Kestrel ends 30-year TV absence with ‘unique’ craft beer plan

Kestrel is back on TV screens after a 30-year absence to reaffirm its comedy ties and position itself as a “truly British craft lager”.

Kestrel says the animated style of its advert will give the brand cut-through this summer.

The animated ad harks back to the comedy that forged the brand in the 80s, highlighting how it uses Scottish ingredients to create a “truly British craft lager” with the taste “drinkers love”. It plans to straddle both nations in the long-term to cement its renewed push for the category.

Kestrel claims the IMA-Group-created animation is a departure from the “standard” style adopted by its rivals and expects to gain cut-through during the congested summer period. It airs next week (16 June) on MTV and Comedy Channel, centering on the brewer’s 5% Premium Lager variant.

The business hopes the plan ties itself to the premium craft beer segment after relaunching last year to move away from the negative image spawned from its ‘super strength lager’. It said at the time the brand’s strong alcohol content gave it little traction in a shrinking beer market and is focusing on its lower strength variants to reach discerning drinkers.

Marketing has been limited to date but with sales up 26 per cent over the last six months, Kestrel says it is in a “strong position” to target two key demographics – the 35+ market and the 18 to 30-year-old drinkers. Social media content will support the ads alongside PR ahead of further activity later in the year.

Nigel McNally, managing director of Kestrel owner Brookfield Drinks, says: “Drinkers want a premium lager with genuine provenance – how can an American beer, continental beer or other World beers claim provenance when they are brewed not in their country of origin but in the UK. Kestrel Premium Lager Beer is British with genuine provenance through its Scottish origins.”

The brewer’s clamour for recognition could be lost amid the clutter from other brewers exploiting the World Cup. However, it claims the timing of the ad is spurred by the belief strong summer sales forecasts will trickle down to it over the coming months. The British Beer and Pub Association expects the sector to generate an additional £20m in turnover this weekend around England’s opening match.

Major brewers SABMiller and Molson Coors are increasing efforts to grow the appeal of their craft beers to capitalise on the shift away from mainstream brands.