The Suffolk-based business said it is crucial for the category to use the unique flavours ale has to engage with a wider audience and also find out what turns people off drinking it.
The business stated: “Having researched the barriers of perception with traditional ale, Old Speckled Hen has found there is a space to engage a wider audience of drinkers and encourage guests to ‘try something new at the bar’.”
It added it will invest in a series of “tongue-in-cheek adverts” this month (May) that will centre around its Henry the Fox character.
Passionate about investing
David Spencer, head of marketing for Old Speckled Hen at Greene King, explained: “We are passionate about investing in the sector, with Old Speckled Hen, and our aim is to not only meet our publicans’ needs but our guests’ needs too.
“We understand it is vital for the category that we engage a wider audience with the unique flavours we have to offer and we’ve identified what triggers a consumer to drink ale and in turn what acts as a barrier to others.
“We found consumers had concerns that ale wouldn’t be refreshing, that there was uncertainty about the flavour they’d get and the ale category just hadn’t had much to say to them. Yet a few sips, served and enjoyed properly, could dispel all these doubts. We need to break people out of their habits and get them to give ale a try.”
He added new advertising would include two cartoon animations, featuring Henry the Fox discussing the well-known mantra that ‘you should try everything once’.
Commitment to ale category
Spencer said: “By investing in Old Speckled Hen, we aim to prove our commitment to the ale category and its future, and we plan to deliver hundreds of millions of impressions over the next 12 months regenerating further consumer interest in the traditional product and investing more in advertising than any other premium ale. With investment in numerous channels, we hope to continue to drive new interest and uptake in the category.”
While continuing to invest in the cask category to broaden its appeal, Greene King has also recently introduced Old Speckled Hen in CO2 keg form, which it said provides consumers and publicans with a quality option that still offers the complex flavours of the ale, however, is closer in mouthfeel to more modern beer styles, such as lager and craft beer.
With plans for Old Speckled Hen to thrive in both formats, the aim is to offer the ale to suit different drinkers’ preferences and provide another route to engage a wider audience.
Old Speckled Hen and Henry the Fox will be on TV screens until 21 May on Sky and BT Sport.