Magners pushes first national ad campaign

Magners, the Irish cider brand credited with rejuvenating the once stagnant UK cider market with its “over ice” serving proposition, launches its first national television advertising campaign in the UK this month.

Previous Magners’ TV ads were part of a regional push.

The TV ad carries on the Magners’ advertising theme of following the changing seasons, depicting an apple orchard coming back to life in spring and comparing it with the renewed buzz of life in pubs and bars. The ad is backed by the Zombies track, “Time of the Season”. It will appear on ITV, Channel Four and Five.

Supporting brand activity includes a heavyweight outdoor campaign using landmark sites in major cities, and transport in London and Glasgow. This will be supplemented by local and regional radio in England, Wales and Scotland together with press advertising.

Magners’ owner, Irish group C&C, spent £10m on advertising in the UK in the 12 months to the end of September 2006, according to AC Nielsen.

Sponsorship will also be a major plank of the brand’s marketing this year, with Magners signed as headline sponsor for The Glasgow Comedy Festival later this month, as well as sponsoring London Wasps Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby Club and The Celtic League.

The new ad campaign is aimed at promoting the brand year round: in the Republic of Ireland, where the brand is sold as Bulmers, C&C has been highly effective at ironing out sales fluctuations through sustained marketing and advertising support.

Although C&C owns the Bulmers trademark in the Republic, in the UK the trademark for Bulmers is owned by Scottish & Newcastle, which is why C&C uses the Magners name. However, Magners has been so successful in the UK that C&C is believed to be looking at using the brand in its home territory as well.

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