Clarke, Fort Franklin Pursue Strongbow Cider

Bulmers America roster shops Clarke Goward and Fort Franklin are pursuing the domestic advertising account for the client’s Strongbow brand cider.

Bulmers has launched a review of the business, which is budgeted at $3-5 million, according to Wendy Kramer, vice president, marketing for the Natick, Mass.-based com pany. Bulmers is headquartered in Hereford, England.

Clarke Goward and Fort Frank lin, both of Boston, are participating in the review, along with undisclosed others, Kramer said. Presentations are set for early next year, with a decision coming shortly thereafter.

Strongbow is currently being tested in eight markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Gainesville, Fla. Tastings and bar events are taking place at test locations. A national rollout is planned for May 2002. A future cam paign may in clude broadcast and print work.

“Strongbow Ci der is dry, yet refreshing. It’s by far the closest to beer of any cider you’ll find,” said Kramer. Bulmers plans to market the cider to men aged 25 and over who drink import or high-end domestic premium beers.

In recent years, Bulmers has started to specialize in the cider market, having picked up Woodchuck, Woodpecker and Cider Jack Hard Cider brand ciders.

Fort Franklin, the 20-person shop led by former Arnold creative director Marc Gallucci, has for several years handled Cider Jack. TV ads broke this summer with the tagline “Start with a Cider Jack and see what happens.”

In addition to handling project work for Strongbow, Clark Goward also added marketing duties for Woodchuck Draft Cider in June. The Woodpecker brand does not have an agency and no search is planned.

Bulmers’ brands compete with brands such as Mike’s Hard Le monade and Sublime Juiced Beverages.