Thunderbirds’ Brains encourages smart hydration with Britvic’s new advert for Drench

May 27, 2008 by  
Filed under News

Interview with Executive Creative Director and Writer Ewan PatersonDrench

When thinking up the concept for an ad to promote a bottled water drink, you might wonder, what’s the best way to go?  Someone drinking some water? An overflowing water fountain?  A mighty waterfall?  Indeed, a puppet from a ridiculously famous 1960s television show dancing to a pumping early nineties dance tune set against a back drop that bears a remarkable resemblance to a scene from the 1952 musical Singing in the Rain is perhaps not the first thing that springs to mind.  However, advertising agency CHI & Partners certainly had an inspired vision when asked to advertise Britvic’s new bottled water product, Drench – and what a unique vision it was.

With summer coming in fits and starts and bottled water simply a must-have item when travelling around, it looks like now is the perfect time to hit the market with a promotion that will become fixed in people’s minds.  Executive Creative Director and Writer, Ewan Paterson, speaks to OnTheBox about how the advert came to be, what Brains was really like to work with and how the Drench brand is whipping up a storm among the online community.

OnTheBox:  How exactly did the Thunderbirds’ character work his way into the ad concept for Drench?! Was it a long process or something that someone came up with quite spontaneously?

Ewan Paterson:  Pretty well instantly (last year we used a real brain, this year the next most famous version).
OTB:  Aha, it’s all got that bit more conceptual then?  Considering that the product being advertised is bottled water and Brains is a puppet, a group not generally renowned for their hydration needs, do you think he is an appropriate ambassador for Drench?

EP:  We’re very happy with Brains’ commitment to the job as a spokes-puppet. In many ways, he needs hydrating even more than us humans…
OTB:  …I see.  But obviously, you could have gone for a run-of-the-mill beautiful woman in pool sipping/drenching herself in Drench. What were your motivations to go for something a little more quirky?

EP:  In answer to rule 1 of advertising: to get noticed. And Drench is all about smart hydration so it just made sense!
OTB:  Rhythm is a Dancer.  Snap!  1992. Explain please.

EP:  We felt the time was right to bring back early 90s dance and get people performing at their best. It’s a song we all secretly love and something you wouldn’t expect Brains to dance to.
OTB:  Speaking of which, the choreography all seems fairly complicated for your average marionette – did Brains pick it up easily?

EP:  He started off a little stiff but ended up being a natural (He’s clever remember, particularly after a little Drench).

 OTB:  Clever and cool – impressive.  Are you pleased with the way the advert turned out?

EP:  Yes – we’re pleased that people really seem to be enjoying it and are drinking Drench. There’s some great feedback on YouTube and Facebook from the public.

OTB:  Indeed, there are already four groups celebrating the advert on Facebook!  It looks like you are enthusiastic about using the internet to create a buzz about the product. Your website gives users the chance not only to watch the ad, but also to see the making of it and even play a game to test your alertness! What kind of role does the internet play in Britvic’s marketing campaign?

EP:  A major part – it allows the public to experience and interact with Drench and the whole area of smart hydration in a fun way and in more depth than with a TV campaign. You can also see how we got Brains to perform so well in the making of film.

OTB:  So would you say that you are you hoping to achieve more coverage via the internet rather than television broadcasting?

EP:  It’s important that they both work – people need to see and enjoy the television spots to encourage them to share it with friends on internet… ■

To check out the advert for yourself, watch the making of it and get involved in the general online stir, go to

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