Here is a new advertisement for Strongbow cider:


Here is the Braveheart scene to which they’re paying tribute:


This is what The Guardian says:

The cider brand Strongbow is to launch a Braveheart-style TV advertising campaign that aims to tap into the disillusionment the public feel towards institutions such as banks and profligate MPs.

The campaign, which uses imagery and language reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s 1995 movie, aims to ally the Strongbow brand with the UK’s working classes, featuring hordes of “undervalued” roofers, gas fitters and road workers.

Strongbow’s new campaign, by the ad agency St Luke’s, introduces a new strapline for the brand, “Hard earned”, to push the idea that it is a tipple for those who have really deserved it after a day at work.

Hard earned? Thirst perhaps? Hmmm. The Guardian piece goes on to emphasise how the new campaign is a product of dedicated market research in the UK, exploring the disenfranchisement and existential struggle faced by that nation’s working class in an atmosphere of political unaccountability and corruption. Heavy stuff.

Strongbow is owned by Scottish & Newcastle, the UK company that acquired the Fosters brand in Europe in 2006. The Fosters Group owns Victoria Bitter, who have been using the slogan “hard earned thirst” since the 1970s, saturating their adverstisements with images of hard working tradies. This 1996 advertisement is pretty familiar:


And here’s one from 30 years ago:


A British advertisement inspired by a film starring an Australian, using a tagline from an Australian product…

The Strongbow ad also reminds us of this one, starring similar hordes of unwashed barbarian men, this time in New Zealand:


Braveheart inspired too? The big beer ad was from Carlton, also owned by Fosters. So here we have two key Fosters Group alcohol ad themes: war and tradies combined beautifully to build a campaign for Strongbow. And this took how much market research?

Peter Fray

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