McCann creates new look for Ruddles

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'

parent, Morland.

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.