Whitbread brings out Merrydown’s ‘dark side’

Whitbread is relaunching the Merrydown cider brand, replacing its classic rural image with earthy Celtic imagery aimed at a younger, “new age” market.

The TV advertising will play on Celtic themes and present the brand’s “dark side”.

The brewer took over distribution and marketing for the brand in May, and has since moved its 1m ad account out of Lintas i and into Lowe Howard-Spink (MW July 14).

The Merrydown brand has performed poorly over recent years, as a result of price-cutting and the influx of cheap supermarket own-label ciders.

When the Merrydown company handled the brand’s marketing, it did not have money to fully support the product.

Whitbread is hiking the advertising and marketing spend and unveiling new packaging and a new advertising campaign for the brand.

Initially, it will use below-the-line media, though an above-the-line campaign using television is planned for later in the year.

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