Bulmers is spending £15m in a bid to push market leading cider Strongbow towards a place in the top five long drinks brands in the UK. But it will have to get there without the help of former Big Breakfast presenter Johnny Vaughan. The Loafing ads which starred Vaughan have been ditched after four years, making way for a series of three new commercials which Bulmers said were "more about the brand". Bulmers described the Vaughan ads as "an incredible success", with awareness levels to match the likes of Carling and Guinness, but insisted it was the right time to move on. The new Get a Thirst First campaign will have an £8m TV and radio spend. A further £7m will be spent on tailor-made retail activity, sampling at music festivals and the ongoing sponsorship of Leeds United. Strongbow's dominant position in the cider market, with a 46% share, means it now prefers to gauge its relative success against other leading beer brands and premium packaged spirits. It has already risen to the number eight spot in the total long drinks market and the top five in take-home. The long-term goal is for a top five position overall. {{DRINKS }}

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