Media: Strategy of the Week - Cab drivers reaffirm London Pride's links to sport

Fuller's is moving the brand away from associating only with rugby. David Ogilvy's description of his ideal agency person, "the gentleman with brains", is the Fuller's London Pride brand's target market. Its latest advertising campaign continues to link this audience with a passion for sport.

More specifically, the ale brand is aimed at the ABC1, 35- to 55-year-old male bitter drinker. This has been achieved previously by positioning the ale alongside events that inflame national pride, with rugby its most obvious target.

The new campaign moves the idea on from its focus on international England rugby games. Simeon Adams, the business director at Mediaedge:cia, which planned and bought the campaign, describes it as "a bridging campaign".

It aims to set the scene for a heavyweight campaign with a broader approach to national pride in sport, which is due to launch in the autumn.

"The new positioning is about having a passion for sport, whatever it is and however you're involved, whether it be playing in a Sunday League team or changing the scores on the board for a local cricket team," Adams says.

The creative, which launched on Saturday 10 April, retains the "Whatever you do, take Pride" strapline and Adams explains that it is a media-led campaign, using creative environments to get the brand's message across.

A key focus of the £300,000 campaign is 200 branded London black cabs.

These will be furnished with cab drivers who have been selected because they are particularly passionate and vocal about sport.

As London Pride ambassadors, they have been briefed to engage passengers in sports chat and to mention London Pride and its association with sport.

Adams says: "We have used taxi sides before as the brand name ties in with London black cabs and they are the obvious canvas for it. The use of cabbies themselves ties in with the brand too. They are notorious talkers and are the embodiment of being passionate about sport."

The taxi initiative, which was bought through MEC and Portland Outdoor, is backed by a national press campaign, with print ads breaking on 10 April in the sports pages and supplements of the daily and weekend broadsheets, as well as in the London edition of Metro and the Evening Standard. The campaign also features radio ads, which will run around the sports bulletins on five London stations: Capital Radio, talkSPORT (London), Virgin (London), Capital Gold (London) and LBC 97.3. These broke on 12 April.

Print executions, created by Doner Cardwell Hawkins, move the focus away from rugby by featuring equipment associated with different sports. One ad shows balls used in different sports, from a basketball to a table-tennis ball. Another features sports shoes - a snow boot, an ice skate and a slipper, to show you can be passionate about watching sport too.

The campaign has been timed to coincide with the natural uplift in sales that bitter brands enjoy before summer. "Easter is also a good time to launch because over the Bank Holiday weekend there is more socialising and pub frequenting," Adams says.

Fuller's London Pride's campaign will get stand-out in London and the cabbies are sure to give the brand personality to those they touch. With its limited reach, it probably won't do much for the brand nationally but, if this is covered in the autumn strategy, the limited spring budget has been put to good use in Fuller's London heartland.

Client: Fuller's London Pride

Media: Cabs, press, outdoor

Agencies: Doner Cardwell Hawkins, Mediaedge:cia, Portland Outdoor

Media idea: Link London Pride with a passion for sport

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