If you'd been at Stonehenge a couple of weeks ago, the sight of two huge, inflatable cows hovering above the famous slabs might have made you think you were hallucinating.
But far from a cosmic vision, the floating bovines were part of a PR teaser campaign for Arla Foods' Anchor Spreadable brand.
The above-the-line campaign broke on Wednesday 19 November, but the unbranded inflatables depicting Clemmow Hornby Inge's new brand characters, Moo and Anchor Cow, went on a tour around the country for a fortnight, taking in some of its most famous landmarks. The resulting coverage, mostly from radio phone-ins, forms part of a strategy to put the brand's new message - that most spreads, apart from Anchor, contain everything but butter - firmly in the minds of consumers.
Advertising attempts to draw attention to the natural ingredients in Anchor, using the two animated cows set against Techno Cow, who advocates spreads containing E-numbers and colourings. Anchor Cow and Moo like Anchor Spreadable unadulterated by additives. Techno complains that: "It's all too simple around here." The CHI account director Sarah Gold says: "The campaign urges consumers to take a look at what's in the spread they buy."
Television orientated, the ads targets family viewing. Carat handled media planning and buying. Carat's communications planning director, Jay Gallagher, says: "Usually, butter advertising is about taste, but this message - about ingredients and purity - is different."
The two 40-second ads will run on terrestrial and mainstream satellite channels, with a focus around issues-based programming such as the ITV1 drama show Between the Sheets and Channel 4 talkshows such as V Graham Norton. Azon Howie, Carat's associate director for media, says: "We're interested in targeting families during must-see television, when parents are likely to be concentrating on what they're viewing." The first spot aired during Holiday Showdown on ITV1.
Gallagher said that despite the budget of £7 million, the campaign uses a very targeted approach, with the result that the outdoor element of the above-the-line campaign focuses entirely on bus sides.
"Research shows that families spend more time together in the car than they do in any other circumstance," he says. "Poster sites were too static - we wanted to catch their attention with something big and moving." Mega-rear and wrap-around posters will feature on buses nationally, bought through Posterscope.
Press advertising did not meet the collective viewing criteria, according to Gallagher, and apart from some activity for Anchor's block butter product and advertorials for its cream product, will not feature in the main brand strategy. "Papers and magazine are solitary media," Gallagher explains. "We want families to see, and discuss, the message together."
Below-the-line activity is managed by BD Network, and although it has worked on point-of-sale material for the relaunch, the agency is planning its main tranche of activity - a nationwide door drop campaign - to start on 19 January. The group account director, Heather Christie, says: "The new creative campaign needs time to be seeded into consumers' minds, and a door-drop campaign rolled out during Christmas would be lost in the melee."
Promotional activity in-store will also form an important strategy as Anchor battles it out on-shelf with rival brands. PR strategy will see food writers and consumer editors and buyers targeted. Postcards showing those inflatables flying over the London Eye should raise a smile and, more importantly, awareness among key players in the trade, Christie says.
Client: Arla Foods
Media: Television, outdoor, door drops and advertorials
Agencies: Clemmow Hornby Inge, Carat, BD Network
Media idea: Encourage awareness of Anchor's use of natural ingredients
with a media strategy that targets families when they are together