Asda has launched its first advert starring TV chef James Martin as the grocer kick-starts efforts to reconnect to its core customer base.

The first of four summer-themed adverts, which will be screened for the first time on ITV tonight, aims to provide “meal inspiration” for families.

BBQ - Asda's new TV ad starring James Martin

Titled ‘BBQ’, the advert shows Martin relaxing in the garden alongside an “Asda mum”.

But his peaceful Sunday becomes more frenetic when the mum reveals her two hungry children and her husband have all invited their friends round for a barbecue.

Martin returns home with two packed Asda bags and prepares a barbecue for the family, with food including Asda’s Extra Special steaks and cauliflower couscous.

The ad, which is the first since Saatchi & Saatchi was appointed as the supermarket giant’s new creative agency in April, will be followed by ‘Bike Ride’, which airs for the first time on June 16.

‘Emotionally engaging’ with shoppers

The partnership with Martin forms part of Asda’s 18-month Project Renewal plan to reconnect to shoppers and drive investment into revamping its larger stores.

Asda has suffered seven consecutive quarters of falling sales after suffering amid fierce competition from a consistent Sainsbury’s, recovering Tesco and Morrisons, and fast-growing discount duo Aldi and Lidl.

As revealed by Retail Week, Asda-owner Walmart’s international boss Dave Cheesewright admitted he was “very disappointed” with the grocer’s performance and said it would now refocus its strategy on protecting market share rather than protecting profits.

Asda chief customer officer Andy Murray, who joined the retailer from Walmart earlier this year, said: “This ad marks the beginning of an exciting campaign that is designed to emotionally engage with our customers through the power of human truths of family summer moments.

“James is a natural fit for Asda and it’s been great fun working with him to show exactly what we stand for, which is making it easy for people to enjoy great tasting, quality food no matter what their budget.”