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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Beer From the Coast

If you're anywhere near London over the next month, here's a unique chance to get closer to - even own part of - one of the best beer ad campaigns of the last ten years.

In 2002 (I think) Adnams commissioned artist Chris Wormell to produce a series of hand-printed lino cut illustrations for a press and poster campaign, 'Beer from the Coast'.

I loved this campaign. At the time it launched, 'provenance' was a big buzz word in beer advertising. We drink Fosters lager because it's Australian, Stella because it's, um, 'European', Corona because it's from somewhere sunny, and so on. Every big ad agency I worked with believed you couldn't 'do' English provenance effectively, because ours was a country that no one aspired to, that no one yearned for or wanted to be closer to.

Adnams proved that if you take it down to a regional level, that's not true. This campaign captured a neverland, a timeless ideal of the English coast that spoke to the hearts of people who grew up here. Of course the coast isn't like that in reality, but Adnams' unique advantage was that where they're based, in Southwold, the coast really is like that. These posters subtly brand the coast and claim it for Adnams, creating a powerful brand that has really helped this small regional brewer punch above its weight these past few years.

Now, The Illustration Cupboard is hosting an exhibition of the lino cuts - and they're for sale! The exhibition runs 13th August to 12th September, perfectly capturing the sinking late summer sun. I'm gutted that I can't make the opening event tomorrow - but I'll be there the day after.


BLTP said...

I've always liked them, the one with the avocet (star of minsmere reserve just down the coast) I'd even give wall space to.

BLTP said...

B*gger ya poxy beer artist I've Just seen that they also sell Toothy cover originals by Kevin O'neil. Beer almost as good as comics!

Bailey said...

I actually went to the trouble of collecting a set of those cards. I think they're fantastic, reminiscent of old British Rail posters.

Cheddar Ales are doing something similarly nice with their label designs.