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Lion Nathan brews up a storm for XXXX

BMF and Lion Nathan have released their latest TVC "Parched" as they relaunch Australia’s iconic XXXX Bitter beer brand. The TVC, an instalment in the "For a XXXX’er of a Thirst" campaign, demonstrates a simple product truth - that XXXX Bitter cuts through a tough thirst.

The ad goes on air in Queensland only continuing BMF and Lion Nathan’s objective to create distinctive advertising for the Australian beer market.

LION Nathan’s XXXX Bitter has its sites set on toppling VB from its market-leading perch in Queensland with the launch of a new TV campaign rolling out this weekend that represents a major shift in style for the iconic brand

The new campaign is the first TV work out of XXXX’s new agency BMF and also represents the first TVC for the brand in more than five years that focuses purely on the product and its attributes rather than on the brand’s traditional sporting sponsorships.

It is part of a major new strategy for the brand by Lion Nathan’s Castlemaine Perkins to grow XXXX and rejuvenate the stagnant full-strength beer category that represents around 40% of the $1.61bn beer market in Queensland.

The activity around the brand has involved strikingly different new packaging and double digit annual increases in the advertising investment. For 2003-2004 its ad budget has been boosted 10% and in 2004-2005 will get another 15% increase, according to XXXX marketing director Matt Tapper.

The new XXXX ad follows an outdoor campaign BMF created late last year that played on the famous four letters representing unpublishable expletives.

Called “Parched”, the TVC is targeted at the core market of 18 to 29-year-old men and features the tagline, “For a XXXX’er of a thirst”.

Tapper said the ad aimed to position the 84-year-old brand as the most effective beer for “cutting through a mean thirst”, while at the also adding a more contemporary edge.

“We see this thirst quenching positioning as territory that we can really own with XXXX. We don’t think anyone has really tried it,” Tapper said.

In the TVC the massive thirst is a sandstorm twister. The ad shows a twister bursting up the main street of a town and smashing its way through the entrance of the local pub. It stops in front of the bartender, who holds up a XXXX Bitter that gets sucked into the twister. The storm transforms into a man drinking the beer.

BMF executive creative director Warren Brown said the challenge had been to come up with a creative execution that could convey the brand’s thirst quenching credentials while avoiding the stereotypical images usually seen in beer ads.

Rosemary Ryan

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