Grand National in full swing with John Smith's sponsorship

As well as traditional media and advertising sponsorship, the Aintree based racing event is also marketing to a huge online audience.

John Smith's is running a heavyweight outdoor campaign to promote its title sponsorship of the Grand National for the second year running.

The campaign, spearheaded by marketing agency Steam UK, sees more more than 330 racing-themed ads displayed in outdoor and railway media sites across Liverpool - more than double the number used in 2010.

The outdoor ads include a giant 250 square metre hoarding on a city centre hotel which heralds the return of the race with an image of a horse’s rear with the strapline: ‘It’s back’.

The campaign also features prominently around Aintree in the form of racecourse signage and branding, race card ads and ambient media sites including two grandstand stairwells which will be transformed into 20-metre high cans of John Smith’s.

Organisers have also attempted to engage with punters via social media, with @TheAintreeInsider providing minute-by-minute coverage of races and the latest odds via Twitter.

Aintree expects to attract a global TV audience of more than 600 million people for tomorrow's 164th Grand National run, which starts at 4.15pm.

Karen Crowley, senior brand manager at John Smith’s said the activity would "build engagement with consumers and tap into the famous wit and humour that is synonymous with Liverpool."

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