The secret life of football referees is revealed in TBWA GGT Simons
Palmer’s new pounds 1.3 million campaign for Strongbow cider, which
breaks on 1 April and runs for the rest of this football season and all
of the next.
The 12 TV spots move the theme of Strongbow’s popular ’live to loaf’
campaign into a context that fits with the brand’s sponsorship of Leeds
United next season. The ads will run exclusively on Sky’s new Pub
Channel, which provides sports coverage to bars around the country.
Shot to resemble closed-circuit TV footage and filling the first ad slot
in the half-time commercial break, each execution appears to show the
referee returning to his changing room for a 15-minute rest. When they
open their doors, each referee reveals leisure habits that range from
the sordid to the surreal.
In one spot the ref is greeted by a stern, bespectacled nun who grabs
him by the arm and leads him into the room while he sucks his thumb
In two spots the referee is greeted by figures in bear costumes who
console him after a tough half. In another, the referee has had enough
of the game and immolates the match ball in Jimmy Hendrix style.
’I am very impressed by TBWA’s response to the brief of linking
football, Strongbow and loafing,’ Bulmers’ senior brand manager, Nicola
Roberts, said. ’These ads will attract 18- to 24-year-old lads to
The ads were written by Alan Moseley, art directed by Graham Cappi and
directed by Mark Mylod for Channel X Productions. Media strategy is by
Unity and media buying is by Mind Share.