Adnams Stuff of Legend

The uniting idea that drove volume sales of Adnams’ flagship beers


Art direction
B2C and B2B Campaign and Media strategy
Consumer and Trade competition mechanics
Content planning
Digital design
Video production


Consumer competition entries


Trade entrants

The Brief

For the summer of 2023, Adnams had a clear objective: drive volume sales of its flagship beers, Ghost Ship 4.5%and Ghost Ship 0.5%. 

Ghost Ship is a popular bottled ale, and Ghost Ship 0.5% is the number one selling Low/No Ale in UK pubs. But summer is peak beer season and therefore massively competitive – a time when brands across the sector battle for market share in the trade and with consumers, often engaging in an arms race of promotion and discounting.

“In the context of the cost of living crisis, Adnams needed an idea that could provide a purchase trigger without undermining the premium positioning of their brand, and that still felt valuable to our audiences,” says Chris, Head of Strategy at Borne. 

As Adnams’ creative agency, we set about developing a campaign model and creative platform that could give us a call to action for consumers and publicans alike. An idea-led, integrated campaign that could enhance visibility at the point of consumption and sale, and that enhanced effectiveness by integrating across every touchpoint we had.

The Strategy

Put simply, we elevated the mechanics of a competition to provide our short-term trigger. 

For consumers, the chance to win a Suffolk pub for the night, as well as other legendary prizes, by scanning special competition packs and pints to enter. 

Engaging trade in the same campaign, was the same competition mechanic enterable post-purchase, and with a different prize: £10,000. A cash prize to be won during a difficult trading year.

Campaign mechanics designed, the next step was finding that one big idea. 

The Creative

Our creative idea needed to work hard – making sense of two beers, two very different audiences, two different competitions, and a huge range of media – from B2C advertising in paid social, OOH, on-shelf, on-pack, in-bar; to super-targeted B2B trade advertising and sales collateral. 

“It’s unusual to have that much integration,” explains Chris, “to have the same idea and flex it into trade communications, as well as being an idea that resonates with the audience.”

The idea? 

This summer, we encouraged our audiences to make stories that would become ‘The Stuff of Legend.’

Because legends don’t have to feature magic or far-off lands, beasts or brave knights. Sometimes, legends are made sharing a moment with friends, getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new together – the tales you’ll tell around a beach camp fire in Walberswick and warm the pubs of Southwold. ​

Stuff Of Legend became our consumer call to action and tool for engaging the trade – a single identity and story across every touchpoint we created.

The Results

Did it work?

“The power of that integration really galvanised the organisation. In the sales team, in the call centres and on the bar,” says Chris.

The campaign drove 14.3m impressions, with over 30,000 consumers entering the  competition and over 700 trade entrants. 

In areas where digital and outdoor media focused through-the-line, we saw strong uplifts in sales volumes YoY and versus other stores – highlighting the effectiveness of integrated campaign planning and execution. 

“The campaign drove double-digit growth of Ghost Ship 0.5%,” continues Chris, “and supported Ghost Ship in one of the toughest summers of trading in decades. And brand tracking gave us confidence that the Adnams brand retained its premium image.”