Artfully Crafted, Funny and Thoroughly Charming, This Spot Introduces You to Sipsmith Gin

Ogilvy U.K. balances dry wit with meticulous storytelling

Mr. Swan wants to take you on a tour of Sipsmith's distillery, perfectly recreated in miniature. Sipsmith
Headshot of David Griner

There are a lot of ways Sipsmith Gin, a 10-year-old London distillery that takes pride in leading a gin renaissance, could have told its story in the brand’s largest ad campaign yet. It could speak to its crisp flavor, or high-quality processes, or its London heritage.

Actually, the brand and agency Ogilvy U.K. managed to cram all that in while still being delightfully entertaining, thanks to a combination of witty copywriting, pitch-perfect delivery and intensely detailed animation.

In a spot launching today, we meet Mr. Swan, Sipsmith’s spokesanimal and star of its bottle design. He walks us through what the brand says is a perfect reproduction of the distillery, showing off its copper stills (claimed to be London’s first in 200 years), hand-dipped wax caps and more.

“We are delighted to bring the Sipsmith story to our audience, in this way for the first time, through the wonderful world of Mr. Swan,” says Kate Moorcroft, global marketing director of Sipsmith. “Stop-motion animation felt like the perfect way to tell the Sipsmith story as the skilled craftsmanship behind the creation of the film—with no detail overlooked, however small—resonated with our commitment to handcrafting Sipsmith Gin, making sure no corners are cut and no compromises are made.”

Staffed with several animators who worked on Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs,” the production brings a fascinating level of detail to the ad. As an example, the creative team notes that the inside pocket of Mr. Swan’s suit is hand-stitched, even though the viewer would never know.

“The more we delved into the rich story of Sipsmith Gin, the more we understood they don’t do what’s easy; they do what produces the best gin they can make,” says Jules Chalkley, chief ECD at Ogilvy U.K. “We played with a number of ideas on how to bring the brand to life, but nothing felt quite right until the ideation of Mr. Swan and the stop-motion concept came about with director Jeff Lowe. From there, everything began to fall into place.”


Client: Sipsmith Gin
Sam Galsworthy, Founder
Fairfax Hall, Founder
Kate Moorcroft, Global Marketing Director
Jim Mills, Head of Digital & Creative
Sam Flintham-Ward, Head of UK Marketing

Agency: Ogilvy U.K.
Jules Chalkley, Executive Creative Director
Giles Montgomery, Creative Director
Lotte Jeffs, Creative Director
Ilka Mourao, Art Director
Jonny Durgan, Copywriter
Oliver Featherman, Agency Producer
Kerry Capps, Business Director
Charlotte Black, Account Manager
Marianne Paton, Agency Project Manager

Sipsmith Credits for Mr Swan Campaign
Kevin Chesters, CSO
Marie Maurer, Strategy Director

Biscuit Films
Jeff Low, Director
Kwok Yau, Producer
Gabija Lauce, Production Assistant

The Mill
Nicole Duncan, Postproduction Producer
James Bamford, Colorist

Work Editorial
Saam Hodivala, Editor

750 Sound
Sam Robson, Sound Engineer

Julian Barrett, Voiceover

Zenith, Media Agency

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."