Angry Orchard brings its angry tree to life

Who: Moosehead Breweries (Angry Orchard Hard Cider brand), with Arrivals+Departures for creative, Media Experts for media.

What: A new instalment in the cider brand’s “Not So Sweet,” campaign, once again featuring the oh-so-tart tree featured on its packaging. Angry Orchard first gave voice to the angry tree last year as a way of demonstrating that because they have half the sugar, its ciders are not nearly as sweet as those of its competitors. The new campaign literally brings the tree to life.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running for 12 weeks across online video, paid social and contextual out-of-home in B.C., Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Why: “Not So Sweet” was Angry Orchard’s first consumer campaign, and it had an immediate impact—producing a year-over-year sales lift of about 15%, as well as increases in awareness, purchase intent and ad recall.

This new campaign is designed to further grow awareness of Angry Orchard in the crowded cider category, said Jessica Boland, marketing director, partner brands, at Moosehead Breweries. Many of the people who try Angry Orchard tend to become converts, she said, so the goal is to drive trial of the product.

How: Arrivals + Departures worked with Toronto-based Nordest Studio to create a 12-foot replica of the tree big enough to house comedian Andrew Merrigan. The agency then set up the tree at a farmer’s market outside Toronto, and turned it loose on unsuspecting consumers.

As people gathered around the tree, it proceeded to deliver some tart truths, like “Hey look everyone, it’s the couple from your high school, trying to get you into a pyramid scheme,” and remarking on one woman’s floral print dress with the line “Ooh, did someone have some leftover wallpaper from the powder room? You know, most people would say that’s a great dress. However, I am a tree.” The interactions were filmed and turned into a series of videos that are running online (see them all below).

The campaign also includes contextually relevant out-of-home ads that feature the angry tree delivering similarly withering messages, such as “I love your taste in music. It’s your taste in volume I dislike,” and “Nothing quite says autumn like your pumpkin spiced coffee breath.”

And we quote: “No one should have to conform or settle for just another cider. ‘Not So Sweet’ is our rallying cry to flip the category on its head. What better way to loudly celebrate real, unapologetic quality than with a giant chirping tree? It’s a fun brand and this is a clever way to show the brand’s humour while reinforcing our core product promise.” — Jeff MacEachern, chief creative officer,  Arrivals+Departures

Chris Powell