TV advertising was essential to the launch of Magners in GB.
Cider was a tough market for Magners to enter. It not only had to battle with negative connotations surrounding the category but also a dominant player in the shape of Strongbow. The marketing therefore aimed to create a new category, premium cider, and it had to make it attractive enough to persuade not just traditional drinkers to swap brands but for lager, beer and stout regulars to also convert. A key aim was to position Magners as a drink for the whole year and get away from the traditional summer spike in demand.
Launch a new premium cider brand and convince not only cider drinkers but also beer, lager and stout quaffers to imbibe.
TV was the backbone of the strategy for a number of reasons. Creatively TV could demonstrate the proper way to drink Magners; poured over ice. Strategically TV would give the brand gravitas and scale helping and reassuring trade customers. TV advertising was a key element in trade sales allowing sales teams to reference key spots in premium programming. Finally appearing on TV enabled Magners to reinforce its premium credentials with consumers. The hand crafted schedule included fewer but bigger and better spots in key male environments such as sport, drama and classic film
Magners has been a huge success and has rejuvenated the cider category with sales up 10% year on year. Magners is now the number one selling packaged LAD (Long alcoholic drink) in the on-trade, selling more bottles than Becks, Budweiser and Stella Artois. In the two most established markets Scotland and London, Magners is a top 10 "beer". Econometric modelling by Media Planning Group in the more established markets suggests that TV advertising has delivered a return on investment of £26 for every £1 spent on media.
The campaign launched in Scotland in 2003 as a test market before rolling out on a macro-by-macro basis. London was added in Spring 2005 and by Spring 2006 it had become a national brand. Magners encouraged all-year drinking and four seasonal bursts were used to keep Magners top of mind.