Orchard Thieves and Rothco launched an innovative reversible ad

Ads, Creativity

Orchard Thieves, Heineken’s cider brand, launched recently its 2nd TV campaign ‘Start Bold/End Bold’, which is created by independent agency Rothco and is a fully reversible commercial, with a narrative that works in both directions.

Orchard Thieves is all about finding our own bold way to do things and when the idea of a TV commercial that could be watched forwards and backwards was presented we were instantly intrigued

Emma-Jane McKeown,

Senior Brand Manager, Orchard Thieves

Directed by Stevie Russell of Russell Curran, the spot follows a group of friends on their night out, seeing them party from day to night. In reverse, the spot sees them start their night in darkness and party straight through into the morning. Viewed either forwards or backwards, the commercial is one piece of film that, whichever way you view it, delivers the same cheeky story. The narrative is built around Orchard Thieves’ simple worldview that if you start bold, you’ll end bold, and if you end bold, you obviously started bold!

“Our audience’s world is increasingly complicated and filled with so much choice that often they are paralysed and, as a result, end up doing the same old thing,” comments Account Director at Rothco, Miriam Hendrick. “We want to keep it simple; choose bold and you’ll always end up where you want to be. We’re even encouraging our audience to rewind the ad in broadcast – it’ll work!”

The spot revolves around the original brand mantra ‘Be Bold’ and aims to attract more drinkers to the cider category.

“After such a successful launch, we really wanted to continue to deliver against the brand mantra of ‘Be Bold’ and be seen as a brand that continues to push boundaries and finds new and interesting ways to engage our audience,” adds Hendrick.

Ray Swan, Creative Director Rothco:

Whilst we wanted to shoot a single film that worked forwards and backwards, it was also important that it worked as an engaging story. We didn’t want the technical part of the commercial to ever get in the audience’s way. I think we’ve really achieved that.

The ad launched on May 4th and both versions (day/night and night/day) will air.

Founded in 1995, ROTHCO has become one of Europe’s leading independent creative agencies. 150 people based in Dublin, changing the fate and fortunes of global and local clients including Heineken, Unilever, Hailo, Rory McIlroy Inc., Open Table, Kerry Group, Tesco and Kodak, through the art and science of great storytelling. With core capabilities including storytelling, technology, brand development, connections, strategy and experience design, ROTHCO has created a unique environment where it works in multi-disciplinary ‘gangs’, always staying in close collaboration with its clients to conceive, produce, and distribute brand stories that the world will notice. Its work has been recognized with awards from the Cannes Lions, the Marketing Society (UK), the Webbies, MIDAS, ICAD and the Shark Awards; and its campaigns have received media coverage all over the world.


Agency Rothco
Agency Producer Jessica Derby, Margaret Levingstone
Executive Creative Director Alan Kelly
Creative Director Emma Sharkey, Ray Swan
Copywriter Emma Sharkey
Art Director Ray Swan
Client Service Director Miriam Hendrick
Account Director Miriam Hendrick
Account Manager Karen Kenny
Connections Strategy Emer Fitzgerald
Director of Strategy Paul Hughes
Insight Strategy Sarah Walsh
Director Stevie Russell
Music Enjoy Yourself – Doris Day
Production Company Russell Curran
Post Production Screenscene
Producer Ann Marie Curran
Post Production Supervisor Allen Sillery
Editor Jake Walshe
Sound Will Farrell