Tennent's 'Wellpark' video shorts campaign marks shift from TV to online as strategy lead

Tennent's, Scotland's best-selling lager brand, has long been one of the country's biggest advertisers, possessing a heavily coveted marketing account over the years for its big budget TV campaigns that would make national newspaper headlines for their creative ideas.

In recent years though, the brand has been absent from TV screens.

However, it's new marketing campaign, entitled 'Wellpark' and developed mainly for online, might just be a glimpse into Tennent's future strategy as it turns to online video for the first time.

Instead of working with The Leith Agency, which has held the advertising account since it was brought over following its merger with Newhaven, Tennent's has turned to two new marketing companies on the scene to create and drive the campaign; Bright Signals and Something Something.

Targeting mid-twenties consumers, the animated series of 30 comedic online short-form videos will be distributed through Tennent's online platforms and YouTube channel over the summer period, around a third of which will be created in a 48-hour period to be reactionary to world events.

The campaign is not exclusively online however with TV and cinema activity planned, although it seems that these traditional broadcast mediums are no longer the focus for the brand's marketing messages.

“We wanted to develop something ambitious. Something just as much about entertaining the audience as it is about the Tennent’s brand," explains Jordan McKenna, brand marketing executive for Tennent's when asked by The Drum about the new strategy.

"The key thing for us was relevance. To connect with a digitally savvy audience in their early twenties, you’ve got to behave a bit differently, and we know that more traditional promotional activity doesn’t always work. We chose to approach the campaign ‘content first’, identifying a whole range of entertaining insights from everyday Scottish life, and building on those to create fresh, interesting, sharable and – crucially – entertaining content. It’s made for a much more a nimble and interesting campaign and early signs have been really positive."

He continues to explain that when it came to the idea for the campaign; “Nothing was off the table as long as it was something that tapped into the humour of everyday life. It’s a different route for a brand to take but it’s helped us to produce something that we think is innovative and that we’re really proud of.”

McKenna says that the ability to produce extra episodes in reaction to everyday events gives 'Wellpark' that "extra edge" while learning for future campaign approaches at the same time.

As to what this strategy says for marketing campaigns in general, McKenna believes that as online audiences grow, brand must move away from producing "bog standard" adverts to engage.

"The approach has to be innovative and fresh. We’ve created the world of Wellpark, with some cracking characters who we think will make people smile. Wellpark was created with a digital focus first and foremost, but it’s flexible enough that we can expand to reach a wider audience via film and TV in a really creative and tailored way. ”

Meanwhile, the media engagement element for the campaign is being activated by Wire Media.

Wellpark sketches will be released every few days until the end of July.

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