Cider Jack Radio Spots Challenge Beer and Wine

Virgins and “wispy half-men” are invoked in Fort Franklin’s edgy new radio campaign for Cider Jack Hard Cider.

One spot opens with an obnoxiously masculine announcer proclaiming that “Cider Jack is a hard cider, not a soft cider. Soft ciders are made by wispy half-men who clog- dance in snug leotards.”

In another installment, the same hammy voiceover begins, “Cider Jack Hard Cider’s taste may be unfamiliar to wine and beer drink-ers. Because beer comes from fertilized fields … and you know what fertilizer is. And wine? That’spressed by human feet working long and hard, often in warm conditions. But our cider makers wear shoes—clean pure shoes, handstitched by virgins.”

An effort was made “to separate cider from other types of alcohol,” said Marc Gallucci, president and creative director of Fort Franklin, Boston.

Spots retain the tag, “Hard cider. Easy drinking.” The ads position Cider Jack, a Bulmers USA brand, against beer and wine, and also against imports such as Magners, an Irish brand of cider, Gallucci said.

The client hopes to educate consumers about cider and make them aware that it’s an option when they’re out in a bar.

“A lot of people don’t know what cider is,” said Raela Ripaldi, senior brand manager at Bulmers USA in Natick, Mass. “We want them to know that it is an alcoholic beverage and that it can be considered as an alternative [to beer or wine].”

The new ads represent something of a departure from past radio efforts from Fort Franklin for Cider Jack. Those old commercials employed a sitcom style and featured a number of recurring characters. The new spots offer no special effects and have just the one announcer.

Three 30-second spots target high-volume drinkers aged 21-28. The commercials are currently airing on WFNX and WBZ during Boston Bruins hockey games.