Bulmers kicks off creative overhaul by hiring O&M

Bulmers is refreshing its advertising strategy after appointing Ogilvy & Mather to its UK ad account. The WPP agency won the business after a competitive pitch process.

Bulmers: Adam & Eve/DDB created the ‘Live colourful’ campaign in 2014
Bulmers: Adam & Eve/DDB created the ‘Live colourful’ campaign in 2014

Ogilvy & Mather, which already handles sister Heineken brand Kronenbourg 1664, won the account from Adam & Eve/DDB.

Heineken has tasked Ogilvy & Mather with pursuing a new creative direction for the cider brand. 

It is understood that this means focusing Bulmers’ marketing on the masterbrand – a shift from Adam & Eve/DDB’s "Live colourful" campaign, which showcased variants such as pear, bold black cherry and pressed red grape.  

Adam & Eve/DDB, which won Bulmers in 2012, will continue to work on Heineken brands including Foster’s, Amstel, John Smith’s and Strongbow. Starcom has handled Heineken’s global media planning and buying since 2012.

Bulmers’ total sales for the year to April 2016 were down 18.4% to £63.2m, according to Nielsen.  

The marketing shift reflects Bulmers’ business strategy, which has refocused on the core product after flavour varients failed to sustain growth.

At the end of 2015, off-trade cider sales dropped by 3.2%, or £35m, while volume sales declined by 3.7% according to market research company IRI.

Emma Sherwood-Smith, cider director at Heineken, said: "The cider market is maturing and, as such, it was time for us to reflect on the creative direction of Bulmers."

Last week, Campaign revealed that Ogilvy & Mather had picked up Vodafone’s £50m UK creative business.