Spitfire sets its sights on TV campaign

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Shepherd Neame is set to make its national TV debut with the next instalment of its infamous Spitfire "Bottle of Britain" campaign.The Kent brewer...

Shepherd Neame is set to make its national TV debut with the next instalment of its infamous Spitfire "Bottle of Britain" campaign.

The Kent brewer has turned up the heat on its premium ale rivals with a £600,000 spend on the brand's first ever national TV campaign.

Not content with poking fun at its German counterparts, Shepherd Neame's first foray onto national TV includes a modern day swipe at the French and their love affair with wine.

Mark McJennet, sales and marketing manager at Shepherd Neame, said: "We have carried on our pro-British theme and introduced a new angle by getting the French involved.

"We know it's not quite politically correct and that we're stretching the limit here but other beers are pushing the boundaries as well."

Mr McJennett conceded that the jump from underground posters to mainstream national TV brought with it certain checks and balances and a less risqué approach.

"There are some things you can get away with on Tube cards that you can't get away with on TV. We're a lot more pro-British (as opposed to Anti-German) than before but we're certainly not going to abandon our position and we don't want to lose the image we have created and the image that our customers have come to expect.

"The Spitfire advertising campaign is very close in style and humour to current lager campaigns which appeal to much younger potential consumer audience and therefore a wider audience than the traditional cask ale drinker."

In the past, Spitfire has had a number of skirmishes with the advertising standards authority following complaints from affronted consumers.

However, Spitfire has continued to fly in the face of political correctness even when it signed an exclusive brewing agreement with Germany's Holsten Brauerai last year.

Earlier this year, the brewer found itself in hot water after running an advert in the sport section of the Daily Telegraph following England's historic 5-1 victory over Germany that read: "Germany defeated. Now on to Japan. Sound familiar?"

While, two years ago, London Underground controversially ordered the removal of five Spitfire advertisements claiming they were upsetting German tourists. Complaints about the award-winning Tube cards were, however, dismissed by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The campaign is due to break on November 4th and is earmarked to appear in breaks during live coverage of the Ashes series on Sky Sports.

Related topics: Beer, Marketing

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