Tia Maria ads based on film noir

Publicis has drawn inspiration from the 50s fad for film noir in new advertising aimed at broadening the appeal of Tia Maria, the Allied Domecq-owned liqueur brand.

Three poster and print executions from Publicis Dialog will spearhead a £3.5 million campaign, which claims to pay homage to the mysterious powers of women.

Targeted at women aged between 30 and 44, the work is built around the themes of female empowerment and women's sensuality.

It marks the first work on the brand by Publicis since the network was assigned all of Allied Domecq's spirits business after the company's split with the former Cordiant in May last year.

The ads were written by Stephen Beverly and Cat Silliman and illustrated by Andy Dymock.

The campaign, which breaks on Tuesday in the UK before a global roll-out, comes as Allied Domecq attempts to extend Tia Maria's appeal beyond its traditional role as an after-dinner tipple, to a wider range of drinking occasions.

Tia Maria currently holds second place in the £660 million UK liqueurs market behind Diageo's Baileys Irish Cream. It sells about 700,000 cases a year globally.

"For some reason, ads for this target market are a dirge of sameness," Dave Hillyard, the creative director at Publicis, said. "This campaign will stick out."

ZenithOptimedia is planning and buying media for the campaign, which begins in Closer and Hello!, with ads in the style monthlies to follow.

Posters will appear in the first two weeks of December. They will be supported by below-the line activity in the run-up to the crucial Christmas sales period.