Cider and Advertising through the ages
This the talk I gave to the 4th New Zealand Cider Festival 2019
Firstly why advertise, a fundamental question. The world is global and unless you advertise your company club etc will be lost amongst the rest. Hence the NZ Cider Festival advertises. TeePee Ciders advertise. And to advertise you need recognisable logos that “tell the story”
However advertising was not originally needed. Cider was made on most farms and country houses. It was made because water was of poor quality and manual labouring in the fields was thirsty work. Cider or weaker ciderkin was more healthy as the fermentation killed off the harmful bacteria.
However Percy Bulmer started the process of industrialisation of cider and could export cider from the ‘3 counties’ on the newly developed railways into London and the industrial heartland of England
Here in the pubs cider previously unknown outside a small area of England had to compete with beer and spirits.
Hence the need to advertise. Percy was not slow to recognise this and advertised in newspapers and magazines of the day.
The claims could be flamboyant. Accuracy was not needed by the standards of the day.
Now drinks companies are global. Heineken that owns Bulmers now owns the Old Mouat Kiwi brand. Heineken owns over 250 brands in 60 countries.
Advertising media were endless and merchandising became a big business in its own right. The obvious items are pub paraphernalia
Some very creative.
And of course reaching children help recruit to the future market.
Radio the new medium of the time and used.
However advertising stepped up a notch with the development of Babycham. Please read another entry on the development of Babycham, However its advertising is fascinating. The public came up with the nickname of Babycham. A contraction of baby or small bottles and cham from champagne. Francis Showering was offered an amazing opportunity which he took. With the help of Jack Wynne Williams of Masius Wynne Williams advertising agency several strap lines and of course the fawn was invented.
The fawn is still being used and has featured heavily in every advertising promotion.
The fawn was so integral to the brand that Showerings took Cath Kidston to court over the use of a similar motif
Babycham was the first alcoholic drink to be advertised to women and the first alcohol advert on the new medium TV.
Showerings engaged Patrick Mower the “George Clooney” of the day in England
Babycham offered happiness, excitement and success.
Such was the effect that Philip Norman ( rock biographer) suggested. Babycham was the first drink a woman could order alone in a pub without appearing a “tart or a crone”
Babycham is now celebrating its 60th with the fawn still prominent
With the sucess of Babycham it was not long before the other cider brands were competing on Tv with brand recogition and symbols resonating through the years. Bulmers Strongbow marketed to men had thudding arrows. ( named oddly after “one of England’s greatest knights” Richard de Clare, whose nickname “Strongbow” was believed to be derived from his heavy reliance on archers, initially marketed as “the strong cider for men”.
Bulmers advertised Woodpecker a sweet cider similarly to women.
With the cute woodpecker that spawed its own merchandising.
However the 70s were a difficult time for cider and bugets were cut and advertising contracting back to tried old formulas. and in advertising none is as tried as ‘sex sells”. Bulmers tried the Pirelli calendar route Luckily the calendar lasted only one year .
Current advertising moves with the times and relies reavily on social media.
And in this media there has been the rise of the influencer. Cider has several none perhaps as distinctive as Gabe Cook the self named “ciderologist “
Modern advertising od cider which nowadays do to lax rules and the global nature of companies stresses local natural and other key drivers to make their product appear artisan.
Modern advertising is big business with bit budgets. The Bulmers launch of “Cloudy Strongbow in 2014 cost NZ$ 14million. They spend $2M on giving away samples in city centres and advertised on social media billboards Tv and direct to the consumer on mobiles.
Articles are written on this subject
And given this is a Kiwi talk, Bulmers wants to reach us locally too.