John Smith’s readies Grand National ad

John Smith’s is turning to TV for the first time to back its sponsorship of this year’s Grand National horse race.

John Smith Grand National pic

The ad is an extension of the Heineken UK-owned beer’s ‘No Nonsense’ campaign, which was revived in 2010 when comedian Peter Kay reprised his role as the brand’s ‘No Nonsense man.’

John Smith’s commercial will be aired on digital channel Racing UK and shown on screens at Aintree race course, where the Grand National takes place, as well at other race courses across the country.

The ad features a man at horse racing event trying to signal to his friend that it’s time for a drink, but getting increasingly involved in a comical conversation with a bookie, until another friend rescues him using the universal sign language for having a pint.

Karen Crowley, senior brand manager for John Smith’s at Heineken says: ““For the first time, we have created an ad around our racing platform. This allows us to communicate our sponsorship well in advance of the Grand National and extend our reach of the campaign to a broadcast and digital audience.”

The announcement follows Channel 4 agreeing a four year deal, thought to be worth more than £20m, to be broadcast popular race meetings including the John Smith’s Grand National, the Investec Derby Festival, Royal Ascot and the QIPCO British Champions Day.

The ad was developed by integrated agency Aesop and launches on Friday (30 March).

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