creative impulse

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The Independent Online
So, you wouldn't be caught dead drinking sherry? In their new campaign for Croft Original, Young and Rubicam insist that it's not just the tipple of grandparents and maiden aunts. One execution features a young woman clad only in a cardigan, with the strapline "You don't have to wear a cardigan to drink Croft Original"; a second shows a blonde model in a strapless dress, with the strapline "You don't have to have white hair to drink Croft Original". Both are holding a glass of the sherry.

The client: International Distillers and Vintners

Tania McLaren, brand manager, Croft Sherry

This is Croft Original's first time on to posters, and we went for back- lit bus shelter sites, so they were more visible on the street in winter. The brief was to raise awareness of the brand, and take a modern, contemporary look at the sherry market. There have been a lot of changes in the market over the past year or so - the revival of real sherry from Spain, for instance.

But we're sticking with our view that Croft represents the lighter side of sherry - in its taste and colour, and in that it has always been an accessible, light-hearted brand.

The agency: Young and Rubicam

Marc Smith, account director

Croft Original has been handled by us for about 20 years, and for much of that time we ran a campaign centred on Jeeves and Wooster. Around 1993 that was stopped, as the sherry market was in decline, and these characters were doing nothing to make the brand more contemporary.

In 1996, Croft wanted to raise awareness of the brand and position it as a modern sherry. Our idea was to go back to the Croft dynamic of debunking tradition: back in the late Sixties, for example, Croft was unique, because it was the first pale cream sherry, and it was sold on being lighter and more palatable than the brown, sticky kind.

So we took the traditional perception of sherry drinkers as comfortable, middle-aged people, and poked fun at it. We felt that such things as cardigans and white hair were representative of perceptions of sherry drinkers, and aimed to combine stylish photography with a tongue-in-cheek line. What we're doing is taking Croft's historical brand values and aiming them mainly at 25- to 35-year-old women. Women are the main purchasers of sherry, but they're mainly buying it for older relatives. We want to legitimise their choice of Croft Original, and say it is all right for modern girls to drink sherry too. That's why we went for a six-sheet poster campaign; we feel it is a young medium

Scott Hughes

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