Pimm's enjoys taste of success

Ads featuring upper-class twit character evoke a positive response for traditional British summer drink.

Pimm's enjoys taste of success

Summer is high time for light alcoholic drink advertising, and despite the credit crunch - or possibly because of it - people are not turning down a drink.

This summer, Pimm's, the British gin-based fruit cup that dates back to the 1820s, relaunched three versions of its TV ads - "Wedding", "The Spirit of Summer" and "After the Heist".

These first aired on 16 May, 1 June and 1 July respectively, and featured Alexander Armstrong of TV comedy programme The Armstrong and Miller Show. He plays upper-class twit Harry Fitzgibbon-Sims, who believes that Pimm's is appropriate for any occasion and blunders into various situations, including a gathering in a sauna and a group of thieves in a wood.

Pimm's also launched a new online service in partnership with Time Out magazine on 10 June. It's Sunshine O'Clock advises users what time pubs and parks will be at their sunniest.

The online service is part of a £5.1m marketing investment in the Pimm's brand this summer, which includes national TV, press, sampling and experiential activity.

Looking at the BrandIndex scores for Pimm's, the recent campaigns have had a slight but positive impact on consumers' perception of the drink, with the buzz, quality, corporate and recommend scores for the brand all showing uplift over the summer.

Quality rating increased from 14% at the beginning of May, to 19% by the end of July.

Meanwhile, the corporate scores for Pimm's have seen some erratic movement, including a slight drop from the end of May until the end of June, although Pimm's ended July with an uplift in its corporate scores, reaching 12% on 1 August.

The brand's recommend scores increased from 10% to 14% between 1 May and 5 August, while its buzz rating rose from 2% to 5% over the same period. The biggest peak in buzz happened at the end of July, when buzz scores for Pimm's spiked at 7%.

Although the overall picture of the brand is positive, the changes are not remarkable.

Quality and recommend scores are reasonably stable on a high position, indicating that the British public's perception of the brand is steadily positive.

METHODOLOGY: YouGov interviews 2,000 people each weekday to form its BrandIndex, a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors. It is measured on a seven-point profile.
1 Buzz
2 General impression
3 Quality
4 Value
5 Satisfaction
6 Recommend
7 Corporate reputation.
In addition, we supply an index score.

Agi Zabo, www.brandindex.co.uk.