Brown-Forman has started to push Southern Comfort as SoCo in the UK, a named coined by consumers in the US.

The US wine and spirits group has hit UK cinemas with a new campaign - 'Start things up with SoCo' to drive the name change, a term first heard in bars in the US. The campaign is part of a GBP3m (US$5.6m) war-chest set aside for Southern Comfort in the UK.

The company said the campaign would reach 8m consumers and would be featured before screenings of this summer's blockbusters including Mission Impossible III and The Da Vinci Code. The ad, which focuses on the brand's roots from New Orleans, was a "vibrant, high energy" execution, according to Southern Comfort marketing manager Neil Aitken.

He added: "As a consumer-led concept in the US, the new way of asking for a Southern Comfort drink has been incredibly popular and has helped to position the brand as credible and relevant for the LDA to 24-year-old market.

"We will continue to seed the SoCo bar call in the UK market throughout 2006. Southern Comfort cocktails will feature SoCo in their name and the bar call will be communicated through promotional activity as well as the new campaign."