Appleman's - Launching Joy

The Ask

Having worked successfully to make Orchard Thieves famous for the last three years, Thinkhouse collaborated with HEINEKEN Ireland and its other agency partners (Rothco, Starcom, Dynamo and MCCP) for the launch of Appleman's, a beautifully simple, new apple cider. The job to be done? Successfully land the brand and ‘win the summer’. Easy!

The Approach


For the brand with the tagline 'The Joy in Simple', we decided on a suitably simple strategy. Our PR and social media activity was, at all times, resourceful, simple and joy-inspiring. As part of the interagency team, Thinkhouse developed the brand’s hierarchy of messaging to ensure all stakeholders were aligned, for all brand, media and stakeholder conversations, from the get-go.

To launch the brand, we delivered a hard-working media relations and influencer campaign designed to communicate the arrival of the brand in a way that was simple and joyful!

Word of Mouth & PR

With laser-sharp precision messaging, we developed a PR plan that delivered for multiple audiences. To deliver this, we created eight bespoke press releases for consumer, marketing and trade media, with strong coverage landed, as a result of the creation of multiple proactive news angles. We worked with HEINEKEN Ireland to customise the story for regional media, gaining insights from the HEINEKEN Sales Team which provided regional hooks, helping us to land even more coverage. We collaborated with our other agency clients and drive a trial programme through our existing client network – delivering an efficient trial programme and bringing ‘The Joy in Simple’ to some of Ireland’s biggest workplaces.

A grassroots word-of-mouth campaign required an organisation with links across the country. We identified the GAA as the perfect untapped community through which to spread the good word about Appleman's. We achieved positive word of mouth and social media cut through with simple product gifting. We also connected with some key influencers who were happy to organically and publicly engage with us, after we gifted them with product, personal messages and plantable apple trees so that they could experience 'The Joy in Simple' all year round. One year later, our influencers are still engaging with us- sharing updates on their trees! An enduring branded press drop!

Social Media

We sweated the social assets created from the epic Appleman's TVC and accompanied them with beautifully simple copy designed to land ‘The Joy in Simple' idea and the brands' purpose in our consumers' lives.


Through two picnic-themed internal events, we generated strong excitement with our internal launches in both of HEINEKEN Ireland’s offices in Dublin and Cork. We also supported the internal comms programme via LinkedIn to drive wider awareness.

The Outcome


Our social posts are averaging a huge 406k unique reach per post. This equates to just under 1 million people reached by our ads per month. The video completion rate (VCR) is well above the industry average.


We exceeded the campaign coverage KPIs securing coverage across consumer and marketing media including print and online coverage. We achieved 4.5 million opportunities to see across nationwide media coverage. The primary key messages landed in 100% of launch coverage, landing both the brand name and taste profile with Irish media. 60% of coverage featured the Brand Manager’s quote (V’s Industry av: 20%-30% success rate).


100% positive sentiment with our earned word-of-mouth consumer programme which generated ‘earned mentions’ at launch stage.

Julie Wells, Senior Brand Manager, Cider, said: “This was a fast and furious launch and Thinkhouse delivered an exceptional amount of hard-working PR and Social Media for Appleman’s. The launch generated huge excitement with media – through some simple, joyful ideas that really captured media’s imagination and still has them talking!”

See also

Orchard Thieves - Fox It
Orchard Thieves - Fox It

Four years after launching, having already thieved a sizeable chunk of the cider market, the Orchard Thieves team decided it was time for a new...