Southern Comfort sets out to ‘reclaim’ TV from rivals

Southern Comfort is to launch its biggest TV push in the UK to date to build on the momentum generated by its popular “Beach” advert.

The liqueur brand is to launch two separate ads to spearhead its “Whatever’s Comfortable 2.0” advertising strategy following the success of last year’s “Beach” ad. The advert, which featured the pot-bellied, loincloth-wearing “Beach Guy”, was launched last November to position the brand as a drink to relax with.

The latest ad introduces viewers to a new character – a real-life karate master – who is shown having his hair shampooed to “The Beat” by Lou Johnson. The unnamed man is also set to appear in a follow-up ad called “Karate” (see below) in the coming months, which is set to “I’m a Fool to Care” by Les Paul and Mary Ford. A fourth ad – dubbed ‘Dance’ that has only be shown in South Africa could also air sometime next year.

Southern Comfort wants future campaigns to take a similar approach so that the brand develops a signature style revolving around its quirkier ads’ creative, longer running-times and use of memorable music. The campaigns are created by Wieden & Kennedy.

The approach helped lift off-trade sales for Southern Comfort Original by 5 per cent year-on-year in the UK in the last financial year, while it posted double-digit declines in the on-trade, the brand claims.

Gwen Ridsdale, marketing manager for Southern Comfort UK, says: “We’ve made big in-roads into the on-trade in relation to where we were a year ago. We’re working closer with the on-trade to push the different ways of serving the drink [as part of cocktails] and also looking to build further awareness through what we do on TV.

“From the success of ’’The Beach” ads we’ve realised that TV is one of our strongest assets and we need to invest further to drive growth. It is one area that we’ve pulled back on over the years and as a result we’ve seen other players come into the market. What we’ve got coming up is about reclaiming that space and behaving as a big brand should.”

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