Ad Analysis – Old Speckled Hen

Amelia BrophyHead of Data Products, UK
May 16, 2018, 11:07 AM GMT+0

In recent years Old Speckled Hen has seen sales decline, squeezed by the explosion of new and exciting real ale options.

As a result, the brand was beginning to look a little dated. Old Speckled Hen has struggled, particularly among younger drinkers. It is no surprise then that bosses at Greene King felt it needed a new lease of life, and therefore decided to invest in a high-profile advertising campaign.

This has come in the form of a £1.1million campaign which urges consumers to ‘seek a richer life’. The ad features an urban fox dissatisfied with city life hitchhiking its way to the countryside through valleys, across springs, and past a cosy rural pub serving Old Speckled Hen. Ultimately it reaches the top of a mountain having heeded the call to action to explore and “seek a richer life”.

In our Beer and Cider white paper, we’re able to showcase why the advert is well executed, as well as the impact it has had.

YouGov BrandIndex data indicates that Old Speckled Hen’s Ad Awareness score increased by 3% following its release, from 1% to a peak of 4%.

There is more pronounced among real ale drinkers. The brand’s Ad Awareness score among this group moved from 1% to 8% in the same time period.

Our data points to the impact the advert has had. Old Speckled Hen’s Quality score (among those that drink real ale at home at least once a month) is as now as high as it has been since the turn of the year (+47).

Why has the advert worked? Firstly, with its perception falling among those in the 18-34 age group, the advert needed to appeal to a more youthful, urban and adventurous demographic.

YouGov Profiles data indicates that 30% of real ale drinking 18-34s like hiking, climbing and outdoor pursuits, compared to 18% of the general public. They are also more inclined to take holidays that involve camping, walking or hiking (37% vs. 25%). This does suggest that the imagery in the advert will chime with their personal experiences and preferences.

In general, the campaign is a clever reinvention of a brand that was in danger of turning stale. It has resonated with an age group that was ditching the product. Shifting perceptions of the drink may take time, but this is certainly a good start.

Image Getty