V&S Group's Plymouth Gin is embarking on its first-ever consumer advertising in the UK.

The brand's UK distributor, Maxxium UKm announced yesterday (3 July) that it will invest GBP15m (US$27.7m) in a new strategy over the next five years, which will target gin consumers who enjoy relaxing at home and in the garden. The new positioning centres on gardening and features a GBP2m summer marketing campaign.

The new look and strategy, launched at the 2006 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, comprises a UK-wide programme of sampling at garden centres and gardening shows. The departure from the brand's traditional sailing-based strategy follows the launch of a new-look bottle in March, and signifies the brand's commitment to being a contemporary premium spirit, the company said.

The campaign will target men and women aged 45 plus who like to relax in and around the home and have a keen interest in their gardens.

"We've made a huge investment to shake up the premium gin category," said Maxxium UK's managing director Huw Pennell. "Our revolutionary design change to the bottle has already been well received in the on-trade and off-trade and our new strategy will bring inspiration to gin drinkers who enjoy relaxing at home and in the garden with a Plymouth Gin and tonic."

For the first time ever in the UK, a Plymouth Gin consumer advertising campaign will also be launched. The press, outdoor and on-line advertisements will start to run next month.

"Our new campaign communicates the uniquely smooth taste of Plymouth Gin," added Eileen Livingston, senior marketing manager for Plymouth Gin. "We want to educate consumers to ensure more and more gin drinkers discover the superior qualities of the world's smoothest gin."