Food & Drink: Savanna's tour of duty raises a cheer

Distell Europe wanted to increase awareness of its South African cider Savanna across the UK. In particular, it wanted to support new listings in bars and pubs.

Savanna: Engaging consumers
Savanna: Engaging consumers

Campaign: Savanna Cider Watering Hole Tour
Client: Distell Europe
PR team: Inside Media
Timescale: February-October 2012
Budget: £60,000



  •  To raise the profile of the brand in pubs and bars in the UK
  •  To support new distribution in key outlets and cities
  •  To engage with 18- to 34-year-old consumers, slightly biased towards men.

Strategy and plan

The team developed an experiential campaign, which was designed to complement existing TV and radio advertising. It was supported by a multichannel comms plan.

The strategy was to build the brand's profile through engaging with consumers and exposing Savanna to a wider audience. The team bought and branded a retro-style campervan, which was later offered as a prize, and 18 tour dates were organised.

The tour featured 'Savannimals' - six-foot cut-outs of people dressed as animals - as props. These were used as a backdrop for people to take pictures, with the intention that the photos would be shared on social media. On the tour, wandering brand ambassadors equipped with cider-filled jet packs poured drinks for consumers.

Cities including Manchester, Cardiff and London hosted the tour, and dates were picked to coincide with other events, such as the South African cricket team playing a test match in Leeds. The tour was launched at a Putney pub on the day of The Boat Race.

The team worked with local authorities to get licences for the brand ambassadors to hand out flyers and offer samples of Savanna. The tour took place on Friday and Saturday evenings, with the team arriving at noon to hand out flyers in and around the venues, increasing awareness and driving traffic. Instant-win scratch cards also generated interest at the events.

Each outlet received branded promotional material featuring the Savannimals and all promotional material had a QR code, directing browsers to a dedicated site that gave details of the brand, tour and competition to win a Savanna campervan. Brand ambassadors with iPads also enabled consumers to enter the competition at the events.

The activity was supported with radio mentions on Kiss FM's regional stations before the tour's arrival in cities. There was a focus on coverage in b2b titles, while activity on Facebook and Twitter informed consumers of tour dates and invited them to review the antics of others, while offering a glimpse of the action on tour. Photos and updates were uploaded to the Savanna website and shared through social media.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign received 26 pieces of trade coverage, including news items in The Publican's Morning Advertiser and on The number of UK Facebook 'likes' for Savanna Cider reached 1,373.


Savanna was sampled by 10,000 new customers. The Savanna campervan competition attracted 12,132 entries and 14,000 flyers were handed out.


John Starr, MD, Clareville Communications

This is one of the most competitive markets in the drinks trade and needs spectacular activity to achieve stand-out.

Using an experiential approach and placing the product in the hands of consumers was obviously the right approach.

I liked the Savannimals idea and the interaction of picture-taking and social posting opportunities to drive engagement.

Work such as the social media activity and partnership with Kiss FM were both effective ways to interact with the target audience and drive sampling. The sampling figures were impressive, with the brand exposed to 10,000 new customers. However, it would be interesting to gather consumer feedback on the product and, more importantly, whether they would buy it.

Maybe more could have been done to drive media coverage during the eight-month period of the campaign, across both trade and consumer media.

Another key element to research is the trade's response to this campaign, bearing in mind the objective to support wider distribution.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in