John Smith’s ‘Smooth As Silks’

John SmithIntegrated marketing agency Space is enhancing John Smith’s long-running association with horse racing through its ‘Smooth as Silks’ campaign, an on-trade initiative designed to give drinkers a chance to ‘buy one ticket and get one free’ at jump and flat racecourses across the UK.

John Smith’s Extra Smooth, part of the Heineken portfolio, is the nation’s number one ale. The brand has strong ties to horse racing, stretching back more than 50 years.

The ‘Smooth as Silks’ creative theme was developed by Space, bringing together racing and John Smith’s Extra Smooth in over 2,000 pubs and bars across the country. Space’s campaign kits hit on-trade outlets this month (July), supporting a horseracing promotion that runs until the end of the year.

Kits include posters, fixture lists and sign-up forms, brought to life with jockey silk graphics. The kits allow landlords to take ownership of the offer, choosing to invite and reward regular customers with a group day out at the races.

Space has developed permanent point of sale items to dress the pub for longer-term associations with John Smith’s as ‘horse racing’s home’.

These items include a plaque that visually plays on the royal coat of arms that landlords can display in their venues. An innovative piece of merchandise has also been developed – ‘silks’ design tap handle covers dressing the font in the John Smith’s colours – to extend visibility of the brand at the point of purchase.

Customers can choose from any of the 280 races at 41 participating racecourses. The campaign is also featured on the John Smith’s website where tickets are advertised with instructions to purchase. John Smith’s ticket offers of this kind are an important strand of the brand’s horse racing activation led by Space.

Sean Kelly, group account director, Space said:

We know that John Smith’s drinkers like to get together in their local pub to watch, talk about and share racing tips over their favourite, a ‘pint of smooth’ John Smith’s. This, added to John Smith’s unique racing ticket offer, gives us the ideal platform for our ‘Smooth as Silks’ work which we think will really resonate with licensees and drinkers. There really isn’t anything smoother in racing than jockey silks – apart from a pint of silky smooth John Smith’s of course!

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