NEWS: Southern Comfort film aims to refresh image

A gritty new cinema commercial for Southern Comfort breaks this week, spearheading a pounds 3 million campaign by Burkitt Edwards Martin to revitalise the drink’s image.

A gritty new cinema commercial for Southern Comfort breaks this week,

spearheading a pounds 3 million campaign by Burkitt Edwards Martin to

revitalise the drink’s image.



The ad, Burkitt Edwards’ first major work on the account, emphasises the

brand’s roots and is set in the swamplands of Louisiana against a

background of Cajun-style music.



A host of quirky characters illustrates the endline: ‘Southerners have

their own rules.’ The spot opens with a man leaning against his house,

talking about how peaceful the area is, while in the background there is

a cacophony of noise from frogs and insects.



In another scene, an old woman stands outside her house, which is

surrounded by a network of motorways, singing ‘We shall not be moved’,

and declaring that she moved to Louisiana because she likes roads.



A third tableau shows a younger woman leaning against a pool table,

declaring longingly: ‘I used to dream of a white wedding.’ The film then

cuts to an image of her in full bridal regalia, screaming frantically,

before cutting back to her in the bar, groaning: ‘What a nightmare.’



Other cameos that make up the 60-second ad include a woman dragging an

alligator across her back garden, a saxophonist, and a man playing his

washboard in a bar.



The film was directed by Frank Budgen through Paul Weiland Films and

shot on location in Louisiana. At the agency, the commercial was written

by John Bedford and art directed by Paul Simblett.



Lionel Knight, the joint managing director of Burkitt Edwards, said:

‘The heritage of Southern Comfort had come under question. It is a great

brand, but it has become too familiar and even a bit soft - that’s a

problem the new advertising tackles head on.’



Burkitt Edwards won the Southern Comfort account almost a year ago

(Campaign, 26 May 1995) from the incumbent, Lowe Howard-Spink, which had

held the business for three years.



Eve Carpenter, the brand manager for Southern Comfort at International

Distillers and Vintners, said: ‘The new ads focus on the sociable,

independent attitude of Southern Comfort drinkers, an approach that

appeals to our target group of young adults.’



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