Anchor has tapped into the most famous scene in iconic war movie The Great Escape in a bid to boost its profile as a 'free-range' butter brand.

Manufacturer Arla Foods has created a £2.5m TV ad in which a felt cut-out Anchor cow makes a bid for freedom on a motorbike while being chased by angry farmers with pitchforks. Mirroring Steve McQueen's epic escape, the brave bovine finally clears a fence with the ad closing to the line: Anchor, the free-range butter company.

The ads will run for four weeks from later this month, and coincide with ads in women's, slimming and parenting publications featuring cows in holiday destinations including Paris and the Pyramids. Regional radio broadcasts will also feature cows mooing the Great Escape theme.

The new campaign is part of an expected £10m spend on the brand throughout 2009 as it looks to narrow the gap on brand leader, sister product Lurpak. Anchor currently holds a 14% share of the market, with sales of £35.7m [Nielsen w/e 29/11/08]. The brand is the third-largest overall in the butters, spreads and margerine market, behind Lurpak and Unilever's Flora.

Arla is keen to continue its policy of promoting its cows as being treated in the best possible way, with the press campaign running under the strapline 'Our cows are free to roam'. Butter for the brand is made using free-range milk from free-range cows.

"Our free range positioning has been extremely successful and the felt cut-out style is now distinctly owned by Anchor, with consumers instantly recognising and liking it," said Anchor brand manager Emily Oldridge. "The new TV ad builds on last year's campaign and plays on a much-loved movie and theme tune to create a memorable execution."

Creative agency CHi&Partners was recruited to design the ad, which involved a crew spending 200 hours cutting through 50m of felt, with 50 cows and 50 motorbikes required for the filming.