Gordon's on cue for £12.5m Perfect push

In the 1980s Canadian snooker player Bill Werbeniuk downed lager as a way of steadying his cueing arm. Now Gordon's is marketing itself as the drink...

In the 1980s Canadian snooker player Bill Werbeniuk downed lager as a way of steadying his cueing arm.

Now Gordon's is marketing itself as the drink of choice for those wanting to be in control around the green baize.

A new TV and cinema ad campaign, launched today, shows a pool hustler relaxing with a Gordon's and tonic after losing a frame.

He then returns to the table and prepares to play the pool hall owner, with the pool hall itself as the prize.

The Hustler ad is part of a heavyweight campaign by UDV, which is investing no less than £12.5million in Gordon's this year to back up the Perfect Serve campaign.

Senior brand manager Simon Soothill said the ad highlighted the mental and physical stimulation that only a perfectly served Gordon's and tonic could give.

"We've tried to dramatise what Gordon's is about, while at the same time providing a setting - in this case a pool hall in an American city - that isn't quite what people expect," he said.

Although Soothill accepted that the Perfect Serve campaign would not run indefinitely - it was launched in 1996 - he said it remained a key part of UDV's strategy for the foreseeable future.

Some 3,500 venues have already been given the Perfect Serve treatment, with the resulting sales increases helping Gordon's consolidate its position as the UK's best-selling gin brand, with 41 per cent of the market.

Anxious not to alienate older Gordon's customers, UDV also plans sponsorship and promotional links with the National Trust and the Chelsea Flower Show this year. However, it is the TV advertising, aimed at younger drinkers, which will account for the major part of the marketing budget.

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