Sipsmith's Mr Swan returns to lay claim to Wimbledon

Gin brand makes historic championships its 'official tennis'.

Sipsmith: Mr.Swan joined by Ani who fails to correct his fake news
Sipsmith: Mr.Swan joined by Ani who fails to correct his fake news

Sipsmith's avian mascot Mr Swan has made a return in a stop-motion spot in which he claims Wimbledon as the gin brand's "official tennis".

In reality, "Sipsmith official tennis", created by Ogilvy, celebrates the brand's inaugural year as the official gin partner of The Championships.

Taking place on a to-scale model set of Wimbledon's Centre Court, the ad opens with Mr Swan, in the stands, mistakenly announcing that "Wimbledon is the official tennis of Sipsmith Gin", before making claims to various other components of the tennis tournament.

Mr Swan is joined by his partner, Ani, who patiently attempts to correct him throughout his whistle-stop tour of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. He lays claim to the manicured grass, the ball machine, the handmade highchair, the rain, the superfan, the lawnmower, the hawk, the net, the official and the walkie talkie.

It was created by art director Tom Webber and copywriter Nick Sheppard, and directed through Biscuit Film by Jeff Low, who was also behind the camera on 2019's "Mr. Swan", which introduced the character. British comedian Julian Barrett is the voice of Mr Swan.

Shelley Macintyre, senior global marketing director, gin, at Beam Suntory, said: "What better way for Mr Swan to make his comeback than celebrating the coming together of Sipsmith and Wimbledon as partners? It's a delightful celebration of two quintessential brands that go to extraordinary lengths to delight their clientele. A shared attention to detail, combined with Mr Swan's idiosyncratic quirks make this not only the perfect partnership but a lot of fun too, which is what we've tried to capture with Mr Swan and his partner, Ani."

Alongside the ad, Sipsmith aims to continue its disruption in-person with signage around the Wimbledon grounds, such as a courtside notice alerting visitors to the "official grass of Sipsmith Gin". A selection of tennis-themed merchandise will also be available including branded umbrellas in the traditional Wimbledon colours.

Sipsmith's Wimbledon campaign goes live on TV and VOD from 21 June, a week before The Championships, Wimbledon goes live, on TV and VOD. It will be featured in 60-, 30- and 10-second formats. Mr Swan will also appear in a suite of social assets, commenting on Wimbledon traditions, that will be released now and throughout the event. Zenith is the media agency. 

Talking about the humour in the creative, Jules Chalkley, executive creative director at Ogilvy UK, told Campaign: “It was quite a brave idea, you've spent a fortune on sponsorship and the first thing you do is flip it upside down. You have a craft gin brand that was started in 2009 versus 144 years of tradition."

He added: "Bringing back an overly excitable and confident Mr Swan with his unique view of the world, allows us to use his cheeky and super disruptive humour to celebrate what is an incredible partnership between two British super brands in what is to be a busy sporting summer.”

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