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Aldi’s Rita Kirwan Gives A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The ‘Kevin’s Root to Paris’ TV Ad

By Donna Ahern
Aldi’s Rita Kirwan Gives A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The ‘Kevin’s Root to Paris’ TV Ad

With the Rugby World Cup in full swing and anticipation building for the upcoming autumn fixtures, Donna Ahern talks to Rita Kirwan, marketing director at Aldi, about the concept and making of the ‘Kevin’s Root to Paris’ TV ad. 

Rita Kirwan Marketing Director Aldi Ireland copy

Can you tell me about your role as marketing director at Aldi Ireland?

Well, I’m Kevin the Carrot’s boss and Gilbert the Grape’s boss. It’s my job to ensure they are both up and ready for Paul at 6am every morning! Kevin is a massive rugby fan, and he loves Christmas, too.

The biggest Christmas present Kevin could get this year is for Ireland to win the World Cup!

Who is Kevin the Carrot and who invented the now iconic vegetable?


In the UK and Ireland, it’s traditional to leave a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph by the fire on Christmas Eve, and so Kevin the Carrot was born in 2016, in McCann’s in Manchester.

Kevin won everyone’s hearts when he negotiated the treacherous terrain of a Christmas dinner table to join a mince pie on a plate by the fire, in the hope that he’d get to meet his hero, Father Christmas.

Kevin’s subsequent adventures have seen him come up against Pascal the Parsnip, perform in the big top as ‘The Grated Showman’ and star alongside Ebanana Scrooge in the classic ‘A Christmas Carrot’ by Charles Chickens.

In 2017, Kevin met his wife, Katie, and they had three gorgeous carrot kids: Chantenay, Jasper, and Baby Carrot.

‘Kevin’s Root to Paris’


Kevin’s fans usually expect to see him on our screens on the run-up to Christmas. Can you tell us about Kevin’s starring role in ‘Kevin’s Root to Paris’?

Kevin has been a member of the Aldi family for many years now, but until this moment, it was a little-known fact that, although he’s small, he is a HUGE rugby fan. After all, he grew up in a field.

He has roots in Ireland, so we thought who better to be the face of the campaign to celebrate our role as the official fresh-food partner of Irish Rugby?

What was the concept behind the ad?


Aldi has a fun and playful sense of humour, and we’re also very proud to be the official fresh-food partners to Irish Rugby.

We wanted a fun campaign that would make people of all ages smile, yet, at the same time, show our support for the national team.

So, me, Kevin, Paul O’Connell and James Ryan had lots of chats and came up with the idea over a great roast dinner.

In our TV ad, we see Kevin and his new pal Gilbert Grape try out for the Irish squad, as they are put through their paces by Irish forward coach and Aldi Play Rugby brand ambassador Paul.

Kevin and Gilbert try their hand at a number of training drills, and although they give it their all, it’s fair to say that they are not always 100% successful.


An Aviva Stadium favourite, ‘[I’m] Shipping up to Boston’ by the Dropkick Murphys provides the rousing musical energy, but falls silent just before Kevin kicks Gilbert towards the post.

A gasp-inducing catch by James Ryan puts the training session in jeopardy, before James cheekily reveals he was just joking.

“Same time tomorrow, lads,” comes the shout from Paul, much to the shock and horror of Kevin and Gilbert!

Can you tell me about the team who created the ad?

Clive Davis and Andy Fenton are Kevin’s parents and the creative dream team behind all [the] Kevin adverts, who, together with creative directors Dave Price and Neil Lancaster, oversee the production of all our Christmas TV, print, POS, and social channels.

As well as spending hours crafting the animation, music, edits and sound design, they pride themselves on writing a good pun for Kevin, which Kevin delivers in his unassuming way.

An interesting fact is that Kevin is voiced by Clive Davis.

Kevin then hired this really cool media agency called Zenith Ireland to put his ads across the country!

The ad sees Kevin joined by Aldi ambassadors Paul O’Connell as coach and senior player James Ryan. Can you tell me about the production of the ad?

Kevin engaged with Paul and James throughout the creative development and production of the ad, as he wanted them to feel part of what we were collectively creating.

Kevin feels this really comes through with their performance on screen.

We see Paul and James engaging very impressively with Kevin throughout. Were their acting skills put to the test?

Both Paul and James have been long-term Aldi Play Rugby ambassadors and have always been great advocates for healthy eating and getting kids active.

We have had the pleasure and privilege of working with them both on several TV campaigns over the years, and they are always very natural and authentic – definite career options for both Paul and James when they hang up their boots.

Can you let me in on any behind-the-scenes stories during the shoot?

Naturally, Paul and James were both a little starstruck to meet Kevin, but, as a perfectly seasoned pro in front of the camera, Kevin took them under his leaf, and the result is the great chemistry you see on screen.

What is your favourite part of the ad?

‘Ready, Kevin?’

‘Ready, Paul!’

Friends and family are repeating that line to me, and that’s great!

Kevin thinks he’s all ready and going to show Paul what he’s made of, but this is the first time he has trained with Paul!

The Aldi TV ads have become a much-anticipated Christmas TV staple. What can we expect from this year’s offering? 

Sorry, our lips are peeled.

What does Aldi’s role as the official fresh-food partner to Irish Rugby involve?

We are now in our eighth year as official fresh-food partner to Irish Rugby and have been supporting the men’s, women’s and development teams with fresh produce for the past eight years.

We have also worked closely with the IRFU on the development of the Aldi Play Rugby primary-school programme, which sees 120,000 kids receive a fun and non-competitive introduction to the skills of rugby.

With close to 1,000 schools participating annually, we are proud to say 50% of the participants are now girls, which was a very important target for us from the outset.

Will you be making the trip to Paris yourself?

I’m so looking forward to the squad announcements each week, to see if Kevin makes it, and if he does, I’ll be on the next plane over.

Read More: Kevin The Carrot Joins Irish Rugby Team In New Aldi TV Ad

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