rivals. According to the creative agency, Isobel, the 2016 campaign was picked up by every national newspaper with a combined readership of over 35 million. Since then, the ice cream has seen 1.4 billion additional buyers and a brand growth of 18%.

Mark Trevethan, Cornish Language Officer for Cornwall Council, worked with Kelly’s to provide Cornish translations for the ads. He said:

“Yeth yw fordh effeythus dhe styrya gonisogeth hag ertach neb unn ranndir. Kelly’s a weresas lesa aswonvos a’n yeth Kernewek gans an kynsa argemmyn Kernewek bythkweth orth an bellwolok, ha hedhyw pesya a wra dhe dhrehevel profil Kernow, ow komendya agan gonisogeth unnik dhe remenant an wlas.”

“Language is an effective way to articulate the culture and heritage of a region. Kelly’s helped spread awareness of the Cornish language with the first ever Cornish TV ad, and today it continues to raise Cornwall’s profile, advocating our unique culture to the rest of the nation.”

– Mark Trevethan, Cornwall Council


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