Saturday 25 November 2017

AdLib: Thieves bidding to steal a march

Publicis creative director Carol Lambert
Publicis creative director Carol Lambert

Michael Cullen

When Heineken entered Ireland's cider market with Orchard Thieves last year the strategy was about the D word - disruption.

It meant taking on the 'Guinness of cider', Bulmers, and try for the heights Diageo couldn't reach with Hudson Blue. An opportunity was there for the Dutch brewer to achieve its goal of becoming Ireland's top cider within five years but time was of the essence.

Head of innovation Fiona Curtin says Heineken committed to a €20m marketing spend and did the homework on reducing risk and breaking Irish drinkers' habits.

Research showed that if Orchard Thieves was to steal share from Bulmers and Strongbow, it had to be less about apples and orchards and more about consumers with 'attitude'.

Heineken targets a cohort known as 'happy tribers', trendy 20 and 30-somethings who buy into taste.

While many drinkers opt for sweetness in Captain Morgan's and cocktails, taste experts recommended consumers be told about Orchard Thieves' authentic apple flavour and subtle fizz. A fruitier cider name was considered, one Heineken had registered already and which may be launched in Holland.

Heineken agencies Starcom and Thinkhouse help with the messaging. Rothco created a campaign centred on the 'Be bold' strapline with a marauding fox as its icon. The TV ad, voiced by acclaimed British actor Michael Gambon, will be reworked with new edits this summer.

Events like Electric Picnic and social media got people talking along the lines of "I'm going to sell my EP ticket unless they have Orchard Thieves". The brand is sold on draught in 850 pubs, with a near doubling to 1,600 by the end of 2016.

Orders amounting to 350,000 hectolitres went out between May and December last year. Cider has a 55pc off-trade share as people stock up for house parties and barbecues.

As the clock went back at the weekend, some night owls weren't too pleased by daylight saving and felt hard done by for having an hour 'stolen'. 42pc of 18-24s interviewed said they would go out earlier and one in three said given the chance they would stay in clubs longer. Heineken urges people to take back the 'stolen time'. Those signing up to are rewarded at Bold Hour events in Dublin, Cork and Galway. Curtin - a Marketer of the Year finalist in 2015 - says Orchard Thieves may yet be rolled out across Heineken's global network.

Year four should see the brand break even.

While Orchard Thieves is currently brewed in Hereford in England, Curtin wouldn't rule out some production moving to her native Cork.

The more sunshine and high temperatures soar this summer, the greater chance of cider seeing a 10 to 15pc sales spike. Heineken has some news coming up in May, but Curtin will say no more than that.

Q Publicis creative director Carol Lambert has been invited to represent Ireland as a judge on the highly-acclaimed One Show jury this year. Lambert, who was a director of the Sharks festival in Kinsale up until recently, will help judge the One Club's Young Ones competition.

This year's One Show sees a most diverse international jury with 56 judges, comprising 31 professionals and 25 educators from 15 countries.

Sponsored by the Serviceplan agency, whose clients include World Press Photo, this year's students have a choice of two briefs: Lego's 'Be the Playful One', asking young creatives to improve the in-store experience and 'Be the Good One', addressing global gender inequality. Last year, the Young Ones received almost 1,000 entries from over 20 countries.

Q Two PR stalwarts, Mary Finan and Wally Young, have been honoured with life fellowships by the Public Relations Institute (PRII). Mary Finan's former colleague Roddy Guiney said while working at Peter Owens PR she soon caught Michael Maughan's attention who hired her to head up WHPR. Finan became the driving force in building WHPR into a top agency.

Guiney singled out her work for McDonald's, American Express and the National Lottery. She became the first woman president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and chaired the RTE Authority.

Wally Young joined the Army Cadet School on leaving school. In the early 1990s, he moved to the Army's PR unit. Long regarded as an institution shy with the world beyond the barracks, Young shaped a new, open approach to Army communications. He later advised presidents Mary McAleese and Michael D Higgins.

Q Eir Business has teamed up with the European Tour for the third year in a row as a sponsor of the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. It will be played at the K Club from May 19-22, with over 100,000 visitors expected. This year's prize fund is €4m, with €675,500 for the winner.

Michael Cullen is editor of

Indo Business

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