Greene King is backing the relaunch of its Ruddles County bitter
with a pounds 1 million campaign through McCann-Erickson London. The
push represents McCann's first work on the account after it picked up
the business in 1999 following Greene King's acquisition of Ruddles'
A series of three press and poster ads will break in monthly magazines,
national newspapers and on 48-sheet sites at the start of April. All
feature the strapline, 'a beer from the real world', which is designed
to combine Ruddles' traditional image with a fresh contemporary
One execution, under the headline 'social climbing', features three
hikers draining cans of Ruddles on a mountain peak. 'Lean mean pulling
machine' appears above an image of a dirty tractor in a freshly ploughed
field. A third ad, showing a spider's web hanging from a cosy pub's
rafters, is headlined 'our website'.
The campaign follows Greene King's decision to drop the
alcohol-by-volume of Ruddles to 4.3 per cent in a bid to broaden the
beer's appeal. This latest change in strategy follows a series of
relaunches by Morland, which have failed to halt the brand's
Marshall Advertising's 'I'm ready' campaign in 1997 and RPG's 'country
born and brewed' in 1998 both failed to stop the slump.
'Ruddles County is a brand that's been drifting for a number of years,'
Sarah Whyte, Greene King's marketing manager for brewing and brands,
'It's had quite a few changes in ownership and direction, which has
caused confusion among consumers. We're serious about making this a
brand to contend with.'
The ads were written by James Vigar, art directed by Ian Edwards and
photographed by Stuart Hall. Media planning and buying was by MediaCom.