NEWS: Grey develops offbeat Dry Blackthorn theme

The comic character, Rab C. Nesbitt, appears both in the nude and in drag in Grey’s new pounds 2 million campaign for Dry Blackthorn cider.

The comic character, Rab C. Nesbitt, appears both in the nude and in

drag in Grey’s new pounds 2 million campaign for Dry Blackthorn cider.

The ads take an irreverent look at how you can save water during

droughts. In one ten-second execution Nesbitt is shown bathing with a

can of Dry Blackthorn.

In the second commercial, he appears in full charlady regalia as he

brews a cup of tea using cider instead of water.

In the third ad, Nesbitt tells viewers to balance their fluids during

hot weather by carrying a glass of Dry Blackthorn in each hand.

The campaign, which breaks this Thursday, retains the quirky feel of

previous ads, which showed Nesbitt scrabbling around in the desert to

find a cab and impersonating both General Custer and an Indian chief in

a Western-style battle.

However, the new commercials place more emphasis on the refreshing

nature of cider. They also have a new endline: ‘Blackthorn: perfect in

parched conditions. Definitely.’ This replaces the old line: ‘Definitely

a Dry Blackthorn day.’

Each commercial ends by giving details of a hotline that viewers can

ring to hear amusing refreshment tips and details of a competition.

The ads were written by Alan Curzon, art directed by David George and

directed by Mark Denton through Brian Byfield Films. Media planning and

buying is by BBJ Media Services.

The spots target 18- to 34-year-old male cider drinkers and will run

nationally on satellite channels and in selected ITV regions.

The commercials will be booked alongside humorous cult-style TV

programmes and movies.

The TV advertising will be supported by five different print executions

in the tabloid press, which will run until mid-September.

The television work will air for an initial two to three weeks, before

taking a break and returning to screens in the autumn.

Nesbitt is a fictional Scottish drunk who rose to fame in his own

programme on the BBC.

The new campaign is the first since Matthew Clark merged with the

brand’s producer, Taunton Cider, to form Matthew Clark Taunton last


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