Hen displays artistic talents

Greene King spends £1.5 million on biggest campaign for flagship brand

Greene King's Old Speckled Hen is setting its sights on premium lager drinkers with its biggest ever ad campaign.

The £1.5 million campaign positions OSH as "the not so traditional English ale" and launches on March 3 with full-page ads in

national press and

posters in London Underground station s in Zone 1.

The ads, which will also appear in magazines such as GQ, Private Eye and Viz in a bid to reach drinkers outside the ale's existing consumer base, show traditional oil paintings of modern drinkers, posing in the way

families would pose for portraits before the days of photography, with their possessions on display. They were painted by New York-based portrait artist Marvin Mattelson.

Three executions have already been designed - two will

appear in March and the third in summer. Rob Flanagan, of the OSH brands team, said the beer already has 2.7 million drinkers

and could reach a further 3 million.

"We have recruited a significant proportion of new drinkers into this brand and this category - that is a significant point and something we want to continue doing in the future ," he said.

"Independent research has concluded that, for those drinkers of premium ale who also drink lager, OSH is their number -one choice.

Consumers of Hen tend

to be in their 30s, younger than the category average. They are also more affluent and very discerning."


added he did not expect the modern-looking ads to put off any traditional OSH fans. "Research with our target and current drinkers has found that they have very similar attitudes. They like the fact that OSH is being different and not doing what the category is doing."