John Smith’s ‘landlord’ ad to be aimed at over-50s

Scottish & Newcastle beer brand John Smith’s is targeting the over-50s in its latest television advertising, which reinforces its No Nonsense positioning.

Scottish & Newcastle beer brand John Smith’s is targeting the over-50s in its latest television advertising, which reinforces its No Nonsense positioning.

This is John Smith’s first ad since comic Peter Kay cut ties with it last year. Kay was recruited as the face of John Smith’s in 2002 following the decision to drop the cardboard cut-out No-Nonsense Man.

The new campaign, created by TBWA/London, will introduce a No Nonsense Landlord and the new catchphrase “Y’re barred!”. Three 30-second TV spots will run from Friday, more than six months after the new campaign was expected to launch.

Initially the brewer had said new work would break before Christmas 2005, but it is understood John Smith’s forced the agency back to the drawing board. Insiders claimed the creative work had fared badly in research and said opinion was split over whether to continue the 20-year-old No Nonsense proposition or focus on the “benefits strategy” of the brand (MW February 9).

A brand spokesman says the new campaign is aimed at “more mature ale drinkers”.

The first spot, “Hands free” introduces the Level Head pub, filled with regulars who are quietly enjoying their pints, when they are disturbed by a man proudly boasting about his new hands-free mobile, which then rings. The end frame shows a sign behind the bar that reads “No bleeping gadgets. No nonsense. John Smith’s”.

The Peter Kay ads featured Kay in a diving competition, starring with crooner Engelbert Humperdinck in a Las Vegas nightclub, and taking on the role of a wedding DJ who reveals a family secret. TBWA/London created a third No Nonsense campaign featuring a cardboard man, which launched in 1998.

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