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Cravendale's Thumb Cats on board for new TV push.

Arla's Cravendale brand is ditching its longstanding cow-pirate-cyclist TV ads for a new [pounds sterling]12m campaign - featuring cats with opposable thumbs - in a bid to boost household penetration of its filtered milk.

To return to penetration growth in 2011, the brand is boosting its TV airtime this year to 20 weeks compared with 13 in 2010, and launching two new TV ads in an effort to increase household penetration from 22%. It is investing [pounds sterling]2m more in marketing and communications than in 2010.

The first new ad, Thumb Cats, goes live on 28 February and features a man pondering what life would be like if cats had opposable thumbs and went after his Cravendale. The ad is voiced by Tim Currie of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame. A Blackadder-inspired ad will launch in August.

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Cravendale's current ad campaign, which has been running since 2007 and features the adventures of a cow, a pirate and a cyclist, is being phased out, with Cravendale 'fans' being sent a 'best of compilation.

Penetration was flat last year, with sales growth coming from existing shoppers buying more, and Cravendale brand manager Sam Dolan said her long-term ambition was to make Cravendale a top 10 grocery brand by 2020 - it is currently in 39th place [Nielsen MAT 21 February 2010].

"To achieve this, we need to get more people switching from standard milk and think hard about how we can use NPD to accelerate growth," she said.

Cravendale needed to act like a "drinks brand" and not be tied too closely to filtered milk, she added. "You can't filter butter or cream, so if the brand is to grow to other products, is filtered going to be too restrictive? We need to say, it's not about filtered milk; it's about special milk."

Cravendale will explore new formats in 2011 as well as aim more activity at the 1-litre rather than the family market. It is also launching a new version of its successful Kitchen Collectables on-pack loyalty scheme, which boosted average weight per purchase last year.

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Title Annotation:DAIRY
Author:Glotz, Julia
Publication:Grocer
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 19, 2011
Words:346
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