Thursday, 30 March 2017

Meet the new boss

Many drinkers will be familiar with the jovial, rotund chap with his foaming tankard who features on the label of bottled Taylor’s Landlord.

However, I was shocked to see on the latest bottle I picked up that he had been replaced by a modern substitute in that fashionable shadow effect, with long sideys and – horror of horrors – an open-necked shirt. Some people on Twitter thought he looked like a Welsh rugby fan.

It’s yet another attempt by established breweries to appear trendy and up-to-date, but which all too often just come across as “dad dancing”. It’s not as if they don’t want to appear stuck in the past, as the previous image, which originated in the 1950s, harks back to the era of Dickens and wasn’t contemporary even then.

Maybe the real reason is that they no longer think it appropriate for their labels to feature a bloke proudly sporting an impressive beer gut - although there was uproar a few years ago when Little Chef tried to slim down their mascot.


  1. I hope you purchase it often and the label change is recent. The few bottles I picked up last week still have the jovial, rotund chap on the label. Unless the chap aged on the way over.

  2. The Blocked Dwarf30 March 2017 at 13:58

    They seem to have gone out of their way to design a drinker who looks neither white, black nor brown and, yet, all three at the same time. A crackingly brilliant solution to the thorny 'race' issue ie 'Just make him look Welsh!' (or 'Coal N*word').

  3. Whilst we can infer you yourself will wholly be on the side of heritage for reasons of personal taste, ascetics, world outlook an interesting question inferred.

    Do you sell more bottles of bitter appealing to heritage, history, tradition, the past than you do if you attempt to appeal to the contemporary, the modern, the current? How can you ensure authenticity in either approach?

    Many long established European beer brands trade strongly on a reputation of being unchanged for over a century and label themselves with branding that infers this history. They appear to do commercially well.

    Is the British consumer different from the German or Belgian drinker in this regard?

    I have no preference for either set of branding. All I look for in a pub based pint is "is it lager? is it under £2?" but I appreciate that the goal of beer producers is to shift as much as possible at the highest margin possible and may consider immediate commercial gain the driving factor.

  4. It's being stuck in the past which would first attract me to an ale.

  5. oh my god that is really awful

  6. At least he hasn't got a ****ing hipster beard!

  7. I trust Jeff Bell aka Stonch is charging on image rights

  8. I can't say that it looks like a significant improvement; it's not really very different in style so I wonder what they were trying to achieve.

    1. there is a marketing theory that says customers when presented with a wide range of choice of item will overlook the brands they are familiar with, they essentially become blind to them, but will spend more time looking and then subsequently buying things that look different, even if only subtly different to what they remembered. And you can map sales figures to it, Ive certainly seen such graphs where a beer whose sales were just steadily in decline, just gets a branding refresh, and that invariably leads to a sales boost, some work really well and its sustained, some dont but the boost still reversed the overall decline. You have to look at it in the context of bottles all lined up in a beer fridge behind a bar, or on a supermarket shelf and people just scanning with their eyes.

      the Landlord branding is strong, and theyd have been idiots to chuck it away completely and start afresh, but you could say the older branding makes it seem old fashioned and not upto date, some brands that are incredibly strongly image based can get over and still seem upto date regardless, but there are very few beers in that category IMO.

      so yep I think it looks awful, Ill make sure I buy a bottle of the old one before it disappears completely, but the one thing that I dont think any branding change can overcome is, Landlord is very hit and miss in bottles, sometimes its great, sometimes you just want to pour it down the sink, maybe if they sorted that part out it would sell alot more in bottles anyway

  9. The change in colours and the addition of the gold band are worse than the landlord figure to my eyes. The original figure wasn't a thing of beauty anyway. The new label actually looks more old fashioned to me than the old one, which can't have been the objective.

  10. I do like the idea that only lager drinkers buy the advertising.

    There's a whole lot of image, story, narrative, marketing that both real ale & craft beer drinkers buy into, identify with and therefore pay money for above and beyond the pongy brown liquid in their glass.

  11. I can’t say I’m impressed, but more to the point the “landlord” is holding the glass and pulling the pint at a height, and angle, which just isn’t possible. “Nil points”, I’m afraid.

  12. Not an original observation, but worth repeating - looks like a rugby player wanking off a horse.

    It's an abomination.

  13. It's not great, but it's a lot better than I was expecting when I heard that the branding for Landlord had been updated. I mean, at least they've gone for continuity with the classic branding rather than totally reinventing it to pretend it's the latest radical experiment from a South London railway arch. Rugby-shirted blokes are hardly uncharted territory for trad ale brewers.


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