Henry Westons cider makes TV debut in Pythonesque animated ad

Upmarket traditional cider brand Henry Westons Vintage will be on TV for the first time ever from tomorrow in an ad that nods to the Monty Python-era animation of Terry Gilliam.

The TV spot runs throughout May and June, before a second burst in August and September, and is part of a £1m marketing spend on the brand this year. It depicts founder Henry Weston making cider with a fantastical steampunk-esque contraption, before tasting it with a ladle.

The brand is also launching an on-pack promo, which appears on 3.2 million bottles and gives shoppers the chance to win a trip to New York.

Brand manager Tim Williams said: "This is the first time Henry Westons Vintage has been on TV, and the ad shows how Henry’s expertise is used to create this exceptional cider.

"The on-pack promotion also brings Henry’s character to life: on the promotional bottles the portrait of Henry now depicts him playing a trumpet, which gives an insight into the big personality of the man behind the cider."

Henry Weston Vintage has grown its sales 15% to £29.6m, making it the UK’s best-selling glass-bottled apple cider (IRI, 52 weeks to 26 March).

Premium traditional cider is one of the fastest growing categories of alcoholic drinks; last year, the trend led market leader Strongbow to launch Strongbow Cloudy Apple, which was pitched as a more premium product and targeted at an older consumer than standard Strongbow.

The spot was written by Robyn Bowman and art directed by Chris Hubert at McCann Bristol, which also handled media planning and buying. Jon Elsom was group creative director.  It was directed and animated by Victoria Watson, Tracy Foster and Florian Vale at The Gate Films. 

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