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.