Cracker director gives McEwan’s work a sociable feel

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 Pearce.

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

Pearce.



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

Porter Bell.



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.



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