Entitled Race Car and featuring the Thatchers “spokesperson” first introduced in the Somerset cidermaker’s 2017 Hot Air Balloon ad, the commercial follows an unexpectedly slow race car driving through some iconic West Country landmarks.

Expected to be seen over 30 million times in live rugby during the first two months of the campaign alone, and in total seen by ¾ of the adult population, the TV commercial’s message to viewers is that Thatchers is totally uncompromising about the quality of its cider – if something’s not perfect, it’s useless.  You wouldn’t settle for a race car that could almost race – so why buy a cider that’s almost perfect, reinforcing the link between quality and perfection of Thatchers.

The 30 second Race Car commercial will be first seen on ITV during the Six Nations Rugby England Vs Ireland match on 2nd February at half time. It will then be shown from February through to September on ITV, Channel 4 and Multichannel, during this year’s top sporting events and TV moments. Hero spots will include Six Nations Rugby, The Grand National, Monaco Grand Prix, Cricket World Cup, Game of Thrones, Great British Bake Off, and the Women’s Football World Cup.

The ad will be included in a VOD (video on demand) campaign running April to July, and also runs in cinema during July and August, including the silver spot in the hotly anticipated new Quentin Tarantino Film – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, starring amongst others Brad Pitt, Leonardo di Caprio and Margot Robbie.

Yvonne Flannery, Head of Brands at Thatchers Cider comments, “This new phase of our award-winning campaign features our popular Spokesperson, as well as cameos from Martin Thatcher and our chief cidermaker Richard Johnson. Filmed in iconic West Country locations, it retains a gentle, warm-hearted yet funny tone, and leaves the viewer with no doubt as to the taste and quality of Thatchers ciders – what cider’s supposed to taste like.

“Following from our Hot Air Balloon commercial, which we know resonated strongly with viewers on enjoyment and memorability*, Race Car creates a long-term campaign for Thatchers, filmed in the same, sunny photographic style, and featuring familiar faces, music and scenery to support brand recognition.

“Of course, the notion that the race car is going so slow is clearly ridiculous, as was the low flying hot air balloon in the first of the ad series. This is a humorous ad that will appeal to a wide audience and introduce new customers to our brand.”

Joint London are the creative agency behind the campaign for Thatchers, with Bray Leino advising on media buying. The film was directed by Declan Lowney, who has shot numerous commercials for some of the world’s biggest brands. He is also a top television comedy director, with Father Ted, Little Britain and Moone Boy amongst his credits.

The TV campaign is accompanied by a new series of short films for digital channels, also featuring the Thatchers’ Spokesperson, who finds himself in humorous situations at Thatchers Myrtle Farm, always highlighting the Thatchers family of ciders and their great taste characteristics – Thatchers Gold, Haze, Vintage and Katy.

2019 will be another important year for the growth of the Thatchers brand, with planned marketing activity including experiential, sponsorships, events and festivals. The family-run Somerset cidermaker is continually supporting and growing its brands to help drive people into the cider category, and is one of the biggest investors in marketing amongst UK cidermakers.

With its focus on apple cider, Thatchers is driving the apple cider category across both on and off trades with its Gold and Haze ciders.  Thatchers Gold is the no 2 canned apple cider (by value)* in the off trade and Thatchers Haze is the No 1 cloudy cider. In the on trade Thatchers Haze is the fastest growing cider in the top ten draught ciders**, and Gold has the best rate of sale of all draught apple ciders.

The commercial was shot in locations including Wells, Shiplate, and Castle Combe.


*IRI 10.11.18;

**CGA 52 w/e 3rd November 2018

Kantar/Millward Brown November 2018