Scottish Courage is throwing pounds 10 million behind its McEwan’s
lager brand as it introduces product changes, a massive sales promotion
drive and a radical new advertising campaign through Collett Dickenson
CDP has enlisted the help of a drama director - Simon Cellan-Jones of
Cracker and Our Friends in the North fame - for the campaign, which
links the sociability of Scotland and the North of England to McEwan’s
lager by featuring a gang of six drinking mates.
A 40-second commercial, breaking on 22 February, introduces the six
friends, while four 30-second ads will follow later in the year to give
viewers a chance to get to know each of the characters better.
The campaign coincides with a reformulation of the lager to give it more
body, as well as new packaging and a new brand identity created by Coley
It also follows a wide-ranging review of the brand in the wake of 1995’s
merger of its owner, Scottish and Newcastle, with Courage. CDP was
finally confirmed as having retained the McEwan’s account late last year
after a protracted battle against its fellow Scottish Courage roster
agencies, Young and Rubicam and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.
The film introduces a new strapline for McEwan’s: ’It’s what we stand
for.’ The line is a word play on the fact that the drink symbolises the
friendship felt for each other by the gang of drinkers, who also happen
to stand at the bar while they sup their beer.
The ads, written by Jon Tompkin and art directed by Frank Houston, will
be concentrated in Scotland, where McEwan’s is the second
biggest-selling lager, as well as in the North of England. Airtime is
being planned and bought by the Media Centre.
The TV campaign, which will run on Channel 4, Granada, Yorkshire
Tyne-Tees, Sky and STV, will be supported by a 48-sheet poster campaign
on 1,000 sites around Scotland and the North.
Promotional activity will include the brand’s continued sponsorship of
Glasgow Rangers football team, and a pounds 1 million pub promotion
offering free pints of lager, pint glasses and Sony TVs. McEwan’s has
been brewed in Scotland since 1856.