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New £7m campaign for Somersby Cider

Carlsberg UK has launched a national campaign for Somersby Cider with a £7m media spend across TV, digital, social, radio and at summer festivals.

The campaign sees the character of Lord Somersby arrive in the UK for the first time. Lord Somersby is the fictional, eccentric English gentleman who is Lord of the Somersby manor and “creator” of Somersby Cider. He is the face of the brand in many markets around the world.

A television commercial airs this week across channels including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky1 welcoming viewers to the Somersby Estate and taking a deeper look at the ‘unreal history’ of the Somersby brand. It is then followed up with a second television spot which will air in May, expanding on the light-hearted personality of the Lord Somersby character, and showcasing how he supposedly ‘invented’ dancing. Both commercials will run until August.

The new campaign looks to build on 115% year-on-year on-trade volume growth for Somersby Original*, which has recently experienced an identity refresh, and comes hot on the heels of the launch of three new fruit flavours – Somersby Apple Burst, Somersby Cranberry and Somersby Blackberry.

The campaign will be supported in the on-trade with POS encouraging consumers to sample the Somersby range through opportunities to win festival tickets, a national sampling campaign and further below-the-line activity throughout the summer.

David Scott, director of brand and insight at Carlsberg UK, says: “Lord Somersby has been successfully launched in several markets around the world and we are confident that he will be positively received in the UK.

“The new advertising campaign conveys the fun-loving and convivial personality of the Somersby brand and we are excited to bring this to our customers and cider drinkers. Through the new television ads and wider marketing campaign we will begin to dial up the brand’s credibility as one of the fastest-growing cider brands in the world**.

 “The on-trade cider market is worth £1.7 billion***, and as the summer months draw nearer we are confident that our Somersby range will continue to attract more pub-goers to the category.”

The reach of the campaign will be amplified by radio activity running between June and August on Absolute and Kerrang, which will educate and encourage sampling of the Somersby range and is expected to reach an additional 5 million people.

The new variants, Somersby Apple Burst, Somersby Cranberry and Somersby Blackberry, are now available to the on-trade in 500ml format. Somersby Original remains available on draught. 

*Somersby Cider is the fastest growing cider brand in the world, available in over 40 markets, with year-on-year growth of 41% across the brand. Source: Nielsen MAT, to 31 January 2015

** Somersby Original’s on-trade volume has grown by 115% year on year. Source: CGA Brand Index P13 2014.

*** Cider is worth £1.7 billion in the on-trade. Source: CGA Brand Index P13 2014.

5 April 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor