Strongbow Cider Goes for Newcastle-Style Humor With ‘Slow-Motion Horse’

Droga5 thumbs its nose at more category clichés

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Droga5 has won raves for its Newcastle Brown Ale work, which skewers beer-marketing clichés. Now, the agency is bringing a similar sensibility to another Heineken-owned brand: Strongbow Hard Apple Cider.

The new "Cider at Its Bestest" campaign shows how the drink is best poured over ice. It launches with the 60-second spot below, featuring an image that will be familiar to booze-ad watchers everywhere: a horse running in slow motion on a beach. (In fact, a Clydesdale did just that in the very first ad for Bud Light—then called Budweiser Light—in 1982.)

But this Strongbow horse—well, let's just say he's not your typical excessively slow-moving quadruped. And he won't elicit the typical (glazed-over) reaction from viewers, either.

"With cider brands trying to out-refresh each other, we went better than best, to bestest," John McKelvey, creative director of Droga5 said in a statement.

"The overall campaign explores the absurd notions of making the best even more desirable. In this case it meant enjoying a Strongbow with your horse that only runs in slow motion. That's the bestest," added creative director Hannes Ciatti.

An additional 15-second spot, "Three Sunsets," will debut later this fall. The campaign will include a mix of traditional and paid media, digital, PR and experiential marketing.

Credits below.


Client: Strongbow, Heineken USA

Brand Director: Alejandra De Obeso

Global Marketing Manager: Olivier Darses

Senior Director, Portfolio Brands: Charles Van Es

Chief Marketing Officer: Nuno Teles

Agency: Droga5, New York

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer

Creative Directors: John McKelvey, Hannes Ciatti

Copywriter: Molly Jamison

Art Director: Eric Dennis

Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale

Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies

Broadcast Producer: Verity Bullard

Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer

Digital Strategy Director: Dan Neumann

Group Account Director: Dan Gonda

Account Director: Nadia Malik

Production Company: Rattlingstick

Director: Hamish Rothwell

Director of Photography: Ben Seresin

Executive Producer: Joe Biggins

Producer: Sam Long

Editing: Workpost Editorial

Editor: Rich Orrick

Assistant Editor: Adam Witton

Executive Producer: Erica Thompson

Postproduction: The Mill

Head of Production: Sean Costelloe

Producer: Alex Fitzgerald

Colorist: Fergus McCall

Flame Artist: Nathan Kane

Music: Human

Founding Partner: Marc Altshuler

Producer: Jonathan Sandford

Sound: Sonic Union

Studio Director: Justine Cortale

Producer: Pat Sullivan

Mix Engineer: Stephen Rosen

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.