Caffrey’s axes Irish link

Bass Brewers is dropping the Irish Ale tag from its Caffrey’s beer in an 8m relaunch designed to take on top-selling premium lagers.

Caffrey’s is to be repositioned as a premium beer and pitched at drinkers of Stella Artois, Kronenbourg 1664, Budweiser and Beck’s – a slightly younger market than the brand’s current age profile of men in their mid-20s.

The move is a response to falling sales after a spectacular five years, in which Caffrey’s sales have reached 220m. It is also the first fruits of Bass’ decision to shift the advertising for Caffrey’s from launch agency WCRS, into Roose & Partners (MW August 13 1998).

Roose & Partners has developed a new TV and radio campaign which aims to promote Caffrey’s as an energetic drink, far removed from the Irish nostalgia of the brand’s earlier advertising.

The new ads carry the tagline “A Storm Brewing” and focus on Caffrey’s turbulent, cloudy appearance when first poured.

A new brand livery has been developed, featuring a green storm background, and the Irish Ale tag has been dropped from all packaging.

Mark Hunter, marketing director of Bass Brewers, says: “We are dropping all references to the fact that Caffrey’s is an Irish ale. Lagers don’t specify that they are lagers. Why should ales? It’s limiting. The danger is that Caffrey’s could become a brand leader in a one-brand Irish Ale category.”

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