Arla is to roll out a major new ad campaign to support the global relaunch of its House of Castello cheese brand and reposition it as the “New World wine” of the speciality cheese category.

In the UK, House of Castello which was rebranded from Castello earlier this year is currently the fourth-largest speciality cheese brand by value, at £7.3m [Nielsen 52w/e 3 September 2011], but Arla aims to grow it to at least £10m by 2013.

The campaign was aimed at repositioning House of Castello as a “premium but populist” cheese brand, said Kate Richards, senior brand manager for Castello at Arla Foods. In doing so, Arla hoped to mimic the way in which affordable, branded New World wines had shaken up the wine category and made it more accessible to the consumer.

“If it’s got Wolf Blass or Rosemount Estate on the bottle, you know it’s going to be a good wine and you don’t feel intimated by it,” she said. “That’s the approach we want to take.”

The campaign will centre on the brand’s television debut on 9 October, when a 30-second advert will air during ITV1’s Downton Abbey. Voiced by Sir Michael Gambon who played Harry Potter’s Professor Dumbledore the ad will be set in the 18th century. It features flamboyant host the Marquis de Castello, who offers his dinner guests ­different House of Castello cheeses, each of which ­teases out his guests’ quirky personalities.

The ad will also hit the big screen next month, airing ahead of premium films such as Wuthering Heights, and an extended 60-second version will be posted on YouTube. Press ads, advertorials, a dedicated website and supermarket sampling will also ­support the ads.

Although Arla has a number of brands in its UK portfolio, Castello alongside Lurpak and the Arla brand itself is one of only three of the dairy giant’s ‘global brands’, which Arla gives priority to.

Globally, the House of Castello brand is worth £150m.